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Seen in job ads: Trados required?
Thread poster: Yngve Roennike

Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
May 23, 2003

I keep noticing this requirement in job ads, and am slightly baffled and uncomfortable with it. I know this site promotes TRADOS heavily, and that may contribute to agencies’ impression that this tool ought to belong in any translator’s tool kit.



Far from it, there are many other alignment tools available to translators. By requiring that a specific piece of software be used borders on restriction on competition. Also, if an agency makes such a stipulation, it should make that software available to the translator through its own leasing agreement with the appropriate software vendor.



Comments invited.



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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 09:36
SITE FOUNDER
Just to be clear - this site is not partial May 23, 2003

While it is true that ProZ.com is a leading reseller of TRADOS and other CAT tools, the ProZ.com jobs system, like the rest of the site, does not play favorites. Just yesterday, outsourcers indicated requirements also for IBM, MetaTexis and Uniscape CAT tools.



We see our job as passing information, and getting discounts for our members on, whatever tools they require.


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mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
This is not a ProZ.com question May 23, 2003

Hi Yngve!

The requirement for translators to have and use Trados is not something added by ProZ.com in order to make yo buy their offers!

Trados (you like it or not)is a worldwide spread CAT tool that many clients (in ProZ.com or outside this site) will ask you to use. I am on Trados since the 80\' due to this reality, and I have been a ProZ.com member just for 2 years now.

If you pay attention, some other clients would ask you to translate with Deja Vu, or work on Front Page, Quark, etc. This means the client\'s requirement for a particular job, and has nothing to do with ProZ.com. be certain.

Regards,

Mónica


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:36
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
It may be the client and not the agency May 23, 2003

I work for a German agency with many internationally-based clients who stipulate that Trados/Transit or whatever is used. If the translation memories for all previous translations have been produced with a certain CAT tool that is what they will stick too. The problem lies with the initial choice of CAT software. Once started, it is difficult to change.

regards,

Jill


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Cart before the horse? May 23, 2003

I’m not averse to Trados, or any other alignment tool for that matter. But requiring that a translator must have this or any particular software, or he/she will not be considered, seems extreme to me. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. If a particular piece of software is needed, then the agency should provide that software to the translator, either as part of a leasing agreement or purchase it outright on the translator\'s behalf. This has happened in the past, I can speak for that myself.







2003-05-23 14:52 JillSch wrote:



I work for a German agency with many internationally-based clients who stipulate that Trados/Transit or whatever is used. If the translation memories for all previous translations have been produced with a certain CAT tool that is what they will stick too. The problem lies with the initial choice of CAT software. Once started, it is difficult to change.

regards,

Jill



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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
Italian to English
+ ...
Required software May 23, 2003

This isn\'t really any different than any other software requirement. Most people ask for some version of MS Word as well - because it\'s widely used. Like it or not, Trados is a widely used piece of software. Likewise, if you see a job posting that requires Acrobat to create PDF files, would you consider that \"restriction on competition\"? There are always other software options, but I don\'t see why an agency can\'t require certain packages for their own consistency.



R.

==





2003-05-23 04:23 Yngve wrote:



I keep noticing this requirement in job ads, and am slightly baffled and uncomfortable with it. I know this site promotes TRADOS heavily, and that may contribute to agencies� impression that this tool ought to belong in any translator�s tool kit.



Far from it, there are many other alignment tools available to translators. By requiring that a specific piece of software be used borders on restriction on competition. Also, if an agency makes such a stipulation, it should make that software available to the translator through its own leasing agreement with the appropriate software vendor.



Comments invited.





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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:36
German to English
+ ...
Client supplying software May 23, 2003

[quote]

2003-05-23 15:24 Yngve wrote:



If a particular piece of software is needed, then the agency should provide that software to the translator, either as part of a leasing agreement or purchase it outright on the translator\'s behalf.



[end quote]



Yngve, even if the client *loaned* or bought you the program, you probably wouldn\'t have enough time to learn it properly for that particular assignment.



Trudy


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:36
Member
French to English
Agree with Trudy May 23, 2003

Trudy Peters wrote:
Yngve, even if the client *loaned* or bought you the program, you probably wouldn\'t have enough time to learn it properly for that particular assignment.
Trudy


Agree. When a client specifies that a given program is required for a translation, they don\'t mean it\'s needed, buy it, they mean they need to work with translators who have it and have experience with it.

I don\'t agree that it is up the client to pay for software. Is it up to the client to purchase Microsoft Word for you because the translation must be done in Word? or Acrobat because the text is in an Acrobat file?

These tools are business expenses and can be used for many jobs.

Note that some CAT tools have free versions for use by freelancers (these are stripped down versions).

FWIW,
Karin Adamczyk


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Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 15:36
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Push things to extremes? May 24, 2003

With all respect to Yngve, it looks like he addresses different kinds of subjects, pushing things to extremes...but between the lines he might want to start a general discussion about the work condition of the freelance translator. Freelancers often work hard under the pressure of tight deadlines. Most people will, after enough pressure, react. The reaction will some times be found here.

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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Common sense for the common translator. May 24, 2003

I have received alignment tools from clients/agencies to use in connection with assignments in the past; they have all been deleted from my hard drive (but can be reinstalled, of course, if needed). Learning how to use them is no big chore; it's using them that is. I find the need for these tools greatly exaggerated; certainly in your own private sphere their utility is reduced to near zero.

Most manuals these days are no longer translated with these tools, I think. Rather, you tend to get a manual in one language, and then you plug in your translation on top of the source text. That way stylistic issues are better resolved, and the general layout and insertion into the proper context ensured. If repetition occurs and you wish to be repetitive you could simply cut and paste. These tools, again, are relying too much on the repetition factor, but European languages tend to be less repetitive and formulaic than English (if English to a European language is your combination), in that sense these tools may even be counterproductive. I assume agencies are using them as a cost-saving feature. Requiring translators to pony up money for them is therefore an unacceptable way of shifting this capitalization obligation on to the individual translator. If you don't have them, insist therefore that the agency provide them to you, would be my advice. And, no, alignment tools are not common software, in the sense that an ordinary word processing program is, they are expensive bells and whistles IMO.

[Edited at 2004-07-16 06:50]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pushing the envelope? May 24, 2003

Often Trados jumps right at you when opening ProZ.com. I think their ads somewhere suggest that you really need this to stay competitive with your clients. This seems a bit like pushing the envelope of advertising. Apparently, many agencies featured here seem to have co-opted this notion that we must all have it, as I've tried to argue above.




[Edited at 2004-07-16 06:48]


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:36
English to French
+ ...
it simply became a must Jun 14, 2003

sure you can without it, but it is always better to know and have it.

If agencies require Trados, that's because they need it. If it is about a large project, it makes life easier and is less time consuming, etc.

Of course you could also complain that you need Windows to run Word... The use of Trados (or any other CAT) really depends on the type of translation you do. Most of the time, I use a CAT even when not required to, for several reasons like context search, harmonization, and simple habit.

However, I agree that the English language tends to use lots of repetitions while French, my mother tongue, strictly forbids that.

I am not an advocate of Trados, but of pieces of software that make your life easier, and CATs do. And for that matter, I use Wordfast, which is just like Trados, just as good, cheaper, lighter, and more flexible.


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:36
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Requirements are part of any job offer Jun 14, 2003

Hi Yngve,

Yngve Roennike wrote:

I have received alignment tools from clients/agencies to use in connection with assignments in the past; they have all been deleted from my hard drive (but can be reinstalled, of course, if needed). Learning how to use them is no big chore, it’s using them that is.


Sorry, but I don't agree. The CATs I use are not a simple alignment tool, but real complex programs. Especially Trados needs more training then other ones.


I find the need for these tools greatly exaggerated; certainly in your own private sphere their utility is reduced to near zero.


It depends on what you translate. I always use a CAT, even if I am not asked to, so that I have TMs and use them for creating glossaries, as soon as I can. It took me some time to learn how to use them at best (can't say I'm through all possibilities though), but now I do save a lot of time, time I can invest in some other jobs.

If repetition occurs and you wish to be repetitive you could simply cut and paste.


Cut & paste? oh, for a short text, but in case of a 200,000-word project, how do you remember, first of all how you translated a sentence (or part of it or a similar one) 2 months earlier? You can use the search function, yes, but why waste time, if a tool can suggest in less than a second?? Copy & paste doesn't work all the time smoothly, as it is a time-wasting operation when sentences are full of code.

These tools, again, are banking too much on the repetition feature, but European languages tend to be less repetitive and formulaic than is English (if English to European languages is your combination), in that sense these tools could even be counterproductive.


?? Any language is as repetitive as the text is I agree that what is a repetition in the source might not be in the target, but comparing source & target you have more or less the same % of repetitions.

Some projects are not to be translated without a CAT: deadlines are tight or short (some deadlines cannot be modified, for example in the case of annual catalogues or updates, manuals included and texts are so long that can't be delivered in time without a tool; the translated text needs some more engineering (= + time)... or a long-term project can't be dealt without the help of a CAT. My rethorical question is: why should I spend more time than necessary on a text, thus being unable to take some more jobs over, when a CAT can improve my productivity (= my income)? As I save time, I don't see why I shouldn't pay for my own copy of a CAT.
The point is another one IMHO: discounts for repetitions, when I have invested in the software and not the agency or the outsourcer.


Best regards,

Giuliana

[Edited at 2003-06-14 07:26]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CAT tools on the wane? Jun 14, 2003

I am actually surprised about the level of buzz surrounding these tools in this mainly European forum. Their popularity has waned considerably (in the US) since they emerged in the mid-90s, at least that is my impression. The frenzied advertisement here by CAT vendors, targeting mostly EU translators, tends to bear this out. In the 2000s, the only CAT assignment I had was with a tool called SDXL (or similar), which was completely inappropriate for the job, which was a huge list of short sentences in Italian going into English. To answer the above comment, most manuals are not 200,000 plus words, and I think these tools are mostly used for manuals, but possibly other localization jobs, as well.

Their usefulness was when several manuals with very similar text and layout were translated, only varying in minor parts or aspects, such as a different model name, different specs, etc. However, these days, such changes are usually just being highlighted in the previous document (both translated and source), and you are then asked to provide translation of these highlighted segments only. Presumable a 'document compare' went before that. Since most manuals today are already in e-file format, the global replacement feature can be utilized fully by the translator. For instance, when you've settled on one translation of a term, you can replace all instances in the source-language e-file by that term, and you no longer will need to memorize how you already did it, when you meet it again, plus you don't need to retype it, if you choose not to.

I am almost certain that proceeding along these lines will be swifter than with a CAT tool, plus you have the benefit of being in the natural environment, surrounded by the actual graphics or illustrations, and your creativity is certainly not being restricted, e.g., by the input of previous translators, or input you've done before, but don't fancy so much on a particular day. A manual not produced with a CAT tool might simply be more interesting to read.



[Edited at 2004-07-16 15:47]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
Flemish to English
+ ...
A tool to give discounts Jun 15, 2003

Yngve Roennike wrote:

Requiring translators to put up money for them is therefore an unacceptable way of shifting their own capitalization duty, as agents, on to the individual translator. If you don’t have them, insist therefore that the agency provide them to you, would be my advice
---
I second that one. Not only are you required to buy it, but also to give discounts for using it. That is a double profit for the middle-man (agency) or the end-client.




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