Importing an Excel File as a Translation Memory (for Trados and others)

Sometimes my clients send me references materials as “Translation memories” in Excel files. Usually, it will be pretty simple files with column A being the source and B the target translation.

If you work with such files and want to import them in Trados, or at least put them in an exploitable format, you can do it in a pretty straightforward way with XBench.

1. If your Excel file has more than two columns, remove everything not necessary and just make sure you have source in column A and original translation in B

2. Save your Excel file as a Tab-delimited text file (.txt). You should be able to find it in the Save as… options

3. Open XBench, start a project and make sure to add your freshly created .txt file to the project

4. Still in XBench, go to Tools, then Export Items… There, choose TMX memory as the format, choose a name and location for the exported file and don’t forget to add a source and a target language in the list using the same code Trados would use (for example EN-US or EN-GB). You can do a bit of filtering here if you’d like, otherwise just leave the other options as they are

5. That’s it! Now you should be able to import the .tmx translation memory into Trados and other tools that support this format