• Team Project in Trados

    As part of an assignment in a translation technology class, I worked on a group project that aimed to simulate a real-life translation project with a client. Our group decided to translate a press release from Volvo into Japanese and English, and our main translation tool for this was Trados. This exercise was very helpful […]

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Using Regex for QA Checks in Trados (English to Japanese)

The Trados Studio QA Checker is a tool for catching errors in translations and is crucial for translators trying to maintain consistency. The Trados QA Checker allows users to employ Regex or regular expressions to achieve this. In this document, we will go over four uses of Regex when trying to QA check English to Japanese translations.

1. Finding Unnecessary Spaces

First let’s start with a very simple but critical example: finding unnecessary spaces. When translating from English, which uses spaces, to Japanese, which rarely uses spaces, it is common to find unnecessary spaces in your translation. Because Japanese characters differ in width from English characters and spaces, it can be easy to miss these. 

Adjust the settings for the QA Checker by selecting Regular Expressions. Insert a name under Description to give this setting a unique name. Click on Search regular expressions and insert \s in the RegEx source and target bar. Select Report if target matches (target check only) for conditions. Finally, select Add item in the Action button and click OK.

white space qa1

Now we’re ready to verify. We can see that Trados identified unnecessary white spaces that the translator might have missed.

2. Finding Half-width Numbers

Japanese uses Arabic numerals just like in English, in addition to Kanji. The Arabic numerals used in Japanese, however, are full-width characters instead of half-width ones. At times it may be very important to ensure that the Japanese translation does not contain any half-width numbers. 

To catch half-width numbers, go to the same QA Check settings and insert [0-9] in the RegEx source and target. Select the same conditions as before (target check only).

Once you hit Verify, Trados will identify instances where half-width numbers were used instead of full-width ones.

3. Localizing Western Years

Japan uses both Western calendar years and Japanese calendar years which are based on the reign of the Emperor. When Western calendar years are used in Japanese, it will always be expressed as four digit numbers followed by “年” (“year” in Japanese). Many official documents will use the Japanese calendar year instead of Western ones, so it may be important to ensure that the Japanese translation does not contain Western calendar years. 

We can do a simple search for Western year formats by adjusting the QA Check settings as shown below. Insert (\d+)年 for RegEx source and target, and follow the same steps as before.

Now Trados will identify Western calendar years that should be expressed as Japanese calendar years. 

4. Correctly Translating and Placing Yen Symbol

While English commonly uses the Yen symbol (¥), in Japanese this will often be translated to the Kanji (円). In addition, the Yen symbol will come in front of the number in English, but in Japanese it is placed after the number. 

Using Regex and the find and replace tool in Trados will allow us to easily replace ¥ with 円 and place it in the correct position. Use the Ctrl + H shortcut to access the find and replace tool in Trados. Insert ^¥(\d+) in the find bar and $1円in the replace bar. In the find options, use Regular Expressions.

When you click Find Next, Trados will identify instances where ¥ is followed by numbers. By clicking Replace, ¥ will be removed and 円 will be placed after the numbers instead.