Hello,

FM 6.0 unstructured
ePro WWH 5.0

We recently translated our documentation set (two manuals, about 1,600
pages) into Spanish. This wasn't a very smooth process, but it was
accomplished by sending our .mif files to the translator, who uses
TRADOS. The translator was selected based on the lowest bid.
The translator did create the database files that are used for
facilitating future translation; however, once we got the files back
from them, there were so many errors and changes required that we
question the usefulness of the database files. Our Spanish FrameMaker
files are now significantly different from the files that they gave to
us.

Now we are moving on to the next version of our software, and facing
difficulties understanding how to mark what has changed since the last
version, and translate only the new/changed text. What we ended up doing
is comparing our English files in FrameMaker, and, using the CMP files,
added the new/changed text into the Spanish files, marked with a
Translation condition. This was a huge chore. I just KNOW that others do
not do it this way. The managers are not happy with the amount of time
this took, and we aren't happy because it was very tedious.

I have read the white paper about translation that is often mentioned,
but the process is still not clear to me. I don't really know what
TRADOS can do and how the translators use it with .mif files. (The PTBs
claim that TRADOS works *much better* with Word, and why do use
FrameMaker anyway?) I also know that many of you have switched to
structured FrameMaker to solve some translation issues (like these?) but
at the moment, switching to structured with our small, very busy dept.
is cost- and time-prohibitive.

If you are still using unstructured FrameMaker and translating your text
through several versions, I would like to know:

* What your companies do to mark text that has changed? How do you move
the translation up to the next version?
* Can't translators take the latest mif files from you and use TRADOS to
identify what has changed?
* What if the database from the translator is out-of-date? Can't they
build a new one based on new files?
* Is there really a difference in this process (re:TRADOS) if we used
Word?

I think we're making this way harder than it needs to be and would
appreciate your input.
Please, can you CC: aduffy at nemetschek.net, as I am on the digest.

Thanks,

Alexandra Duffy
Senior Technical Writer
Nemetschek NA

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