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Convert SDLTM and SDLTB without Studio or MultiTerm

This video shows how to convert files in the SDLTM (translation memories used by SDL Trados Studio) and SDLTB (term bases created by SDL MultiTerm) formats to TMX (for translation memories) and CSV (for termbases), without having to use SDL Trados Studio or SDL MultiTerm. The converter (WfConverter) is written by Jean-Philippe Odent and it can be downloaded from the Wordfast site. It also converts Wordfast translation memories to TMX, and vice-versa.

A third-party DLL (not included with the converter) must be copied to the same folder as WfConverter.exe, unless SQLite is already installed on your computer.

WfConverter is an alternative to Thomas van Nellen’s script for SDLTM files and to Gerhard Kordmann’s GlossaryConverter for SDLTB files. Because it is a compiled program, WfConverter is much faster than the script. Unlike GlossaryConverter, it works even if MultiTerm is not installed on your computer.

Download links:
WfConverter: http://wordfast.net/zip/WfConverter.zip
Required DLL: http://sqlite.org/download.html (file to download: sqlite-dll-win32-x86-*.zip)

Related videos:
Convert SDLTM from SDL Trados Studio to TMX without Studio
Convert SDLTB to Excel with GlossaryConverter plugin

27 comments to Convert SDLTM and SDLTB without Studio or MultiTerm

  • Karoline

    Excellent and just what I’ve been looking for – thanks for posting!

  • Tim

    Thank you very much indeed for this very useful blog entry!

    Cheers
    Tim

  • Martijne

    Hi, I have a question, I do everything as in the video, but if I press start it stays on 0% and when I want to load the TMX in Wordfast, it says that there are no right TU.

    What can I do?

    Thanks

    • Dominique

      Hi Martijne,

      Try opening the TMX in a text editor (eg. Notepad): what does it look like? If it’s empty, you could try to send a copy of the .sdltm to the author of the converter (his address is listed inside the converter). He only had access to a very small and limited .sdltm when writing the converter, so there could be room for improvement.

      Cheers,

      Dominique

  • Alma

    Thank you very much Dominique and Jean-Philippe! Just what I needed!

  • Adam

    This is a great tool in theory but I advise some caution. I ran a test converting the same SDLTM files using Trados Studio and WfConverter and noticed that the leverage for the WfConverter TMX was quite lower. Checking the TMX files i found that some inline tags were interpreted as breaking tags. I will send an email to the author about this and I hope he can adjust this, as the tool is really great in all its simplicity!

  • Très clairement expliqué et documenté. Merci beaucoup pour ces informations.

  • Viktor

    It’s very interesting, thank you Dominique. But I can not find your “Translate SDLXliff files in memoQ” that you mention at the end of your (video) presentation.

    • Dominique

      Hi Victor! It happens quite a lot: I have an idea about a next video, but I then decide to do something else ;-) . Actually, I think you will find good information about translating SDLXLIFF files on other blogs (eg. Kevin Lossner’s), on Kilgray’s knowledge base etc. And I believe translating an SDLXLIFF in memoQ isn’t that different from translating any other supported file type. Also: not a single client of mine is asking me to translate SDLXLIFF files or SDLPPX package (am I not a lucky guy!), so I have no real-life experience with them. Hope you can find the information you need!

  • Viktor

    OK Dominique, no problem, and thank you again.

  • Great info, it worked!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Tuan Dzung

    Many thanks for video and download files.
    I tried to convert one sample file of Trados Studio 2011 (Sample.sdltb-3.36MB) with WfConverter but I only receive file Sample.csv of 25 bytes without any terms while converting (*.sldtm) is successful. Kindly advise.
    Regards,
    TuanDzung

    • Dominique

      MultiTerm termbases (.sdltb) are much more complex than Studio TM’s (.sdltm). The developer of WfConverter only had access to very limited termbases when writing the converter. You may want to contact him (his e-mail is displayed inside the program) and send him one of your .sdltb, so that he can make improvements to the program.

  • Hello. The tool sounds great. I downloaded it and the DLL indicated in the clip. However, when I try to convert, I get an “unable to open database error”. Do you know why?

    Stephen
    Windows 7 SP1
    64-bit OS

    • Dominique

      Which type of database did you try to convert: a TM (.sdltm) or a termbase (.sdltb)? TM’s should be straightforward. However, termbases can be rather complex (depending on how it was created in MultiTerm). You may want to contact the author of the utility and send him the file that you cannot convert.

  • I’ll follow your advice and send the file to the author.

    • Dominique

      You may also want to try an alternative way to do the conversion, for instance the VB script by Thomas van Nellen (mentioned in another post of mine) or CafeTran. Good luck!

  • I’ll look into it. Thanks for your assistance!

  • Roger Chadel

    Dominique, do you know how to do with SDLPPX files? AFAIK, they are an alternative to SDLXLIFF.

    • Dominique

      SDLPPX are not an alternative to SDLXLIFF, but rather a container (“package”) for them (and possibly also Studio TM’s and MultiTerme termbases). An SDLPPX is just a ZIP file, so you can change the extension from .sdlppx to .zip and you’ll be able to see the content. Some CAT tools (eg. memoQ) support SDLPPX directly, ie. they can open them directly, as you can see here. Other tools that support the SDLXLIFF file format can’t open SDLPPX packages directly; it’s the case of Wordfast Pro 3.2, for instance. If you are using Wordfast Pro 3.2 (or newer) and receive an SDLPPX that contains a bilingual file (SDLXLIFF), a TM (SDLTM) and a termbase (SDLTB), you’ll have to manually unpack it first (as explained above) and convert the TM and the termbase also manually, for instance with WfConverter (as explain in this blog post). Hope this clarifies the matter.

  • Mika

    Thanks for the great video. Works fine. I quess the xliff to tmx part is not ment to work?

  • Brandie Brunner

    This was extremely helpful. I’m delighted to be able to convert SDLTM files. I already tried it and it worked. However, I received this error when I tried to convert an SDLTB file:
    “Either BOF or EOF is True3, or the current record has been deleted. Requested operation requires a current record.” Thoughts?

    • Dominique

      MultiTerm termbases (SDLTB) have a more complex structure than Studio TM’s (SDLTM). The author of WfConverter only had very simple MultiTerm termbases at its disposal when he added support for them. You may want to contact him and send him the offending SDLTB file, so he could improve his tool. The contact information is displayed inside the program.

  • lucia

    Hello,

    I have been looking for it for a long time thanks for posting! Can you please send me a link from where I can download it?
    It is not available in SDL website anymore.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Dominique

      What do you want to download? The converter mentioned in the blog post is available on the Wordfast site, not the SDL one.

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