My problem is that I have Trados 6.5 Freelance and an MS Word 2003 installed on my computer, but my new employer uses Trados 5.5 and Word 2000, and they demand I change my software.
What I don't understand is why your employer does not provide the necessary software. Or will you be working for them as a freelancer (in which case they're not employing you)?
I asked them if I could use my version of Trados, but they weren't sure if it would be compatible with theirs.
I can't get an older version of Word at the moment, but it's high time I started translation, if I want to finish it on time.
Yes, I'm aware it was stupid to sign the agreement without asking about the technical specifications, but the real question is whether the two versions are compatible. Will they be able to import the uncleaned text? Will the tags be ok?
What you can do in any case is to provide them with a TM export, which they will be able to import without problems. Also, Word 2000 can open Word files edited with Word 2003.
To be on the safe side, just translate half a page and ask them to test it.