Translation memory (TM) – most common issues & troubleshooting


Below are the most common problems clients report in tickets concerning translation memory (TM).

Before reading the article below, we recommend that you read the step-by-step guideline to importing your TM: How to import a translation memory (TM) into XTM Cloud.

Before reading the article below, we recommend that you read the step-by-step guideline to importing your TM: How to import a translation memory (TM) into XTM Cloud.

Issue description & Solution

TM import cannot be performed because of the size constraint

This is one of the most common issues a user who is importing a TM can encounter in XTM Cloud. The largest file size you can upload to any server is 150MB. If your file exceeds this limit, the import will fail and an error will be generated.

Solution: There are a couple of solutions you can implement to resolve this:

  • Divide your file into smaller chunks,

  • Zip your files and upload the zip archive,

  • Delete unnecessary parts of the file, especially duplicates, to make it 'slimmer'.

TM import cannot be performed because of unescaped entities

This is the second most common problem encountered by our clients.

Solution: When uploading a TM file, make sure that entities that are not supported by XML standards are properly escaped.

For example, characters like & (ampersand) must be entered as &.

If characters of this type are not correctly escaped, the file will fail to import and the process will fail, either partially or completely. You might find online syntax checkers helpful when you check if your file complies with character standards. See an example of this kind of site: Validate XML files.

TM import cannot be performed because a file format is unsupported

A third major contributor to issues with TM is an unsupported file format or faulty structure.

Solution: The currently supported TM file formats are as follows: TMX, XLIFF, XLS.

See attached a zipped file containing each sample file for its specific format:

TM import was performed but the content is not found in the TM manager

Solution: If Import was performed but the content is not found in the TM manager, it might indicate that such translations were already present in XTM Cloud, but under a different project. XTM Cloud recognizes them as duplicates and consequently ignores them. If there were any issues with the inlines, XTM Cloud would show TM import done with errors, otherwise there is no message.

The behavior in case of the duplicates is based on the options selected in Configuration → Settings → Translation → TM:

Additionally, the segment is considered a duplicate if the source, target, and context are the same as in an existing TM. In such a case, it will not be imported even if the duplicate settings are set to never modify an existing TM.

TM import was performed but with errors

Solution: If the import was performed but with errors, do not hesitate to contact the XTM International Support team. They would need to determine the cause of the import with errors as well as verify the logs. Most of these cases are caused by inline tags.

"&" or other special characters being displayed in the TM source

This can happen after uploading a TM alignment file in which source segments display &amp marks, whereas the required format would be &.

Solution: Follow the steps below:

  1. Export affected TM (see How to export a translation memory (TM) from XTM Cloud for help);

  2. Delete affected TM;

  3. Perform the "Search and Replace" option in the exported TM document and replace &amp with &;

  4. Reimport the corrected TM (see How to import a translation memory (TM) into XTM Cloud for help).

Can the deleted TM be restored?

Solution: If you have deleted a TM by mistake, the XTM International Support team can only restore it if the following option was enabled on your account prior to this incident (administrative privileges required!): Configuration → Settings → Translation → TM → Matches - generalSave TM in segment history.

If this is the case, create a support ticket for the XTM International Support team and provide the details.

If the deleted TM is only for one or two projects, keep in mind that you can always retrieve it directly from the XTM Project.

Go to Project editor → FilesTMX, and generate the file in question. You can then seamlessly use it for reimporting the TM from this project.

The file is generated live from whatever is found in XTM Workbench at a particular time.

Batch change of TM status

If you find that your TM has Approved or Not approved status in the TM database, contrary to your expectations, the XTM International Support team can perform a batch database change for that TM.

Solution: Create a support ticket for the XTM International Support team and provide the following information:

  • Customer that the TM is connected to,

  • Language combination,

  • Specify if the change only needs to be performed for the TM related to a specific project or projects (provide their names or IDs. See How to find a project ID for help.), or all of the projects with this particular customer and language combination.

What is SYSTEM:USER: AUTO-STEP that appeared in the place of user details?

Solution: "SYSTEM:USER: AUTO-STEP"; if this occurs anywhere in the TM-related part of XTM Cloud, this means that a particular match was created by an automated step or process. Typically, it is the Approve TM action or a bulk action such as a Rollback that is marked this way. In the cases above, this is the expected behavior.

Records cannot be found in the TM tab, even if they do exist in XTM Cloud and are displayed as a match in the editor

Sometimes, you might not be able to search for records for single or multiple languages in the TM Manager tab.

Solution: In this case, we recommend that you contact the XTM International Support team as soon as possible to find the cause of this problem. This is usually related to damaged translation memory indexes, which might have been damaged during a sudden or unexpected downtime or if the XTM Cloud services restart. In such a case, the TM needs to be reindexed.

Before creating a ticket, however, make sure you have a good understanding of what TM reindexing is and what details to include on the ticket form. You will find this information in the relevant article: Reindexing of translation memory.

TM export file cannot be downloaded because of the file generating endlessly

Solution: Sometimes if the file is huge, the generation takes much longer than usual. Wait a little until the generation stops. It should download immediately afterward.

Tags that are visible in XTM Workbench are not displayed in TM → Manage, in the XTM Cloud UI

Solution: By default, in the TM database, we do not show start and end inline tags at all. We only show them in two situations:

  • Order of inline tags was changed in the target segment → We show them to indicate that some inline tags have been moved.

  • Some text was additionally added after the inline tag, in the target segment, which is at the end in the source segment → Basically, it is the same situation as the first one: the inline tag was “moved”, so we indicate start and end inline tags for both source and target segments.

XTM Cloud also groups those tags in TM by default, and only ungroups them when we add something in between inline tags in the target segment.

Date modified and modified by does not correlate in the TM metadata – the linguist did not work with us anymore on that date

Solution: The only change that was performed on the date mentioned in the TM Metadata was the change of the context. Keep in mind that the change of context does not result in an update of the Modified by field, which is expected behavior. The Modified by field is updated only in the case of a change in translations or a change in the status of the TM match, which is introduced to show the actual translator/approver who has created/approved the translation, and not the user who simply accepted a 100% match, which only adds the additional context to that TM match.

TM matches from the previous project are not automatically set to “Done”

Solution: It might be the case that many of your TM matches come from not approved TM. Segments populated with not approved TM matches are only marked as “Done” when you set it so during the project creation stage. Therefore, your default configuration probably does not set such TM matches as “Done”, so if a project manager creating the project did not change that configuration, that TM was left as incomplete.

TM matches from import are not showing up in the project

Solution: Juxtapose the language combination used for the project and the one from the import file, and check if they are consistent.

TM matches from an older project with similar content are not appearing

Sometimes, while working in XTM Workbench within the framework of a particular project, you might experience lack of TM matches with similar content that shall supposedly come from an older project.

Solution: There are a couple reasons that might stand behind this issue:

  • The TM matches from the old project are set as not approved and you do not allow using not approved translation memory in your current project.

  • The new project was created before the TM entries were created, and you did not open XTM Workbench in the Edit Mode yet, so a match update was not triggered.

  • You are using a TM penalty profile that penalizes matches from the old project.

  • The old project was created under a different customer that the new project does not have access to.

  • The language combination is not exactly the same. It perhaps uses different variants.