The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 34

RR
FIGURE 12 Pick list properties in Trados 2021 TMX
FIGURE 13 Structural differences in context
information in Trados 2021 TMX
you'll see many different
properties that you haven't
encountered in memoQ,
XTM, or Memsource TMX
files. Of special note are the
single and multiple pick
list properties. These seem
to be unique to Trados and
are probably not easily
convertible to other TMX
variants. At best, the contents
of such pick lists might
be able to be converted to
custom metadata fields.
(See Figure 12.)
The structural differences
are familiar. Context
information nodes are
embedded as child nodes in
34 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2023
the  node, but this in
and of itself is not a difficult
problem to overcome. They
can be moved to the source
 node easily enough.
The problematic issue is
that the context information
itself is obfuscated. It's
not possible to reliably
reverse engineer the TMX
file to determine what the
preceding and succeeding
segments are. The 
node with the " x-Context "
attribute contains only
numerical codes. The node
with the " x-ContextContent "
attribute appears to contain
both the source and target
variants of the preceding
segment. The succeeding
segment is not present,
with possible exception
of the unhelpful second
numerical code in the
" x-Context " property node.
In comparison to memoQ,
XTM, and Memsource TMX,
this deficit can only be seen
as user-unfriendly because
conversion will result in the
loss of ICE matching, which,
in turn, can result in higher
future translation costs.
(See Figure 13.)
Final Thoughts
The TMX standard can be
used to transfer translation
memories from one TMS
to another, but it's not a
universal solution. It's not
precise enough and too much
wiggle room is allowed.
TMS vendors have taken
advantage of the wiggle
room to do their own thing
when applying the standard.
Source and target translation
content can be converted
from one TMS' TMX export to
a format that is appropriate
for import into another TMS,
but some loss of metadata
can occur.
If a TMS salesperson says,
" Oh yes, you can easily
convert your legacy
translation memories to our
system using TMX, " treat that
statement with appropriate
skepticism! A lot is possible,
but a 100% clean conversion is
difficult-and sometimes
impossible-to achieve. And
don't even begin to think
about a 100% conversion of
term bases using the TBX
standard. But that's a rant for
another day!
Richard
Sikes is
a senior
consultant
for memoQ
Business Services. He has
been immersed in technical
translation and localization
for over 30 years. He is
passionate about linguistic
technologies of all kinds
and spends much of his
time deploying technology
solutions. He has managed
localization teams at
several industry-leading
software companies. He
has written articles for
MultiLingual magazine and
has served as an organizer,
moderator, and speaker at
translation industry events.
richard.sikes@memoq.com
www.atanet.org
http://www.atanet.org

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