Quality Assurance is one of the most important aspects in today’s translation and localization industry.
In Technografia we have always used QA tools for all our projects, and in this article I will show you how to use the most basic one, which also happens to be free! This tool is called ApSIC Xbench, and you can find it here:
You can either get the paid version, or the freeware version (http://www.xbench.net/index.php/download).
Lately it has been rediscovered by users all around the world. Personally, I have been using this lovely tool for more than 7 years, both as a Freelancer and as a Project Manager, and I can tell you from experience that it helps a lot when it comes to multiple files, or translations with multiple filetypes. Furthermore, it has the amazing ability to export all the files imported for the QA to tmx format, which helps you create a TM from whatever file you are using.
In a future article, I will be showing you how to use that tool to do other interesting stuff as well, but let’s take it one step at a time.
First of all, some very basic tips on the translation process:
- Read carefully all the reference material provided for the project.
- Perform concordance searches in the TMs provided, for the majority of the terms in the document you are translating, depending on your client’s instructions. Even for seemingly plain expressions, like “for details, see…” etc. You cannot imagine how much time this will save you later, in the editing stage! Check the TMs globally for specific style of language used. Read random segments to see the style.
- Take notes while translating. It’s important to write down your choices in terminology and grammar or style, especially in huge projects with thousands and thousands of words, and more hours than you can imagine. And then you are ready to start!
After finishing the translation:
- Perform a spell check on the document.
- Perform one or more of the following Quality Assurance checks, depending on the type of files you are working with.
- QA (Verification) that is included in Trados TagEditor or Trados Studio.
- S-Tagger Verification
- Idiom checks
- SDLX Checks
- Across Checks
- Other checks
The following filetypes can be used with Apsic Xbench:
– Tab-delimited text files
– XLIFF files
– TMX memories
– TBX/MARTIF glossaries
– Exported Trados Workbench memories
– Exported Trados Multiterm glossaries (version 5 and XML)
– Trados TagEditor files
– Trados Studio files
– Trados Word bilingual uncleaned files
– IBM TranslationManager folders, memories and dictionaries
– OpenTM2 folders, memories and dictionaries
– SDLX .itd files
– SDLX memories
– Star Transit 2.6/XV projects
– PO files
– Wordfast glossaries
– Wordfast memories
– Wordfast Pro TXML files
– Logoport RTF files
– Idiom files
– DejaVu files
– Microsoft Glossaries (.csv files)
– Mac OS X Glossaries
How to perform a basic QA check using Apsic Xbench:
a. Open Apsic Xbench
b. Go to Project – Properties
c. A new window opens.
d. Click “Add…”.
e. Select the type of bilingual document(s) you are working with from the list, and click “Next”.
f. Click “Add File”, and in the window that opens, browse to the folder you want, and select all applicable files, press “Open”.
g. You can also click “Add Folder”, and add multiple files recursively, but keep in mind that all files must be of the same type, the type that you chose in step ‘d’.
h. Then press “Next”, uncheck all boxes, and Check only “Ongoing translation”. QA can only be performed on files marked as “ongoing translation”.
i. Click OK.
j. Let’s say, for example, you would also like to add a terminology list (glossary), which is in tab delimited format. Click “Add”, again.
k. Select “Tab-delimited text file > Next > Add File.
l. Locate the Glossary file, and click “Open”.
m. Click “Next”.
n. Uncheck all boxes, and check only “Key terms” (this applies for all your glossary files, if you have multiple ones, no matter what type they are).
o. Click OK. The next step is required only if you have multiple glossary files.
p. Locate in the currently open dialogue box the Glossary files you have and assign Priorities, by pressing the + symbol in the “Priority” option for each one. Depending on which glossary you would like the QA check to use first, assign the corresponding priority. This applies if you have multiple glossaries for one project.
q. Click OK, after you are done with these settings.
r. Go to the QA tab.
s. Select all the check boxes in the “Check Group”, and all the boxes in the List of Checks except for “Untranslated Segments”. I don’t usually use the “Untranslated Segments” rule, because in some tools, and with some filetypes, it returns too many false errors. I am assuming you always know if you have left anything untranslated!
My most valuable ones are the parameters for Inconsistency of Source and Target, which must always be checked. That way you can be certain that fuzzy are consistent.
There are more options under the Options section, check them out and choose the ones that are right for your project.
t. Click the “Check Ongoing Translation” button.
u. After the check, a list will be displayed. Put the mouse cursor on a random spot in the results and select “Export QA results” from the right-click menu.
v. Save the QA results in the xls format. This way, you will be able to either deliver this file along with your translation, or even make comments in it. After you save it, Excel will pop open to show you the resulting file. Close it and return to XBENCH. You can also do this after you are done with your changes, of course, in order to have only the latest results.
w. From these results, you can see the errors you need to correct. If you click on the yellow line, next to the error description in bold, you will be able to see the error that needs to be checked/fixed, in the small window beneath all the results. See the screenshot.
x. By right clicking on the segment that needs to be fixed, you can select Edit Source, which will open the file and take you to the segment that needs to be corrected. This works only if you have TagEditor files to correct, it does not work with sdlxliff files (Trados studio files). You can experiment with the various filetypes, to see which open and which do not.
y. Perform all corrections in this manner.
z. After you are done, press F5. This will refresh the files contained within Xbench, which are not updated in real time while you are performing the changes. Keep this in mind, since if you do not press F5, you will be seeing the same results over and over. After you press F5, perform a new QA check and keep making changes, until you are satisfied with the results.
aa. When there are no more errors to fix, you can leave Xbench by going to the Windows toolbar and selecting Right click – Shutdown Xbench – NO and Yes.
This article was first posted here. At the bottom of that particular post you can find the instructions in an Interactive Tutorial format, and at the end of the tutorial you can download the instructions in pdf format.
Then, the article was re-posted here in a much shorter version.