What to do when a translation fails
Unless the error message generated during the failure gives a definitive explanation of the problem, you will probably have to try several things.
Perhaps the first thing to do is to put a test file through the translator. If a file known to be good goes through without failing, this will indicate the problem as being in the source file. If, on the other hand, a file that is known to normally translate successfully fails then there are probably issues with the translator. Maybe a licensing issue, or a permissions issue, or perhaps some paths have changed. These kinds of problem are normally solved with a little time and effort.
If the test file goes through the translator with no problems, then the challenge is with the incoming file. Your first decision is whether you are going to try to resolve this yourself or if you are going to pass it back to the person who sent it, or even seek help from your translator supplier.
Assuming that you decide to resolve the issue yourself, here’s where you might start.
If you have a tool which will display the source data, use it to see if the source file looks wholesome. Gaps between surfaces, or missing surfaces may be obvious and could be an indicator that you have a bad file.
Check the file size and ask the person who sent it to confirm what it should be. The process of copying it in the first instance may have caused a problem.
If you understand the log files created by your translator, examining these will provide some clues. Seeing just what the translator was doing when it failed can sometimes point out a problem in the source file that could be avoided by selectively translating layers or entity types. In actual practice the people who can read and understand translator log files are a rare breed and you would be forgiven if you didn’t even want to step into this realm.
Another option is to try to translate the file into a different format. If you have more than one translator you may find that a troublesome file will go into a different format without a problem. That only helps of course if you can then translate that file into your desired format, and of course nobody knows what might have got lost in the course of more than one translation. However, sometimes it works.
Your translator company will normally have tools to investigate the source file and so should be able to tell you if that is the reason for the problem.
Another option is to contact the support centre of your translator supplier; you have paid maintenance haven’t you? The only thing that should now prevent you from creating a file in the format you want is if there is a fault in the source file, and if that is the case you have little option other than to go back to the person who sent the file in the first place.