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Thread poster: Surtees
Does anyone else hate Trados as much as I do?
Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 20, 2006

I don't know if this is the right topic as I don't actually require any support - couldn't we have a 'General Moan' topic? (only joking!)

I reckon I use Trados for around 40% of the translation work I do. For the sort of documents I'm working on right now (lots of related documents that cross-reference each other, absolute need to maintain strict coherence in terminology, etc.), it is absolutely invaluable and I do appreciate it, but god does it drive me mad at times!

For example: in .html files, I open a new segment, enter the translation and then go to close it and move on to the next one, only to be told that 'there is one or more tags missing in the target text'. So? Do something about it you stupid program, that is supposed to be your job, that's why I bought you, I'm a translator, not a tag-inserter!!!!! So I curse and mutter for a while, then grit my teeth and either to go through carefully checking tags, inserting and deleting as appropriate, or I copy the source text and re-translate that segment. In either case, a complete waste of my time. And even then, when I go to 'preview' mode the format still isn't right so I have to go back and go through the entire process all over again.

Or, in .doc files, it suddenly decides it will change the font type in the target text, so once I have translated it I have to highlight the text and make the font the same as the source. More time-wasting!! And I would say that I have to use the 'fix document' function at least once (and often much more, as in the text I am currently working on) because the stupid thing tells me that a start or end of translation unit marker is apparently missing.

Is it just me? I'm I jinxed, or does anyone else find that often Trados is a time-waster and source of problems rather than the time-saver and problem-solver it's meant to be?

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest, and as there's no one else around at the moment I thought I might as well do it here.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-03-20 22:24]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:23
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I totally agree with you Mar 20, 2006

I have moved to Deja Vu to handle most of my jobs.


Surtees wrote:


Is it just me? I'm I jinxed, or does anyone else find that often Trados is a time-waster and source of problems rather than the time-saver and problem-solver it's meant to be?

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest, and as there's no one else around at the moment I thought I might as well do it here.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:23
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
RTFM Mar 20, 2006




For example: in .html files, I open a new segment, enter the translation and then go to close it and move on to the next one, only to be told that 'there is one or more tags missing in the target text'. So? Do something about it you stupid program, that is supposed to be your job, that's why I bought you, I'm a translator, not a tag-inserter!!!!!

Sure - but how is the program supposed to anticipate your sentence structure?

You can switch off tag verification, of course...


So I curse and mutter for a while, then grit my teeth and either to go through carefully checking tags, inserting and deleting as appropriate, or I copy the source text and re-translate that segment. In either case, a complete waste of my time. And even then, when I go to 'preview' mode the format still isn't right so I have to go back and go through the entire process all over again.

...but given that you don't seem to get tags right, I'd keep it on.


Or, in .doc files, it suddenly decides it will change the font type in the target text, so once I have translated it I have to highlight the text and make the font the same as the source. More time-wasting!!

May I suggest to study Word paragraph formatting in some more detail? This has been discussed in numerous topics already, so I won't go into detail.




And I would say that I have to use the 'fix document' function at least once (and often much more, as in the text I am currently working on) because the stupid thing tells me that a start or end of translation unit marker is apparently missing.

...the only conceivable reason being that some user must have deleted it...


Is it just me? I'm I jinxed, or does anyone else find that often Trados is a time-waster and source of problems rather than the time-saver and problem-solver it's meant to be?

Seems to me that reading at least some of the documentation might help.

Regards,
Ralf


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Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I know Ralf, I know Mar 20, 2006

Ralf,

With regard to .html documents, I promise you it's nothing to do with the program anticipating my sentence structure. When I open a segment, I copy the source text, then write in the translation, deleting as I go and meticulously, religiously respecting the tags (which are protected anyway).

And I do 'get tags right', it's just there are times when I shouldn't have to take the time to do it, as it really should be done automatically.

As for reading at least some documentation, you are undoubtedly right. I have been working with Trados for about 7 years now and did read manuals when I first acquired it, as well as on odd occasions in the interim, but simply don't have the time or inclination to wade through reams of instructions which I'm going to instantly forget anyway, unless I'm actually using them in practice on a day-to-day basis.


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Gusztáv Jánvári  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 22:23
Member (2009)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Trados a hell with Word Mar 20, 2006

Usually I can get along fine with TagEditor, however the Word add-on of Trados it is terrible. First the paragraph formatting—I have created dozens of high quality documents and templates and wrote some thousand lines of codes operating with documents. I get to know the document structure, and I never had any problems with correct formatting.

The main problem is that Trados markup and content (source and target) are, so to say, mixed. Therefore it is enough for you to make a copy-paste at the end of your open TU and you'll find yourself in deleting the markup indicating the end of the TU for Trados. This has nothing to do with, this is the natural result of working in such a mixed file. The solution was (and Trados should have done it years ago) to add doc support to TagEditor.

The bookmarks with which it operates (which contain the markup) are very open to incidental damage and corruption. Also, as the experiences have shown, it is not possible (for Trados, at least) to maintain even basic font data like font face.

TIP: Just select the text the format of which you want to revert to Normal style and press CTRL+SPACE. For example, if the normal font in your doc is Times New Roman 10, pressing CTRL+SPACE will revert your selection to TNR 10.

Above all, however, the most obstructing, contra-productive and annoying behaviour in the Word add-on is that is messes up the clipboard. A very simple extension to the code (up to four lines of code or so) would be more than enough to restore the clipboard to the state it was when Trados started using it. This way I could copy a part of a sentence in the current TU and paste it when I open the next. But the case is that for this operation you need some sort of clipboard extender utility (I recommend you to try Detto, a free and powerful tool).

Just based on my experiences in programming Word I must say, many of the most annoying behaviours could be eliminated by paying some attention to the convenience of the user and by being a bit focused on the user.

Unfortunately, I do not think Trados is such a user-focused company. I think it's marketing policy is more than rude and they commit everything possible just to put the user in the need of purchasing the latest version of their tool... that usually becomes outdated and actually unsupported shortly after you bought it. Let me say a short example: I use Trados 5.5 and I was not able to upgrade Office XP to Office 2003 just because Trados 5.5, as I was told by the support, does not support OFF2003, for the support I must buy Trados 6.5.

But I know for sure, there have been no changes in those parts of Word which are used by the add-on. Simply there's a version check in Trados Workbench, and if it finds you have an Office newer than Office XP, it will tell you it is not compatible and will block you. By removing this moneygrabbing-inspired message, I could use Trados 5.5 with Office 2003 perfectly.

And the quality of the surrounding Trados applications like T-Window or MultiTerm iX... miles below what I could classify as acceptable. Trados is good but not too good—it's just almost the only choice for many.

em


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:23
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Me too :) Mar 20, 2006


Surtees wrote:
Is it just me? I'm I jinxed, or does anyone else find that often Trados is a time-waster and source of problems rather than the time-saver and problem-solver it's meant to be?


I hate it too, so I avoid using it whnever possible. DVX forevvar


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Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:23
Member
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Wordfast Mar 20, 2006


e-Musty wrote:

Usually I can get along fine with TagEditor, however the Word add-on of Trados it is terrible.



Exactly. That's why I use Wordfast with Word documents instead of Trados.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:23
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Don't hate it anymore Mar 20, 2006

I have never any problems with tags in Word-documents. Before using TagEditor I analyse the documents, export the unknown segments to rtf, translate these in Word, clean up, spellcheck, correct the uncleaned document, clean up again and then translate to fuzzy in TagEditor.
Tag verification can be switched off. It happens that some authors have the habit of changing the layout of their texts between revisions, thats ok with me, but I'm paid for the text, not the dtp. So I really do not take the trouble to check that each internal tag is in place. The same goes for fonts. If Trados changes the font, who cares? The typesetter will see to that in any case, I'm not paid for it.


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:23
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I don't like hell, so ... Mar 20, 2006

... the only reason I can come up with for that I don't feel the problems other people feel with the combination Word & Trados, is that I don't have them.
When I have paper source documents I especially have them typed in by other people to be able to translate them with Trados.


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 23:23
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Me and Trados divorced a while ago - happily! Mar 20, 2006

I consider my time far too valuable than to spend a fortune on a tool that is supposed to help me, spend an infinite time to understand how it works and then still not getting what I am supposed to get - just to see my rates cut by agencies that do not participate in the cost of the tool but pretend to gain whatever worth might come out of using it.

WordFast does it for me. And once in a while I don't get a job because I don't use TRADOS anymore, but I'd rather spend that free time on the terrace in the sunshine than fighting with a far to complex tool.

Je ne regrette rien.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 22:23
English to German
+ ...
I prefer working without trados Mar 20, 2006

while translating into english, but into german trados must be. I wonder why? how many experience this. I am a bilingual. It is certainly worth a poll of some kind I do not know how to structure it . Best Brandis

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Member
Dutch to English
+ ...
I have sources typed in too Mar 20, 2006


Henk Peelen wrote:

... the only reason I can come up with for that I don't feel the problems other people feel with the combination Word & Trados, is that I don't have them.
When I have paper source documents I especially have them typed in by other people to be able to translate them with Trados.


I do the same. Trados saves me time and makes me more money even though I do offer a discount to customers. Proof-reading becomes so easy with Trados. I never lose my place in the document anymore.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:23
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Larger issues at stake. Mar 20, 2006

There are, in my view, far larger issues at stake re the use of Trados and other CAT tools than this or that technical problem.

Dinny hits the nail on the head with the comment regarding spending a ton of money on a tool to increase productivity, spending considerable time to learn how to use it, and then being rewarded by insulting rates by agencies that know that you now have this supposedly powerful tool at your disposal.

Who *are* all of those smiling people in the Trados ads anyway? I rather doubt that they are translators who spent upwards of $700 for the Trados software and then invested dozens of hours of their own time in order to gain a rudimentary understanding of it, only to find that being registered Trados users enabled them to be offered jobs where they could now earn 2 cents per word for identical matches and 4 cents for "fuzzy matches".

No. Those smiling faces must surely belong to two different classes of people altogether: Those involved in the creation and marketing of Trados and those directors of translation agencies who have found their own leverage dramatically increased when it comes to negotiating rates with a translator who has Trados.

Do not Trados and similar tools actually work in this way to depress the rates offered to qualified translators?

Surely this is nothing to smile about.

None of this of course even touches two other important issues re CAT tools:

1.) Whether they tend to transform translators into data-entry clerks whose main usefulness tends to be seen in their ability to manage a software tool and translation memory.

2.) Whether in the long run productivity (which is of course the bottom-line justification of CAT Tools in the first place) really is notably improved for many different classes of documents. It would seem that, paradoxically, the greater the translation memory of the CAT Tool being used, the more this would tend to slow down work, since any given string of words might evoke he program's suggestion of several possible alternatives. Plowing through a document having to sort through numerous different possibilities in this way strikes me as neither productive nor as a modus operandi likely to yield higher quality work than a skilled and judicious translator using standard reference tools might be capable of.

I would be interested to hear the opinions of people who use these tools regarding how much more money they have made as a result of CAT Tools - and on what class of documents they have found such tools helpful.

Surely there is a place for such tools, although I suspect it is a fairly limited one.


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oscar mojon saa  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:23
French to Spanish
+ ...
And me too :) Mar 20, 2006

[quote]Zhoudan wrote:

I have moved to Deja Vu to handle most of my jobs.

It's a lot easier to handle all type of files with DVX, especially the XML ones. The support team at Deja Vu is nicer and you don't get spam from Atril.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:23
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I'm not a smiling one on the add... Mar 20, 2006


Robert Forstag wrote:

There are, in my view, far larger issues at stake re the use of Trados and other CAT tools than this or that technical problem.

Dinny hits the nail on the head with the comment regarding spending a ton of money on a tool to increase productivity, spending considerable time to learn how to use it, and then being rewarded by insulting rates by agencies that know that you now have this supposedly powerful tool at your disposal.

Who *are* all of those smiling people in the Trados ads anyway? I rather doubt that they are translators who spent upwards of $700 for the Trados software and then invested dozens of hours of their own time in order to gain a rudimentary understanding of it, only to find that being registered Trados users enabled them to be offered jobs where they could now earn 2 cents per word for identical matches and 4 cents for "fuzzy matches".

No. Those smiling faces must surely belong to two different classes of people altogether: Those involved in the creation and marketing of Trados and those directors of translation agencies who have found their own leverage dramatically increased when it comes to negotiating rates with a translator who has Trados.

... but I would be. I did spend more than 700 Euros for that software, and even more for other software - QuarkXPress for example. Never regretted that. I also have spend a lot of money for my PC and my other hardware. And yes, my customers do know I have those powerfull tools, so they do come and return. And we can agree on reasonable rates.
And I did not spend so many hours to get the rudimentary understanding. I do not consider me as an expert, but I can do what I need to do when using Trados. Some technical issues? Oh yes, it has issues - but nevertheless, please tell me what does not?


Do not Trados and similar tools actually work in this way to depress the rates offered to qualified translators?

Surely this is nothing to smile about.

None of this of course even touches two other important issues re CAT tools:

1.) Whether they tend to transform translators into data-entry clerks whose main usefulness tends to be seen in their ability to manage a software tool and translation memory.

2.) Whether in the long run productivity (which is of course the bottom-line justification of CAT Tools in the first place) really is notably improved for many different classes of documents. It would seem that, paradoxically, the greater the translation memory of the CAT Tool being used, the more this would tend to slow down work, since any given string of words might evoke he program's suggestion of several possible alternatives. Plowing through a document having to sort through numerous different possibilities in this way strikes me as neither productive nor as a modus operandi likely to yield higher quality work than a skilled and judicious translator using standard reference tools might be capable of.

I would be interested to hear the opinions of people who use these tools regarding how much more money they have made as a result of CAT Tools - and on what class of documents they have found such tools helpful.

Surely there is a place for such tools, although I suspect it is a fairly limited one.

I cannot tell you exactly how much money I make more due to using Trados. But I can tell, that due to enlarging my possibilities using Trados and other software, investing in my hadrware and my own skills I could increase my turnaround for some 20% within the last five years. This is not only Trados, but because of Trados I could win new customers. And because of the flexibility we can offer (PC, Mac, various software application, high quality printing etc.) we can keep the customers.
In my opinion the market is changing. The demands are now much higher as they were let´s say fifteen years ago. As at that time you could even deliver a translation writen with a typewriter nowadays no-one would accept such translation. The usage of PC is something usual, but fifteen years ago a PC has cost more than I could earn in one month! In the future the demand will be to work with CAT, to deliver various formats, to deal with TAGs as they are part of the process. It is my opiniony, but it grows stronger every day I start my PC - I can remember what we did 5 years ago and what we do now. The demanding jobs (DTP & co.) have strongly increased. To deal with them you need a CAT. It does not have to be Trados, you can go for DejaVu, Transit, SDLX, Wordfast, Omega T, Metatexis or any other - but you will need a tool to help you. And when you see this in this way, it is easier to accept. Even when the customer wants discounts - still if I earn enough with discounts why shall I not give them?
Regards
Jerzy


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