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Getting Started with Swordfish

Only a few steps are necessary to translate with Swordfish. The basic workflow for translating a single document is:

  1. Setup TM and Terminology databases
  2. Convert the source document to XLIFF format
  3. Translate the XLIFF file
  4. Convert the translated XLIFF file to original format

Step 1: Setup databases

Swordfish uses Translation Memory (TM) technology to assist translators. It stores your translations in databases and offers them again when you need to translate a similar text.

The first thing you should do is create two databases: one for holding translations at segment level and another for storing terminology.

To create a database in Swordfish, select Create Database in Database menu and the following dialog will appear:

Create Databases dialog

Enter a meaningful name for the main TM database in the Database Name text box. Then select Internal DB in the Database Type drop-down list and finally click on Create button. A confirmation will appear after the database is created.

Repeat the operation and create a database for storing terms. Be sure to select a meaningful name for it.

Next, you have to tell the program which database to use for searching translations and which database holds your glossary.

Select the option Select TM Databases in Database menu and the following dialog will appear:

Reference TM Databases dialog

Use the check boxes to select the databases that will be used for searching translations.

You have to tell Swordfish where to write your translations when you approve segments; select a database from the Write-enabled Database drop-down list and then click on the Accept button to dismiss the dialog.

You also need to tell the program which database to use when searching terms. Select the option Select Terminology Databases in Database menu to display this dialog:

Reference Terminology Databases dialog

Use the check boxes to select the databases that will be used when searching for terms.

You also need to tell Swordfish where to write terms that you add on the fly; select a database from the Write-enabled Database drop-down list and, finally, click on the Accept button to dismiss the dialog.

Step 2: Convert to XLIFF format

Swordfish uses XLIFF as intermediate format. Documents need to be converted to XLIFF for translation.

To convert a document to XLIFF format, select Convert File to XLIFF Format in File menu and this dialog will appear:

Convert File to XLIFF Format dialog

Add all files that need translation using the buttons that appear below the files list.

Add Files Display a file selection dialog for selecting one or more files from the file system.
Add Directory Display a dialog for selecting a directory from the file system. All its files and sub-directories are added to the list.
Delete Selected Files Delete from the list all files that have its check box selected.

Swordfish tries to detect the file type automatically after you select the source document. However, in some cases you may need to manually select the corresponding type.

Use the drop-down lists next to each file to select or correct the file type and character set of the document.

Type a name for the XLIFF file to generate in the XLIFF File text box or use the Browse... button to select a file name and location.

Click the Next > button to display the second page of the conversion wizard. The dialog changes to:

Convert File to XLIFF Format dialog

Select the source language of the XLIFF file using the Source Language drop-down list.

Select the target language of the XLIFF file using the Target Language drop-down list.

Leave the Open XLIFF File After Conversion check box selected and click on the Convert Files button. Swordfish will generate an XLIFF file and open it when finished.

Step 3: Translate the XLIFF file

Select the Target Text text box in the Translation Panel and start typing your translation.

Translation Panel

 

Source formatting is represented with green marks with a number (i.e.: «6») in source text. To insert green marks, also known as tags, press Ctrl + N, where N is the number in the mark. You can also use the Insert Tag button from the Translation Panel to display a dialog that asks for a tag number or one of the the Insert Tag options from Edit Menu.

When the segment is fully translated, press Ctrl + E or click on the Approve Segment button (Approve) that is below the target. When you approve the segment, its translation is stored in the Write-enabled Database selected in Step 1 and is also automatically propagated to all similar unapproved segments.

You have two more options for marking a segment as approved:

  • Press Alt + Down Arrow or click the Approve and go to Next Untranslated button to Approve and go to Next Untranslated segment;
  • Press Alt + Shift + Down Arrow or click the Approve and go to Next Unapproved button to Approve and go to Next Unapproved segment.

Use PgUp and PgDn keys or the blue arrows in the Translation Panel to move to the next or previous segments and translate them.

When all segments have been translated, press F5 or use the Preview Translation option from QA (Quality Assurance) menu to review your translations. Note any segment with errors and correct them.

To visit a segment knowing its number, you can type the number in the text box that contains current segment number (the one between the blue arrows) and press Enter.

Finally, use the Tag Analysis option from QA menu to check that your file is properly translated. Pay special attention to errors in tags, because the translated document may become unusable.

Step 4: Convert XLIFF file to original format

The last step in the translation process is the generation of the translated document. To achieve it, select Convert XLIFF File to Original Format in File menu and this dialog will appear:

Convert XLIFF File to Original Format dialog

Swordfish automatically offers to convert the XLIFF file that is currently open. If the XLIFF File text box is empty or you want to convert a different file, type the name of the XLIFF file in the top text box or use the Browse... button next to it to locate the XLIFF file.

Check the name of the translated file proposed by Swordfish and adjust it if necessary. You can use the Browse... button to select a different name or location.

Finally, click on Convert File to Original Format button and Swordfish will generate the translated document and will open it with the default application if the Open File After Conversion check box is selected.