Automatic Translation (Overview)

Last update: May 2017


Save time and translation costs using RC-WinTrans‘ auto-translate feature to automatically translate one or more text items based on translation data available from various sources. The auto-translate function can search the current project, dictionaries, translation memories (TMs), and/or other opened projects for translations that meet predefined minimum match value and apply them to translation units in the active project.


The auto-translate function can be performed for all or a selection of the data contained in a translation project:


Auto-Translate | All (Entire Project)

Runs the auto-translate operation for all the text items in the active translation project.  Use the Auto-Translate | All (Entire Project) commands from the Project menu or the Dictionary/TM menu.


Auto-Translate  |  Selected

Runs the auto-translate operation for those text items which are currently selected in the Text Table view/Translation Edit bar.  Use any of the following to execute this command:

commands in the Dictionary/TM or Project menus: Auto-Translate | Selected.

the Auto-Translate button (shown right) in the Dictionaries toolbar.

shortcut: the "Shift+F4" key combination.



Data Sources for Auto-Translation

In order to translate a text item (a translation unit), the automatic translation mechanism looks up translations that already exist in the active project and/or in other available data sources, i.e., dictionaries, Trados translation memories (TMs), and other open translation projects.


Data sources used for auto-translation:


Dictionaries/TMs that have been designated as find references in the Dictionaries view.


All other open translation projects.


Existing translations in the active project.


Data sources can be specified on the Automatic Translation property page in the Dictionary/TM Options dialog box.  NOTE: The Data Sources property page handles these options as well.



Figure 1: Data sources for RC-WinTrans' auto-translate function..



Assigning a Translation Status to Automatically Translated Items

The auto-translate function can assign a specific translation status to items that are translated automatically, making it easier to locate and review them in the project.  You can specify one state for items that were translated with a match value of 100% and another for items that had a match value of less than 100%. Translation states include "needs review translation," "translated," or "final."


The settings for the translation status are located on the Automatic Translation page in the Dictionary/TM dialog box.


Designating a translation status for automatically translated items is recommended, especially for those texts with a match value of less than 100%, which you will want to check for accuracy.  Even translations from 100%-matching source texts should be reviewed to verify that they fit the context.  Specified states let you find (and isolate) these texts very easily.



Tracking the Origin of a Translation

RC-WinTrans maintains information (name and type) about the data source from which a translation was taken during the auto-translate operation.  This information is displayed in the Text Table view’s "Origin" column.


Figure 2 shows the Project window's Text Table view in which three items (lines 4, 5, and 6) have been translated automatically. The "Origin" column shows that each item was translated using a different data source (a Trados translation memory (4), a dictionary (5), and another translation project (6)).  Note that the item in line 6 ("Status") was only translated with a match value of  98% while the other two items were translated with source texts that matched 100%.



Figure 2: Automatically translated items in the Text Table view.



NOTE: The Text Table view’s "Origin" column is set to be hidden by default.  Make the column visible in the Show/Hide Columns dialog box, opened by right mouse-clicking in the view to call up a local menu and selecting the Show/Hide Columns command provided there.



Important Notes on Automatic Translation


In order to use a dictionary as a source for the automatic translation function it must be enabled as a find reference in the RC-WinTrans’ Dictionaries view, and it must support the same source and target language combination that is currently active for the project.


In order to use another translation project as a source for the automatic translation function it must currently be open in RC-WinTrans and the same source and target languages must be active.


The auto-translate function will not be performed on items that have the translation status "translated" or "final"- these items will be skipped.



Undo Auto-Translation

You can undo the last auto-translate operation (delete all translations entered in this way) with the Undo command from the Edit menu, or with the "Ctrl+Z" keyboard shortcut.



Alternatives to Auto-Translation



Get Translation(s) from Dictionary

Translations can also be imported directly from a selected dictionary using the Get Translation(s) command from the Dictionary/TM menu.



Find a Translation for a Single Selected Item

To translate a single item manually you can use the find translation function which searches for translations in dictionaries (that have been set as find references.  Unlike the auto-translate function, the Find Translation command only lists the translation(s) it has found (in the Dictionary Results bar)- it does not automatically enter or save a translation.


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