What Does a File Alignment Do?

allign1-300x264When we need to translate texts that are related to previously translated material, but do not have a translation memory on hand to assist in the process, we can use file alignment. Let’s take a look at what this process involves and when it is useful.

It is very common for an organization to have translations created from different agencies or professionals, but it is difficult to maintain linguistic consistency among each one of these documents. Additionally, the new content may include not only terms that were already translated in a particular way, but also direct repetitions of entire fragments. In cases such as these, when receiving new translations, it is best to perform a file alignment; this allows us to take advantage of such repetitions, while also helping to maintain consistent terminology.

But, what exactly is a file alignment? It is not an excessively complex process. If we take a Word file, for example, and we process is with a CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tool, the text will be divided into segments, usually one for each sentence. File alignment identifies the segments of an original document with those of its translation. This process makes it possible to generate a translation memory that, upon applying it to the new material, will provide the previously mentioned benefits. Therefore, when you request your first free quote from our sales staff, remember to let them know if you have files that were already translated, which can be used to take advantage of the benefits of a file alignment.

To view the Spanish version of this post, go to:

¿Para qué sirve la alineación de archivos?