Memsource can be used to convert content previously translated without the use of a CAT tool, for which no translation memory exists, into a translation memory.
This process is called alignment, and it is a standard feature of translation memory systems.
Users can align single file pairs or batches of files in Memsource.
To launch the alignment dialogue window, select the TM to which you wish to import the content, and then click on the Align button.
You will see two options:
- 1 source + 1 target file
- Multiple files
The Multiple files option is useful for aligning multiple files at once. The file pairs (source/target) must have identical names and are imported in a zip file with folders named "source" and "target" containing corresponding files.
The files will be imported into Memsource and the content will be paired and opened in an XLSX file with three columns: segments in the source and target language and the filename of the target file. The file can be further edited in MS Excel and later directly imported into the TM.
It is often reasonable to create a separate translation memory for the aligned segments (it could even be called Aligned TM). In this way, one can easily distinguish between the segments originating from the alignment and the actual translation work.
Also, you will often find out that the result of the alignment process is quite unsatisfactory. This can be caused by multiple aspects - differences in content, incorrectly set segmentation, inconsistent formatting in the source and target files, etc. One way to solve this is to import the aligned MS Excel without any editing into a working TM and then attach the aligned MS Excel as a reference file to the project. This way, if translators get a match for their source text, which obviously contains something incorrectly aligned in the target, they can open the MS Excel file and look up the correct result, which will typically be located somewhere near where it is expected to be.