How to restore 5-file Trados 2007 translation memory

If your translation memory failed to export, it is not lost yet!

Trados 2007, one of the aged CATs, becomes history gradually. But experienced translators who worked in it still store old translation memories in Trados 2007 format in their archives. Occasionally, it makes sense to involve these antiques in some projects.

Sometimes translation memories become corrupted, due to different reasons. It is still possible to open them in Translator's Workbench, and even to perform translation in TagEditor, but they do not allow you to convert them into some “more modern” CAT format, because when you try to export them into TMX, the program crashes.

The procedure described below can help in such a situation.

1. The first thing you should try is preforming the so called reorganization of the corrupted translation memory. During the reorganization, the index files (i. e., .iix, .mdf, .mtf, and .mwf files) of a 5-file translation memory are being re-created anew from the information from the “container” file (.tmw).

To perform reorganization, in Translator's Workbench, select

File > Reorganise:


The translation memory is reorganized. After that, try to export it to TMX:

File > Export > OK > choose the format, file name and folder where it must be stored.

NOTE: The export command is not accessible, if Exclusive check box was not set when you opened the translation memory in Translator's Workbench.


Is this is a case, close the translation memory and open it again with this check box set.

2. If reorganization or export is failed, sometimes the following trick helps.

  • Create an empty translation memory with the same name, language direction and structure of custom fields.
  • Close this translation memory in Translator's Workbench.
  • Rewrite the .tmw file of the empty TM with the .tmw file of the corrupted TM.
  • Open the TM you created this way in Translator's Workbench. Opening usually runs smoothly. Do not forget to set the Exclusive check box.
  • Try to export the TM into TMX format.
  • If export fails, try to reorganize the TM and to export it one more time.
  • If reorganization does not help, try to add several new segments into the TM via “usual” translating, and then try to repeat the reorganization/export cycle.

If you fail to export the TM after all these steps, most likely even SDL, the Trados developer, will not help you :(


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