It’s just a few short weeks now until the 2017 tekom conference gets underway again in Stuttgart. Before getting to meet you face to face at the conference, we wanted to use the next few posts to take a look at the world of the forthcoming 2018 version of SCHEMA ST4. So, let’s dive in and discover the new features aimed primarily at making your workflows and processes easier. In this post, I will introduce you to a new function that is sure to bring a smile to the face of translation managers: the TMS Health Report. The TMS Health Report is a deceptively small tool that nonetheless packs a powerful punch. It can significantly improve the quality of your translations and enable you to identify structural differences between the source and target language much more efficiently – without the need to speak the target language.

The TMS Health Report is hidden away in the Translate menu under the Translation Report feature. When you click on it, a new viewlet will open that initially looks a lot like the Translation Report. Once the viewlet is open it is a simple matter to check translated nodes for structural differences compared to the node structure of the source language.

Why might structural differences occur following translation of a text?

When you retrieve your nodes from the translation, the structure of your source language is more or less directly transferred into the target language. That’s the great thing about the link between ST4 and the translation memory system; headings remain headings, terms in bold stay in bold. Clearly, inline elements like these will not necessarily be in the same place in the target and the source text, because more frequently than not the two languages will have a different sentence structure. The number of words used for a term may differ in the different languages: “Magnetnadel” in German translates into two words in English: “magnetic needle”. The term “Bohrmaschine” may be rendered in two words (“power drill”) in English too. Languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, such as Russian or Mandarin, present a special case. Text highlighted in bold may appear somewhere else in the sentence or several words may be in bold.

So, the structure of the source and target XML could be very different, but the translation is nonetheless correct.

However, there are instances where you do in fact need to be able to identify what type of structural difference is involved.

  • The structure may have been changed intentionally and the changes may be desirable. This could be the case if a language does not need to go through the variant management process. For example, if an outdated machine needs to be documented once retrospectively or a machine is in the further development phase and it’s not yet clear what can be reused in the manual.
  • Another possibility is that changes had to be made outside the translation workflow, because there was no time to supply the nodes to the translation agency.

Making structural differences visible using drag & drop

The TMS Health Report compares the XML structure of the translated content against the XML structure of the source content. To do this, you simply drag the translated nodes whose structure you want to check from the information pool, the project tree or the version browser to the TMS Health Report viewlet.

The screenshot below gives an example of how the report will look for the different languages if structural differences are found:

tms health report in SCHEMA ST4

This allows you to compare the XML structure of the nodes immediately after translation without having to open the nodes.

If there are no structural differences, the TMS Health Report will report this too.

Identifying and correcting different types of structural difference

The TMS Health Report shows you the type of structural difference found for each individual node. For example, you will be able to see if there are fewer paragraphs in the target language than in the source. You could then correct the error yourself internally by stepping into the node there and then, or you could give these nodes back to the translation agency and so save yourself time and money for the translation.

The icons in the TMS Health Report show you the type of structural difference found:

  • Icon :
    Different fragments are embedded in the target language than in the source.
  • Icon :
    The structure of the target language differs from the source language at paragraph level.

For example, there are only three paragraphs in the English while the source German text has four paragraphs. Or a different element has been used in the paragraph: there is an image in the German text in the <subheading> element, but in the English text it is in element <p>.

The TMS Health Report is a quick way for you to do a simple check for incompatible structures in your translation that nonetheless precisely identifies errors, making it an invaluable tool to support you in tracing and correcting translation errors.

The TMS Health Report is a significant feature to help you improve quality and lower costs. As such, it is already available to those using Service Pack 2 for the current version, ST4 2017.

Want to find out more and see TMS Health Report in the flesh?

Visit us at the tekom annual conference in Stuttgart on Stand 2/C07 when we will be delighted to show you how TMS Health Report could benefit you.