12 June 2002
DéjàVu stores elements from translations in three different ways:
The MDB or Memory Database. This is for complete "segments", or sentences.
The TDB or Terminology Database. This is for terms, i.e. single words, or short combinations of words.
The Lexicon. Also intended for terms.
So at first sight the TDB and the Lexicon seem to be the same. But there are important differences:
The Lexicon is project specific. The TDB can be and should be shared by many projects. This makes the Lexicon useful when a client of subject requires special translations that are different from those of the same terms in other projects. The Lexicon then takes precedence: it is searched first, and if a term is found, it overrides the term that may be in the TDB.
The Lexicon can be filled - if you wish - using the Build Lexicon function. But it can also be filled - like the TDB - on the fly while translating. What is best depends on the project and on you, the translator.
In the MDB and the TDB - most experienced DV users recommend to use a single
MDB and a single TDB, shared between all projects - segments and terms
are flagged with the subject and client as defined for the project. It is
important to set the project's subject and client before you import
any files into the project.
Using these flags, DV can pick the right term in case of multiple hits:
it uses the one that fits best to the current project's settings for subject
This means it is safe to send a client-specific Lexicon to the TDB after the project is completed, so its contents are available for re-use: the client who wanted this specific terminology is marked in the TDB, so for a later project for that same client these terms take precedence.
There are basically three ways to fill the Lexicon. They may of course also be combined:
To build a Lexicon on the fly, while doing the translation, you translate a segment, and before continuing to the next segment, you mark a source term (mouse, or shift-(ctrl)-arrows) and corresponding term in the target windows (press Tab to get there, then mark using mouse of keyboard), and finally press Ctrl-F9. This is similar to sending a term to the TDB, using Ctrl-F11. In fact, you use the Lexicon as a project-specific intermediate stage to the TDB. Later on, you'll send the Lexicon to the TDB, but not just now.
A different approach is to set up the Lexicon, not (only) while you translate, but
before you start translating.
DéjàVu helps you by featuring the Build Lexicon function, to be found in the menu under
File / Lexicon / Build. This function takes all the words from the source files, sorts
equal words together, and counts how many times they occur. It generates a lexicon
containing only source words, not target words.
You can however resolve the Lexicon with the TDB, which means terms already in the TDB from
earlier projects are used to fill Lexicon target terms. This hardly seems useful at first sight,
because if these terms are already in the TDB, DV will find them in there, even if no
translation is available in the Lexicon. But seeing the term is already known from the TDB
saves you the trouble to think of a translation in the Lexicon.
(You can even resolve the Lexicon with the MDB, but it doesn't make much sense, because it can cause a lot of fuzzy matches (short source term - longer target segment) that aren't useful in the Lexicon. Perhaps it is useful if you first switch the fuzziness off).
What is still untranslated after resolving with the TDB you must either translate yourself, or you decide the term doesn't belong in the Lexicon.