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Trados SDL and case languages? (Estonian)
Thread poster: Cecile Delacour

Cecile Delacour  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
Dutch to French
+ ...
Dec 19, 2007

I have to translate a text from Estonian into French and it looks like I will get more jobs from this agency. I would like to use Trados SDL and build up a memory and work with Multiterm but I wonder how it would work with a language like Estonian (comparable to Finnish) with case endings.
Who has experience with it?

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:01
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Not much help I believe Dec 19, 2007

I only use termbases when the customer provides one, but mostly they contain only stuff like "and, or, but...". So they are of no use. You could though convert your own glossaries and use them if a dictionary does not help in some cases. I do not know how other translators from Estonian and Finnish work, you could ask Dominique Pivard, she's a Wordfast-specialist.

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
not very helpful Dec 19, 2007

I mostly translate from English to Hungarian (sometimes French into Hungarian). For these language pairs, I find CAT tools rather helpful. For the record, I use Deja Vu X rather than Trados. The only difficulty seems to be that most often the word order in Hungarian is completely different from the source English sentences (quite often, the word order is just the opposite, especially in long sentences with several subordinate clauses).

I tried to use CAT tools a few times for Hungarian-English, and, because of the large number of possible word forms, very few words/expressions were offered from the terminology database. It works fine at a sentence level though.

We still have to wait for some more intelligent software that recognizes (and analyzes) all the word forms.


Finno-Ugric languages do not have "cases" in the sense as in Latin or in Slavic languages. These can live happily with 6 or 7 different cases, i.e. a relatively limited number of possible word forms.
Finno-Ugric languages (plus Turkic, etc. languages) are agglutinative languages, which means the number of possible word forms is in the dozens for each noun, and around a hundred for each verb, making it even more difficult to use terminology databases.

[Edited at 2007-12-19 11:57]

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