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Pressurised to buy Trados?
Thread poster: Anne Key
Anne Key
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jul 6, 2007

Hello everyone,

I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum (please forgive me if I have!)

Please could you help me with the following query.

For the last six years, I have been working very happily with Deja Vu (both Deja Vu 3 and more recently DVX) and using the demo version of Trados to "tag" Word files. I have also never experienced any problems converting TMs from DVX to Trados and vice versa.

However, this morning I lost a very big contract (up to January 2009) due to the fact that I do not use the full version of Trados. According to my client, DVX is "too risky" due to "export problems".

As stated above, I have never experienced export problems or received complaints before, and am understandably disappointed to have lost this big contract (effectively 18 months of job security).

I have worked for this particular client in the past, and to date they have been happy with the quality of the translations. Unfortunately it seems they're not happy with the CAT tool I use

I feel increasingly pressurised to purchase Trados, but am reluctant to do so, as I'm very happy working with DVX and feel comfortable with this programme.

Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated!

Many thanks,

Anne (Disappointed)

[Edited at 2007-07-06 08:54]

[Edited at 2007-07-06 08:55]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:06
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
This is a simple business decision Jul 6, 2007

As you already stated, you used Trados for preparation of files and then processed them in DejaVu. But using a demo version of Trados you are not able (probably, I have the full version so I cannot check) perform all operations for preparation and postprocessing. Would you have the full version of Trados, you could keep your way of working, but tell the customer you will deliver Trados files, not so called Trados compatible files.
Then your office would be a kind of black box for the customer - he would send you files for Trados and receive 100% Trados files - what happens in the black box would then be only your business.
Would I be in your shoes I would buy Trados and tell all my customers I have it. But I would keep my workflow as usual - the only difference would be no one of your customers could ever complain there is any incompatibility between DejaVu and Trados - because they would all get Trados files in the end.
This of course depends on the work volume you could aquire via Trados - but I think it would pay for itself quite quickly.

Best regards
Jerzy


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Mario Cerutti  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:06
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Trados monopoly will continue. Jul 6, 2007

Anne Key wrote:
I feel increasingly pressurised to purchase Trados, but am reluctant to do so, as I'm very happy working with DVX and feel comfortable with this programme.
Anne (Disappointed)

[Edited at 2007-07-06 08:54]

[Edited at 2007-07-06 08:55]


You are not alone in this forced "choice". I am also a Dejavu user since very long and never had problems selling my Dejavu-made translations as Trados-made translations. But probably Trados' agents (now SDL-Trados agents) in the world are very good at scaring agencies that other CAT tools are not 100% compatible, with the clear aim of having all their translators too buy Trados. So the monopoly is likely to continue and we can do nothing to stop it.

I was also "suggested" to buy Trados by a few agencies that do not even know how to use it properly. However, despite the fact that I bought it very reluctantly, I feel peace of mind now because, even if I keep using Dejavu for all Trados jobs, before delivery I run them in TagEditor for a quick tag check so that nobody can say that I haven't used Trados. This way I could keep these agencies and got more work from them.

It is true that you can perform all main necessary pre-DVX operation tasks even with the demo version of Trados. However with the full version you can fully handle (convert) Trados translation memories and use all TagEditor plugins.

It is you that have to make your calculations. I made mine and despite the considerable initial frustration I am now satisfied and, what more counts, I avoided losing important agencies.

Kind regards

Mario Cerutti

http://www.aliseo.com/english/


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:06
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
No big difference to other areas Jul 6, 2007

The situation here is very similar to Microsoft position with Windows and Office or QuarkXPress for certain publishing jobs.
When a customer asks for QuarkXPress I can either accept the job and buy QXP or reject it - there is no fully compatible tool on the market, which would replace Quark for me.
As you truly said, any of us has to make her/his calculations.

Jerzy


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Anne Key
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jul 6, 2007

Dear Jerzy and Mario,

Thank you for your helpful responses.

This is the first time I have been rejected by a client / agency due to the fact that I do not have a full version of Trados.

If this situation continues, I will certainly purchase a copy of Trados and keep using DVX to process my translations. At the end of the day, I can't afford to lose too many clients.

Having said that, I hope we never reach the point where Trados is the only CAT tool available on the market. Personally, I much prefer DVX.

Like you said Jerzy, I should treat this issue purely as a business decision, and not as a decision based on personal / ethical preferences.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
Simple business decision Jul 6, 2007

....., buy it or loose the job.

Like Andre Agassi being told by his sponsors years ago cut your hair or loose the $$$$$ in sponsorships. Do you think he chose to go from rebel to bald eagle?

Or a client requiring a genuine native speaker (except that you can't buy).

Just another condition, take it or leave it.

Ball is in your court (hopefully still for this job if you turn round and say yes). It doesn't cost that much in terms of return. I completed a job of just under 450,000 words last month that was very profitable because of all the reps. Could never have contemplated doing it without Trados, it was a strict condition, that's what the client wanted. Period.

It's not caving into pressure - it's merely a question of whether the job is worth it. Quid pro quo.

[Edited at 2007-07-06 12:19]


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Anne Key
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Which version of Trados? Jul 6, 2007

Thank you for your response. This is slightly off-topic, but which version of Trados would you recommend?

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Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:06
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
But would you really have lost 450,000 words of work? Jul 6, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Ball is in your court (hopefully still for this job if you turn round and say yes). It doesn't cost that much in terms of return. I completed a job of just under 450,000 words last month that was very profitable because of all the reps. Could never have contemplated doing it without Trados, it was a strict condition, that's what the client wanted. Period.



I don't know about you but I've always got too much work coming in to handle it all, and I have to say no to a lot of jobs (this week I happen to have nothing, but it's the first time for months and I don't mind as it's given me time to do up my website). If I take on a large job I only end up turning down loads of other jobs while I'm doing it, so I really don't mind turning down such a big job if I don't like the conditions.

Personally none of my clients insist on me using any kind of CAT tool, so I will happily keep on using DVX.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 6, 2007

Timothy Barton wrote:

I don't know about you but I've always got too much work coming in to handle it all, and I have to say no to a lot of jobs (this week I happen to have nothing, but it's the first time for months and I don't mind as it's given me time to do up my website). If I take on a large job I only end up turning down loads of other jobs while I'm doing it, so I really don't mind turning down such a big job if I don't like the conditions.

Personally none of my clients insist on me using any kind of CAT tool, so I will happily keep on using DVX.


Hi Timothy,

In this case, yes.

The job was quite unique in the sense there was a very high percentage of reps spread over more than 200 files - so much so that the translation part could be finished in 5 days (5 hour shift per day) and the balance could be processed in 5 days (working no more than 3 hours a day). I actually delivered 2 days ahead of schedule. Everything was based on two main documents - banking terms and conditions.

It paid very well, client paid 2 days after delivery and I was able to just work in an early shift, especially during the "processing stage" and carry on at almost normal capacity for regular clients. So the money I made was almost entirely over and above my usual monthly income

I too don't take on large jobs that take me out of the market for any extended period of time for the very reasons you mention.

Boils down to asking yourself in each case are the conditions for the job worth it - in this case the Trados condition was, very much so. In fact, I'd have been crazy not to take the job.

Good luck with the website and enjoy the downtime, it's no doubt the lull before the storm.

P.S. Nice blog by the way!

[Edited at 2007-07-06 15:43]


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Anne Key
Local time: 12:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Decision Jul 6, 2007

Hello there Timothy,

Many thanks for your message, and hope you're enjoying the downtime.

Yes, the issue of turning down other work was the deciding factor for me in the end.

Ordinarily I have too much work coming in, and some agencies pay extremely well and within 10 working days.

This particular client (the one who insisted I use Trados) doesn't pay as well and sometimes takes two months to pay.

The job itself has very few repetitions and would be quite time-consuming. In the end, after a few hours' deliberation, I decided to let this job go in favour of other - smaller - jobs.

I currently feel less disappointed than I did a few hours ago. Having said that, I hope I don't regret my decision!

I will probably purchase Trados in the near future to complement DVX (as a "pre-emptive measure", just in case more clients start requesting / demanding it).

Again, many thanks for your responses / thoughts.

[Edited at 2007-07-06 18:31]


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:06
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Hi Anne Jul 6, 2007

In addition to everything that has been said already I would like to add that I use Metatexis which is Trados-compatible tool. I am able to receive Trados files from my clients and deliver them Trados files, if they wish so. Since the very beginning I hadn't a single unhappy client. So the decision is really yours.

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Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
Simply say you have Trados Jul 7, 2007

. . . having said that, I also have one client that wanted to know my version and maybe even the license number of Trados, so you might not get out 'from under'. If the client wants "dirty" files, they will get them also with DVX. In fact, the codes are better protected in DVX than in Trados ifself!

Although Trados is the industry standard now, you've got to bear in mind that Trados charges for every update, which seems to occur on an annual basis, whereas upgrades are free from Atril. I would not rush out and buy Trados, although it is easy to say for me because I started out with Trados, so I have it anyway. Although the program is essentially good, I find it pretty much impossible to work with large jobs, let's say anything over 100,000 as it really slows you down!

You might also conder buying a "second-hand" copy from another translator, have you thought about that? Scout the ads here at ProZ.

Anyway, I agree with all that has been said here earlier, including that if one accepts large jobs, it follows that one has to reject smaller ones, so in the end it might be worth your while letting a client go who only pays after 2 months in favour of better-paying clients.

Good luck,
Marijke


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:06
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Buy SDL Jul 7, 2007

I invested in Trados and SDLX separately, and now just pay my annual fee for a maintenance contract including the upgrades (as you get two in one now). Having said that, I haven't installed the newest version yet but I will do some time this summer. Whenever possible, I use SDLX for translating as I don't like Trados very much (and absolutely hate Tag-Editor).

After the initial investment, the annual costs are quite low. SDL (Trados/SDLX) is just a tool, but well worth the investment as it is the industry standard, even if it may not be the best software available.


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Judy Schoen  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:06
English to German
Trados for marketing? Jul 7, 2007

Anne,
I have been working with DV/DVX for 11 years now, at least 60 % of my jobs are Trados projects. I do everything (Trados, transit, sdlx) in DVX, the feedback of the customer is, that they never have any problems with my files.

I also have a Trados licence for over 9 or 10 years, and have spent much more money on Trados than on DV/DVX.

I only need it to convert Trados TMs in Trados.TXT. Everything else in the process could be done with the demo.

Trados pays itself for me as I often sort out the Trados problems of my customers (and there are many), but not through translation.

As long as the translator uses the correct workflow, DVX is 100% compatible.
I do a lot of DVX support, the only problems I have ever seen with Trados projects in DVX were due to incorrect handling.

To buy or not to buy is a marketing decision.
My customers know I have DVX, Trados, Across, MemoQ, Wordfast, etc. They assume I do the job in the program they are using. I get requests to use a certain Trados version- I use this version then for segmentation, and work in DVX.

Kind regards

Judy Ann


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 13:06
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
How to? Jul 7, 2007

Judy Schoen wrote:

I get requests to use a certain Trados version- I use this version then for segmentation, and work in DVX.

Kind regards

Judy Ann


I sometimes have problems with customers who have older versions of Trados and would like me to use it; but I only have the newest version installed and, frankly, I am not sure how to use several versions on one machine. Can you tell me how to do it?

By the way, on the topic of this thread, I also own Trados and mainly use it only as an interface between the clients (who usually want Trados and there is no much use in trying to persuade them that they are not right) and my workflow (I prefer working in Transit, as a matter of fact) - if you view Trados as such a tool, you can live with the investment, I suppose.

Antonin


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