[Please note that some of the entries are very old.*]

Wednesday 4 May 2011


When I was introduced to CAT tools about 14 years ago, I thought the alignment feature would be great. Imagine, all your pre-CAT tool translations instantly retrievable, ready to use for your current project! I was wrong. I tried the alignment process once, and gave up after a page or so. Time consuming, boring, and especially for general subjects, not worthwhile the effort.
However, to prepare for an upcoming project, I changed my mind. The reference files mentioned to me by the customer contain lots of very specific information, a conditio sine qua non for the project. So I gave it another try. In CafeTran.
The alignment workflow is pretty straightforward and - for once - well described in the Handbook. Just don't forget to check the Documents Alignment box (as I did the first time).
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So I followed the instructions, started aligning, and... gave up after a few segments. L'histoire se répète. I simply can't do it. I'll have to live with it. And then I remembered there was a free alignment service on the Web. I typed "align" in the address line of Safari, and immediately got the URL of that service. I was smart enough at the time to bookmark it, not smart enough now to remember I did.
To use youalign, you'll have to register. After confirming your registration, you can upload the documents you want aligned (with a few restrictions on format and size), you wait a minute or so, and you'll see a preview and the link to download the alignment file as a TMX file. 
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I checked the result in CT
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and it was wonderful. Better still, it was perfect. I wonder how they do it. Pretty smart algorithms they must use.
I uploaded the other reference files, and the final step was merging them into one TMX file by saving the individual files in one folder, opening the folder in the CT Project File, and then saving the resulting memory as one TMX.

I feel a bit sorry for Igor. Aligning in CT is easy, and the explanation of the workflow in the Handbook is excellent. But you can't beat youalign...