MultiTrans 4.4 Translation Agent

Tutorial, Level I


Other MultiTrans tutorials: Other translation memory system tutorials
MultiTrans 4.4 TextBase Builder Tutorial, Level I  Fusion Translate Translation Memory Tutorial, Level I (coming soon)
MultiTrans 4.4 TermBase Manager Tutorial, Level I Translator's Workbench Tutorial, Level I (coming soon)
MultiTrans 4.4 Term Extractor Tutorial, Level I Translator's Workbench Tutorial, Level II (coming soon)
MultiTrans 4.4 Analysis Agent Tutorial, Level I  
MultiTrans 4.4 TextBase Agent Tutorial, Level I  
MultiTrans 4.4 TermBase Agent Tutorial, Level I  


(Generic description coming soon)



I. Introduction


MultiTrans is a translation environment. Among other features, it has a powerful function similar to a translation memory system, which calls on a TextBase of aligned bilingual corpora and an integrated TermBase.


You can find out more about MultiTrans by consulting the MultiCorpora website at http://www.multicorpora.com. When you open MultiTrans, you can also click on the MultiTrans Help icon to read the help files providing information on MultiTrans’ different functions.


II. Getting ready


  1. Save the files you will need for the exercises:
    1. Create a sub-directory, called MultiTrans Translation Agent (or any other name that you wish). (For instructions, see Creating a sub-directory in Windows.)
    2. Download the file WHO obesity – Text to translate.
    3. Copy or move to the sub-directory the TextBase and TermBase you created in the MultiTrans TextBase Builder Tutorial, Level I. Be sure to copy or move all of the files that MultiTrans has created for this TextBase and TermBase. For a list of these files, see MultiTrans TextBase Builder Tutorial, Level I. (See note.)
  2. Open MultiTrans. (For instructions and more information, see Opening a TextBase and TermBase in MultiTrans.)


III. Using the Translation Agent to translate a text


The Translation Agent is the MultiTrans function that takes the place of a more “conventional” translation memory system in translation environments such as Fusion Translate and SDL Trados. It helps you to translate your text segment-by-segment (usually sentence-by-sentence) by finding sentences that have previously been translated — or that are very similar to ones you have translated — and proposing their translations for re-use.

  1. Open Microsoft Word and activate the MultiTrans menu. (For instructions, see Activating the MultiTrans Menu in Microsoft Word and Connecting to a TextBase and TermBase).
  2. Open the WHO obesity – Text to translate document and save a copy under a new filename.
    1. In Word, find and click on the Open option. Go to the sub-directory you created at the beginning of this tutorial and open the Who obesity – Text to translate document.
    2. Find and select the Save As… option. Save the file as a Word document in the same sub-directory, but with a new name (e.g. yourname_Translation Agent). (See warning.)
  3. Ensure that the cursor is placed at the beginning of the text (so that the Translation Agent also starts at the beginning when analyzing the text to translate), and connect Microsoft Word to your TextBase and TermBase. (For instructions, see Activating the MultiTrans menu in Microsoft Word and Connecting to a TextBase and TermBase.)
  4. You can now begin working with the Translation Agent.
    1. Go to the MultiTrans menu in Word and select the Translation Agent… option. The window displaying the Word document you will be translating automatically changes size to allow you to see both the document you are translating and the Translation Agent simultaneously.
    2. The Translation Agent window is divided into three panes.
      1. The top left pane shows you matches found in the TextBase, and the top right pane shows you matches found in the TermBase. In this case, the Agent shows that for the first sentence there is at least one match in the TermBase (provided that you completed the MultiTrans TermBase Manager Tutorial, Level I and added the term maladies chroniques to the TermBase) and about an 89% match in the TextBase.
      2. The match in the TextBase is shown in the pane at the bottom of the Agent. The segment at the top of the pane shows the sentence you are working with. If it is not an exact match, the text appears in green. Different fonts (underlining, red) will show you how this segment is different from the match in the TextBase. If the match found is exact the text appears in purple.
      3. The bottom of the pane shows the translation for the match found in the TextBase.
    3. For segments that are not exact, you can modify the translation to match the segment in your document directly in the bottom field in the Translation Agent. If no match is found, you can type your translation directly into this field.
    4. The toolbar at the bottom of the Translation Agent gives you options for navigating through the text. For each segment, it is up to you to click the appropriate button:
      1. Replace -- replaces the segment in your document with the text shown in the bottom field of the Agent de traduction. The next segment is automatically displayed in the Agent. (If more than one segment is proposed as a match, you can double-click on the segment you prefer and click the Yes button on the dialogue box that appears.)
      2. Replace all -- replaces each occurrence of the same segment with the translation that appears in the Agent. (That is, MultiTrans will “remember” the translation and will then insert it automatically every time it arrives at an identical sentence in the text.)
      3. Skip -- skips the segment and moves on to the next one, leaving the original segment in the source language.
      4. Back -- returns to the previous segment.
      5. Extend -- extends the segment to include the next sentence.
      6. Shrink – returns to analyzing a single segment at a time.
      7. Options… – allows you to modify some of the MultiTrans options.
      8. Context – shows you more context as it is displayed in the TextBase. This also allows you to correct alignment problems using the arrows and Align button on the right-hand side. (You will notice that clicking the Context button adds another pane to the Agent de traduction. To make this pane disappear, click the Context button again.)
      9. Add term – allows you to add a term and its translation directly to the TermBase.
    5. In the Translation Agent, clicking on the results in the Terminology Matches (1) pane will display the source text with the term found in the TermBase underlined in blue. Click on the term to insert it directly into your translation as you type it in the bottom field, and then insert the translation of the segment into the text as described above. (See note.)
    6. When you reach the end of the document a dialogue box will appear asking if you would like to end the Translation Agent. Click the Yes button. The Translation Agent closes automatically.
    7. Be sure to save your newly translated text using the Save command in Word.
    8. The newly translated text will be in different colours. The different colours show how the text was inserted into the text:

Font color



This was a fuzzy match found in the TextBase. (However, text within these segments that was inserted or modified by the user is indicated in black.)


This was an exact match found in the TextBase.


The sentence was either skipped (and so appears in French) or it was entered manually (and so appears in English).


(See note.)


IV. Completing and re-reading the text


  1. You can now proceed to finish translating the remaining portions of the text on your own (or continue with the MultiTrans TextBase Agent Tutorial, Level I and or the MultiTrans TermBase Agent Tutorial, Level I.)
  2. When you use a translation memory tool such as MultiTrans’ Translation Agent or a similar tool such as the TextBase Agent or TermBase Agent in MultiTrans, it is essential to read through the completed translation and check that appropriate equivalents have been used. Read your completed text and check for inconsistencies, difficulties with equivalents, appropriateness of style, and other aspects of the text that may require revision. Make any changes you feel are needed to make the text read correctly and smoothly. Of course, if you have left some segments untranslated this will be a fairly limited revision, but it is always important to re-read a text produced using a translation memory.


V. Wrapping up


  1. To make a copy of your files as a backup or to transfer them to another computer:
    1. In My Computer or from the Start menu, find the sub-directory you created to store the files for this exercise.
    2. Make a compressed folder that contains this sub-directory. (For instructions, see Creating a compressed folder in Windows.)
    3. Copy this compressed folder to a USB key or, if it is less than 2 MB, send a copy as an attachment to your e-mail.











NOTE: If you have not completed this tutorial, download the ready-made database, MultiTrans Bases - Translation and Analysis Agents and extract its contents to your sub-directory. (For instructions, see Extracting files from a compressed folder in Windows.)












WARNING: If you are using your only copy of your source-text document, be sure to follow the steps above to make another copy of it before proceeding. The text in the document will automatically be replaced with the translation, and if you do not make a copy of the document before beginning you will lose your source text.





































NOTE: For the moment you can skip some or all of the segments that do not have good matches in the TextBase. You will work more on your partially translated document in the MultiTrans TextBase Agent Tutorial, Level I and in the MultiTrans TermBase Agent Tutorial, Level I.








NOTE: To reset the font to black, you can simply go to the MultiTrans menu in Word and select Remove Document Colours. The font should change to black. However, since the colours of the text help you to see how each part of the translation was inserted, they are useful to keep for now. If you wish to keep this “cleaned up” version, we suggest that you save it under another filename (Save As…), rather than replacing the multi-coloured version.


VI. Questions for reflection


  • What are your first impressions of the functions and functioning of MultiTrans' Translation Agent?
  • Did you find that the Translation Agent affected the time it took for you to translate the text? Did it speed up or slow down the process? Do you think this might change at all as you become more used to using this tool? As you build bigger TextBases and TermBases?
  • Have you used translation memory systems such as SDL Trados Translator’s Workbench or Fusion Translate? As you went through this tutorial, what did you notice about how MultiTrans' Translation Agent is different from Translator’s Workbench or Fusion? Which did you find easier to work with? Why?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using this tool as a translation memory system? How does this compare to a manual approach (i.e. translating from scratch)?
  • What kinds of texts are likely to be translated usefully using this type of tool? In what situations might it be particularly appropriate to use it? Why?
  • How do you think you would like working with a partially translated text, such as the product of the Translation Agent? Why?
  • What are some important issues to keep in mind when using a translation memory system or similar tool such as this one?




Tutorial created and updated by the CERTT team (2010-02-12)