I'm seeing a lot of complaints that contacts exported from Outlook.com or Hotmail accounts won't import into Outlook.
Instead, the user receives a Translation Error message reporting that a file error occurred in the translator.
A file error has occurred in the Comma Separated Values translator while initializing a translator to build a field map.
Outlook was unable to retrieve the data from the file "C:\Downloads\WLMContacts.csv". Verify that you have the correct file, that you have permission to open it, and that it is not open in another program.
This is the result of the exported file's Unicode encoding. When the CSV file is opened in Excel, all of the comma-separated fields are in one cell, not one cell per field. Excel can't detect the field separators and neither can Outlook.
Note: this error is not limited to CSV files exported from Outlook.com or Hotmail. Other CSV files may result in the same error message. This solution will work for those files as well.
Save the CSV with ANSI format selected.
To do this, open the CSV file in Notepad and use File, Save as, selecting ANSI from the Encoding dropdown and Save using the existing file name. (To open the CSV in Notepad, right click on the CSV and choose Open with.... Select Notepad. Or open Notepad and drag the CSV to it.)
Published December 24, 2012. Last reviewed on December 24, 2012.