Part 2: Introducing Retrofit – An Exciting New Feature in SDL Trados Studio 2015

Welcome to the second part of my blog, where I will be taking a look at Retrofit, a brand new feature in SDL Trados Studio 2015. If you read my previous blog (and I hope you enjoyed it), you would have seen I was talking about PowerPoint presentations and this is where I am going to pick up from.

With Studio 2015 we are trying to address another pain point that I have often faced in the past. Let me first give some background. When doing PowerPoint translations I tend to work in the following way:

  1. Translate the PowerPoint slides in Studio.
  2. Do an initial review in Studio to iron out the most obvious mistakes.
  3. Save the target PowerPoint file.
  4. Do some more and typically quite heavy editing in the target file – both in terms of layout and stylistic changes – to have a slide deck that feels less ‘translated’ and more idiomatic.
  5. Oops – how do I bring back these changes into Studio so I can update my TM that I created in steps 1) and 2) so that it is in sync with my target file edits? This is where the paint point comes in…

Yes I can more or less painstakingly try to remember or compare which changes I actually made and then try to bring them over to Studio one by one. However, with many changes and under time pressure just one day before Tekom – will I do this? I admit I never really do this properly as there’s never time for this and it’s just too cumbersome.

This is where the second exciting new Studio 2015 feature comes into play. We call it ‘Retrofit’ since it automates the process described above by ‘retrofitting’ the target file changes into the corresponding bilingual Studio project file in SDLXLIFF format. So rather than me going through the changes manually and bringing them back to Studio and my TM, I let Retrofit do this for me. This process works as follows:

Retrofit in SDL Trados Studio 2015

  • I associate my Studio project file with the reviewed file.
  • Studio goes through the Retrofit process.

Retrofit - Batch Processing in SDL Trados Studio 2015

  • I can optionally review the Retrofit results in a special flavor of the Studio Alignment view. Basically what Retrofit does is align the reviewed target file with the target language side of my bilingual Studio file.

Retrofit - Review changes in SDL Trados Studio 2015

  • After reviewing the changes I can update the project file with one click of a button.
  • The changes appear as tracked changes in the updated bilingual file. This gives me maximum control over checking the changes once more before accepting (or rejecting) them and update the TM from there.

As with any alignment process, Retrofit will be limited if the changed segments differ drastically from the original translation. Here our strategy is that if in doubt, we don’t retrofit such changes ‘automatically’ but allow you to correct such alignments manually if you wish to do so. This will hopefully bring the best of two worlds – either you run the Retrofit process automatically without review and will ‘only’ get the changes that the algorithm is certain to be correct, or you review the results and edit and correct the missing updates to support the process more. As always we are very interested in your feedback on this innovation, so feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll review your feedback and get back to you.

There is a host of other features in SDL Trados Studio and MultiTerm 2015 so I feel I am barely scratching the surface with the above. On the other hand, the two functionalities described here do stand out to me as they address two areas that have always intrigued me as showing innovation potential. Also they have contributed to shortening my translation work just before Tekom – which is always welcome when I’m under pressure to do a last-minute translation!

For more information about Studio 2015 you can contact us or visit our webpages for Freelance and LSP to find out what is new.