Even when two tools have the same kind of feature they not necessarily work the same way.

A translation tool is used by the translator, but not necessarily by the person who reviews the translation. These might be subject matter experts who don’t have access to a translation tool of their own.

Because of this, translation tools may provide a format that can be handled outside of a translation tool. This could be a browser-based view of the source and target language segments, but it could also be a “simple” Word-type document.

But beware, these documents don’t always behave the same way even though they are created for the same purpose.

Let us compare the review document from SDL Trados Studio and the bilingual RTF table from memoQ.

They look pretty much the same, but here are some differences:

1. The file format

  • SDL Trados Studio produces a DOCX file (which needs to be handled within Microsoft Office 2007 or later. Anything else could destroy the XML header of the file, thus preventing you from importing the reviewed file back again). The file name must not be changed and the file format needs to stay DOCX.
  • memoQ produces an RTF file (which can be handled in any text editor that can open and save RTF). The file name can be changed, but the file format needs to be RTF for back import.

2. The structure of the file

  • SDL Trados Studio shows a table with segment number, status, source segment and target segment. Comments use the commenting feature in Word.
  • memoQ shows a table with segment number, source segment, target segment, comment and status.

3. The process

  • In SDL Trados Studio, the file is a REVIEW file, i.e. only if the target language column contains text, any changed text can be imported back onto the project in Studio. If you want to use it for translation, the source text needs to be copied to the target column to be overwritten with the translation.
  • In memoQ, the file can be used for REVIEW or TRANSLATION. The target column can be filled or empty. Either way, what is entered in the target column will be imported back into the memoQ project.

And these are just the most important differences between these two formats.