Translation of XLF Files

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New Versions of Wordfast Pro

Update: Currently, there is no need to use filters to open XLIFF files. You can open XLIFF files just like any other file type using Wordfast Pro File menu > Open File.

After finishing translation, to get the target (bilingual) XLIFF, go to Wordfast Pro File menu, and select Save Translated File.

Old Versions of Wordfast Pro

Bilingual XLIFF (*.xlf) files can be translated with Wordfast Pro as long as 1) it is a standard XLF file, and 2) source is copied to the target.

  • Make sure the source text is copied to the target; most CAT tools have this option.
  • Go to Wordfast Pro Edit menu > Preferences > Formats > New > Text-based Filter. It is better to change the "File name" to distinguish the filter.
  • Click the [...] button to browser for the "Conversion rules" (*.properties) file. (See "Sample Files" below!)
  • Make sure the "Extension" textbox shows *.xlf and save the settings (OK).
  • Now, you should be able to open the XLF file in WFP (File menu > Open file).
  • Translate the file as usual and select "Save Translated File" from the WFP "File" menu to get the target file in the original format XLF.

Sample Files

XLF example file (generated by iLocalize) can be downloaded here.

General conversion rules (*.properties) file valid for most bilingual "standard" XLF files can be downloaded here.

If you rather need to translate a source only "standard" XLF, you can use this (*.properties) file downloadable here.

Those *.properties files might need customization based on the structure of files. To learn more about generating *.properties file, please refer to the article about Translation of XML Files.

Note: Wordfast Pro does NOT officially support translation of XLIFF files. However, the above-mentioned trick can be useful for
"power users". If you think that this trick is too difficult for you, I recommend using Virtaal which is free and very easy to use,
and it will enable you to open and translate XLIFF files directly, without preparation.

--Yasmin Moslem 22 December 2011