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Off topic: One reason I believe the sooner Trados disappears, the better...
Thread poster: Riccardo Schiaffino

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:39
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 29, 2005

...is the very poor quality of their matching engine. For example, I'm currently translating a list of software strings for a telephony system.

For the following string:

468:"Enable DUALmode"

I get a 62% fuzzy match, the original SL of which was:

451:"New building"

Very useful: the number "4", the colon and both quotes are, indeed, identical.

Even better:

For the string:

519:"Value"

I get a 74% fuzzy match, the original SL of which was:

142:"Permanent"


Hopefully, SDLX will be a change for the better.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't agree........ Aug 29, 2005

I think one just has to be aware that for certain types of texts, it's necessary to set your minimum match higher than in others and not try pigeon-hole everything under one setting - especially where there are a lot of figures involved.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I'm working with 35% threshold for matches with Trados Aug 29, 2005

and it works quite fine.
With Transit Satellite and SDLX my treshold is 65% and even then I get bad matches.

Do you have any matches for the main words in your strings, ie value, building and so on? If yes, they will be shown too. You can fine adjust Trados to show you more than one fuzzy match for each segment. Sometimes a fuzzy with 70% is not usable, and sometimes some 40% are really good. It really depends on the art of text. Beeing you I would set everything prior to the quotation mark and the quotation marks as non translatable text. Translating such segments as you have does not produce very good segments.

Regards
Jerzy


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Romuald Pawlikowski  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Quite interesting... Aug 29, 2005

In my former life as a programmer, I was involved in creating logic for sentence matching in a CAT tool. It was quite complicated and contained a system of "weighs" that helped to offset the fact that the comparison was mainly statistical (not much of intelligence involved). It seems that the one used here is also quite "statistical" in nature or some of the "weighs" in the algorithm are given too much importance, which apparently does not work well in cases of short segments with numerical strings.

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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 17:39
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The really killing thing about that is pricing Aug 29, 2005

You are right: me too, I am fed up with the fuzzy matches offered (or not offered, even though I do remember them, without any automation).

But the killing thing is that more and more translation agencies set their prices based on Trados - it depresses the price level and increases the workload. I'd definitely prefer to type in those 10-12 characters you mention in your examples to
(1) waiting for the TU to come up,
(2) read it. to realise it is complete nonsense,
(3) delete the offered "match" and
(4) start translating.

So where is the profit for us? After all, this is our investment. Of course, no wonder can be expected from a CAT, but we should at least show some resistance in terms of the pricing practices, shouldn't we?


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Orestes Robledo  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Down with Trados! Aug 29, 2005

Trados is outrageously overpriced and you cannot even use it for all your translations.

It is useful only if you usually translate similar electronic documents, and even so, you only get your money's worth after a very long time.

If, like me, most of the documents you translate are on paper format and they are totally different from each other, it is totally worthless.

I have always been able to make a living without TM. All you need is Word, experience as a translator, and a good collection of dictionaries.


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:39
Member
French to English
Who should set prices? Seller or buyer? Aug 29, 2005

Eva Blanar wrote:

But the killing thing is that more and more translation agencies set their prices based on Trados

...snip snip snip...

So where is the profit for us? After all, this is our investment. Of course, no wonder can be expected from a CAT, but we should at least show some resistance in terms of the pricing practices, shouldn't we?


Well of course! I have never understood why some translators let the buyer set the price.

Setting prices shouldn't be seen as *resistance*, but rather as a *business matter*.

Take care,
Karin


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:39
English to German
+ ...
Nobody forces you to buy any software...? Aug 30, 2005

Hi Orestes,
With all due respect - who forces you to buy or use any CAT tool?


It is useful only if you usually translate similar electronic documents, and even so, you only get your money's worth after a very long time.

Have you actually used it, or are your statements based on things heard from others?

If, like me, most of the documents you translate are on paper format and they are totally different from each other, it is totally worthless.

You may want to consider OCR software. Also, you're not ignoring the benefits of using concordance.

I have always been able to make a living without TM. All you need is Word, experience as a translator, and a good collection of dictionaries.

Great! I hope you're making proper use of your reduced cost base (improving your profit margin rather than lowering prices). But why are you trying to force this business model onto others?

I have been using Trados for years. Of course I'm not happy with every aspect of it, but I don't have a commercial problem. Mind you - I'm setting prices, as opposed to having my customers do that for me...

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxIanW
Local time: 17:39
German to English
+ ...
To Orestes Aug 30, 2005

Orestes Robledo wrote:
If, like me, most of the documents you translate are on paper format and they are totally different from each other, it is totally worthless.


In your situation I wouldn't have bought Trados in the first place - did you really expect Trados to be effective when working with hard copy? That's like saying that you're very disappointed with the skis you bought because they don't work in the desert where you live.

There may be cheaper alternatives available now which do the same job, but Trados helps me to earn at least five times its cost price every year, and improves the consistency of my work. And that is something that I am prepared to pay for.


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:39
German to English
+ ...
The investment was worth it (for me)... Aug 30, 2005

Ian Winick wrote:
ados helps me to earn at least five times its cost price every year, and improves the consistency of my work. And that is something that I am prepared to pay for.[/quote]

I can only agree with Ian on this one - the consistency is a major factor in my calculation. And the profit I have made on jobs that require Trados has easily compensated what I paid for it (just think of the investments other entrepeneurs have to make).


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 17:39
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
There are two questions mixed together here, actually Aug 30, 2005

(1) A CAT tool - yes or no?

For me, definitely YES. Although I can imagine situations in which not using a CAT tool may be faster for a single job, the long-term benefits are beyond dispute.

(2) If you want to use a CAT tool, should it be TRADOS?

This is a much more complicated question, which may depend on the character of work, rates on your market, and many other aspects. Since I started with Trados as my first CAT tool, my view is biased in favour of it; despite this bias, I do admit that there may be better and/or cheaper tools out there, or even both at the same time, who knows. On the other hand, paying for many CAT tools, and learning to use them all, may be a bit impractical ambition.

Antonin


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Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Well.... Aug 30, 2005

The problem is that clients know of Trados.. So they collect awfull TM from all sides.. then give it to you pretending that there are only some new words and you end up with a inconsistent TM and a hard job to do...

Otherwise it is worse the expense, also Multiterm for instance could be a little easier...but they also sell formations.. and if it is too easy.. nobody will attend them..

I am still wondering what I will do with all these Translation mémories... but i like to work with it seeing the original text and my translation.. I am an old user now but I have not still understood all the functionnalities...




[Edited at 2005-08-30 08:45]


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Karin Adamczyk  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:39
Member
French to English
Refuse such work! Aug 30, 2005

Martine Etienne wrote:

The problem is that clients know of Trados.. So they collect awfull TM from all sides.. then give it to you pretending that there are only some new words and you end up with a inconsistent TM and a hard job to do...



[Edited at 2005-08-30 08:45]


This is easy to solve ... refuse such jobs! I do (and have even told customers that provide memories containing work done by [let's call them] untalented individuals that they need to find someone else).

Take care,
Karin


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Stand together and don't allow clients to cut rates Aug 30, 2005

Eva Blanar wrote:

You are right: me too, I am fed up with the fuzzy matches offered (or not offered, even though I do remember them, without any automation).

But the killing thing is that more and more translation agencies set their prices based on Trados ... So where is the profit for us? After all, this is our investment. Of course, no wonder can be expected from a CAT, but we should at least show some resistance in terms of the pricing practices, shouldn't we?


I think we must explain to clients quite simply that there are times when Trados is useful, but there are just as many occasions when it is useless at best and forces us to spend more time, not less on proofing etc.

If they insist we must use it, then we must begin to charge extra for proof-reading. Where it does not save time, we must insist on being paid the 'old' rates.

I have a regular job for one client where Trados - after nearly a year - is now more help than trouble. This is a weekly magazine with fixed headings and some regular features where the Concordance is useful as the 'story' continues every month.

But in terms of time it takes me at least as long as working without Trados. Apart from headings, (10 x 100% = about 70 words each week) there are very few useful matches. The size of the document varies from week to week, but I charge at the 'old' rate per word and the client accepts this.

Stand together and tell the clients what it costs to acquire and learn to use Trados.
Last week I received a postcard from Trados inviting me on a course to learn more. There were five or six towns to choose between - and going to the nearest from where I live would cost me roughly 100 Euros, and a lot more for the others. I would have to stay at least one night - not less than 100 Euros more. (If I stayed with friends I would still feel I had to buy some wine, chocolate or flowers to say thank you...) and I don't have close friends in all those towns.)

The course costs too - I can't remember how many Euros, but it's a lot. Then subtract my earnings for two days... because I'm not translating while travelling and attending the course.

I'm lucky - I live in a rich country and can charge quite high rates because there are not too many good translators in my language pairs. My husband and son earn their own pay, and I have no dependants. But for someone less well off, this would be impossibly expensive.

So let's stand together and resist the pressure to cut rates because of Trados - or it will become difficult to earn a proper living from providing good translations.

Clients don't ask us to cut rates because we buy good dictionaries or computers, so why Trados? It's a complete misunderstanding in my opinion!



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Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:39
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Word / Wordfast and Trados Aug 30, 2005

Orestes Robledo wrote:
If, like me, most of the documents you translate are on paper format and they are totally different from each other, it is totally worthless.


Indeed.

Ian Winick wrote:
There may be cheaper alternatives available now which do the same job, but Trados helps me to earn at least five times its cost price every year, and improves the consistency of my work. And that is something that I am prepared to pay for.


When working from paper, I find that using the 'Find' function in Word can help me being consistent in the wording I choose.

I am at the moment learning how to use Wordfast, just in case I would want to use a CAT tool. Wordfast is free for small jobs, so money is not an obstacle, as it is with Trados.


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