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Converting files and TMs from Trados to WordFast and viceversa
Thread poster: Daniela Cesana
Daniela Cesana
Local time: 01:36
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 6, 2007

Hi all,

I am new to and have experience only with Trados CAT Tool.
I haven't been working as a translator for a while (after having worked in the past as in-house using Trados only) and now trying to get started again as a freelancer.
I am completing a test translation to get a 30,000 word translation project but I have no CAT tool yet.
Do you think I will be able to handle this project just by getting the free WordFast version? Another problem is that the translation agency requires the translation to be done in Trados and said they don't know how to convert WordFast files and TMs into Trados and viceversa. I have read in this forum that this is possible, so what do you advise I should do?
I just don't want to buy Trados now since it is very expensive and I might not need to use it in the future since WordFast seems quite a good alternative accepted by most vendors.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:36
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Depends on source file format Jun 7, 2007

If the customer uses Trados themselves, it is possible, that they will send you files in ttx-format. These can be converted into Word-format and back.
If you get the files in Word-format (doc, rft), there is no problem. Everything Trados can do in Word can Wordfast also. You would deliver the files uncleaned, so the customer can clean them in Trados Workbench in order to get his TM.
If you get the files in pdf, no CAT-tool can be used straight away, but the files have to be converted into Word-compatible formats.
The free version of Wordfast is restricted to 500 units. That means the TM will not allow to be longer than 500 units. But the files can still be translated ad infinito.
But for a job like you mentioned I would get the license, it pays itself back right away.
With the licensed version you'll be able to clean the files yourself and send a trados-compatible TM to the customer.

If there are more questions please ask!


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:36
French to English
+ ...
Don't let the agency dictate Jun 7, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

The free version of Wordfast is restricted to 500 units.

What is not limited in the WF free version, though, and probably even more useful than TMs, is the ability to attach three glossaries and autoassemble repetitive terms and phrases. You can also place reference material and glossaries in text format in a reference directory allowing lightning fast context type lookups. Trados doesn't have a built-in glossary and very few people have managed to get to grips with Multiterm (280MB separate download).
I agree with Heinrich. Unless you need to deal with specific formats, I'm sure you'll be much happier with Wordfast. It only takes a few seconds to download (2MB) and you can be up and running within minutes. Make sure to download and read the manual. It is well written and you can skim through the essentials in under an hour.
You can also use free, easy to use tools such as PTools, Olfant and Xbench to easily convert TM formats to and from Trados and TTXpress provides a free, two-button toolbar that allows you to open Trados TagEditor files directly in Word.
David Turner

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