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Why so much training for TRADOS?
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Dec 26, 2007

Although I have an old version of TRADOS, I rarely use it.

What I would like to ask TRADOS users is, why are there so many training courses and why do they always seem to get filled up? Intuitively, it seems that a lot of time and money is being spent to learn this software. Is this a shortcoming of being a TRADOS user? Can't you just learn on your own?


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 20:26
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
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Possible to learn by yourself, but much better to have a trainer Dec 26, 2007

Hi Edward
Thanks for your contribution.

As a user of Trados I would like to tell you my experience. When I bought Trados in June 2004, I started practising first with the tutorial, then with the manual. One month after that I got my first big project - and I was lucky enough that the agency provided TMs with 50% of the contents. So I did get a big help to start.
But then I went on using Trados for 3 long years. And there was always something missing there, sort of "I am working too much for something that should result easier". I had an extra problem: I was all alone, nobody there to share with.
When I finally got the opportunity of talking to people about Trados I got to learn that the manual was relatively incomplete.

Not long after that, I got the opportunity of attending AND organizing a training. Accepting was the best decision I could take: after 12 hours of training (and with a trainer who spoke my own language) I went home and was able to almost reinvent my work routines.
One month after that I talked to people who were about to attend another course and told them my experience. For instance: I was able to recover a 17,000 word text in less than 2 hours, thanks to the TM and the translate to fuzzy function. And I was able to manage TMs in a way I had never expected. And able to use Trados for Excel and HTML. And the list goes on. No exaggeration to say that, comparing "before and after", I had increased my productivity 50% in average.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:26
Spanish to English
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Because it earns revenue Dec 26, 2007

Fabio Descalzi wrote:

... the manual was relatively incomplete.



A cynic might suggest that incomplete documentation is just the start of a money-making strategy, designed first to leave new users with the feeling that they aren't getting good value for their money (and it's not exactly cheap to buy, is it?); then offering a miracle cure in the form of training (more expense...); and finally certification (the cherry on the marketeer's pie).

And let's not forget the regular sequels in the form of new versions of the software - and round we go again, forking out hard-earned cash on something most of us could learn to use efficiently if the company delivered a decent manual with it in the first place.

MediaMatrix


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
English to German
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More efficient to get started with professional training Dec 26, 2007

Hi Edward,
Arguably, you could try to get started with any professional software, trying to learn as you go along. I believe this is also possible with Trados - but this takes time, of course. Time which hardly anyone seems to be willing to invest.

When I started using Trados more than a decade ago, I attended a half-day course in Stuttgart. I might well have been able to teach myself - but the training got me kick-started. I can see the same effect with our interns (who regularly undergo training): professional instruction helps them use the tools more efficiently, and gets them 'up to speed' quicker. Essentially, you need to weigh the cost of time spent going through manuals and tutorials against the investment in a training session.

Mind you, the same applies to other professional software packages, where proper training helps you unleash the full potential. The classic example I'm thinking of is MS Word.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Flemish to English
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Training earns more... Dec 26, 2007

Because giving training generates more income for the trainer per day than translating.
Have a look at the price of such a course,multiply it by the number of participants, deduct costs for renting a room and you have the income earned in one day.


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
English to Czech
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It may depend Dec 26, 2007

With all due respect, I take the liberty of disagreeing with Ralf on this principal issue.

My opinion may be biased since I have always found computers rather easy to cope with, but IMHO no training on ANY software can make up for hands-on experience. I learned everything I know about MS Word and Trados (and many other programs) by myself. I definitely think my knowledge acquired this way is far more valuable than if I had paid someone to tell me things I would (most likely) have not understood properly, since I would have been told them at the wrong time.

Some kind of assisstance might be useful, I admit. But a paid course goes too far for most users.

"Sweat fee" is better than money in this respect.



Antonin


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:26
Dutch to English
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Argument based on an unsound assumption ... Dec 26, 2007

Williamson wrote:

Because giving training generates more income for the trainer per day than translating.



... namely that the Trados trainer is also or at sometime has been a translator. Hardly necessary to teach the workings of Trados. A mere understanding of the translation industry is all that is needed.

The simple point - all the cynicism about revenue aside for the moment - is some people will feel more comfortable attending training sessions (in person or online). It's easy enough to say read the manual, but when you're being bombarded with emails and phone calls about work, something else invariably crops up and that gets pushed by the wayside. So, for some people, it's advantageous to get out the office and/or have a dedicated time set aside for this purpose.

For those who are IT-savvy and feel it's a waste of time and money, fair enough, but there wouldn't be any supply without demand.

And yes, they charge for it, like anything else in life. Big deal.


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Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:26
English to Greek
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Trying to learn a complex software program on one's own... Dec 26, 2007

... is sometimes necessary, or unavoidable, when the pressure to deliver work weighs.

I used the software for about one year before I sought professional training and I have this to say about the experience.

First of all, having become familiar with the various components, helped me understand a lot better what the trainer was talking about.

Following a course gave me further insight and taught me things that I wouldn't have found out by myself, until a lot later.

I am happy with the way things have worked out!

Lina


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Andrej  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
Member (2005)
German to Russian
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SDL Trados Dec 27, 2007

is a very easy software to cope with and I do not understand all the traning things either.

[Edited at 2007-12-27 08:10]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:26
Dutch to English
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Out with the trumpets Dec 27, 2007

Andrej wrote:

is a very easy software to cope with and I do not understand all the traning things either.


I fail to understand how someone who is "gifted" enough to understand how the software works without any help - which is laudable (trumpet rolls ....) - can't see past his own obvious intelligence and realise not everyone is quite as IT-savvy as himself.

But let me make it simple for you: there is nothing to understand about training, other than some people need it and/or want it and are willing to pay for it. Period.

And no, I haven't had training. I am likewise self-taught (although far from gifted in the area of IT). But there's plenty I'd like to still discover about the tool, so if the opportunity comes up I personally wouldn't consider it a waste of money. And I certainly wouldn't sneer at those who do invest in training or allude to their inherent shortcomings.


[Edited at 2007-12-27 08:52]


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
English to Czech
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Just efficiency Dec 27, 2007

I am far from telling anybody what they should do; but I claim that, at least on average, one hour of experimenting with software is likely to provide you with more information (which is understood better and remebered longer) than one hour spent at a training course

Antonin


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:26
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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How about fitness instructors? Dec 27, 2007

Many people use instructors to tell them how to lift weights and use the training machines in a gym. Sure any software is more complicated than these?

I have never attended any software course except one for Wordperfect 6.0 back in 1991 (?), which was paid by my employer shortly befor we aborted Wordperfect and switched to Word.
If my wife were about to become a translator and use CAT tools or TEnT-software (translation environment tools), I certainly would recommend to her any possible tutoring, as she is extremely conservative and never explores anything new regarding computers. She even does not use backspace in Word, but uses the mouse and delete-key instead!

So for many people software courses are inevitable. Myself I am so absent minded, that all lessons are lost on me, if they do not relate to practical work. Up to now I always got by with the little help of my friends (you).

cheers!
Heinrich


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Flemish to English
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Supply and demand: not all related to translators.... Dec 27, 2007

Trados-training depends on translators. Other kinds of software-training does not depend on translators. Unless you have a well-oiled translation production apparatus and give that a name, software-training earns more than translation.
I should know because it is one of my activities. If I can choose between a day of translation and a day of giving class, I chose giving class. I prefer the company of people above sitting behind a pc-screen.[quote]Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Williamson wrote:

Because giving training generates more income for the trainer per day than translating.




Lawyer Linguist wrote:

... namely that the Trados trainer is also or at sometime has been a translator. Hardly necessary to teach the workings of Trados. A mere understanding of the translation industry is all that is needed.

The simple point - all the cynicism about revenue aside for the moment - is some people will feel more comfortable attending training sessions (in person or online). It's easy enough to say read the manual, but when you're being bombarded with emails and phone calls about work, something else invariably crops up and that gets pushed by the wayside. So, for some people, it's advantageous to get out the office and/or have a dedicated time set aside for this purpose.

For those who are IT-savvy and feel it's a waste of time and money, fair enough, but there wouldn't be any supply without demand.

And yes, they charge for it, like anything else in life. Big deal.
<

[Edited at 2007-12-27 09:58]


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 20:26
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Yes: some need it indeed Dec 27, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:
... let me make it simple for you: there is nothing to understand about training, other than some people need it and/or want it and are willing to pay for it. Period.

And no, I haven't had training. I am likewise self-taught (although far from gifted in the area of IT). But there's plenty I'd like to still discover about the tool, so if the opportunity comes up I personally wouldn't consider it a waste of money. And I certainly wouldn't sneer at those who do invest in training or allude to their inherent shortcomings.

A very revealing anecdote from a training:
People attending trainings have different backgrounds and abilities. So I could see, sitting side by side, a lady that said "today I learned some useful tips that add to my vast experience", and a mature man who said "Gosh, I feel as if I were Fred Flintstone in front of a spaceship". No exaggeration.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 20:26
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Fitness and fine-tuning Dec 27, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Many people use instructors to tell them how to lift weights and use the training machines in a gym. Sure any software is more complicated than these?
(...)
If my wife were about to become a translator and use CAT tools or TEnT-software (translation environment tools), I certainly would recommend to her any possible tutoring, as she is extremely conservative and never explores anything new regarding computers. She even does not use backspace in Word, but uses the mouse and delete-key instead!

So for many people software courses are inevitable. Myself I am so absent minded, that all lessons are lost on me, if they do not relate to practical work. Up to now I always got by with the little help of my friends (you).

Several persons ask "What is this small arrow for?" Then the trainer explains "You move the mouse like this, press the left button, then you type this and that, and you press the other arrow with the mouse. And there you are, you translated a sentence." And the person finally understands what the CAT tool is all about, gets enthusiastic and feels like working.

Online help and tutorials may be efficient - but there is always a need to be treated like a flesh-and-blood being. At least, if the person is susceptible or too sensible.


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