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Why Trados seems "cheaper" than SDLX
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:45
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Dec 31, 2007

I believe one reason for the success of Trados is the lower word-count compared to SDLX. If a customer supplies a file for translation, with SDLX I regularly obtain a wordcount 20 percent higher than with Wordfast or Trados WB. I dont know about the professional version of SDLX, but the freelance version has the Analyse-module deactivated, so I have to create a project and use the statistics function in Edit.
One exemple: a 26 Mb Word-file (including TOC, textboxes and lots of images) counts 5865 words in Trados or Wordfast, showing 10 percent repetitions. In SDLX Edit I get 7959 words (!!).
When I look at the file I noticed SDLX even translates the TOC. The itd-file has 80 Mb, the ttx-file only 2, creating the itd-file took an hour, creating the ttx-file only half a minute.

So if a translator or an agency makes an estimate for the job using Trados or Wordfast, she will bid significantly lower using Trados than another translator or agency using SDLX. And the Trados-user will get the job.

What do you think?

Regards
Heinrich


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 19:45
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I'll concentrate on SDLX jobs Dec 31, 2007

One example: a 26 Mb Word-file (including TOC, textboxes and lots of images) counts 5865 words in Trados or Wordfast, showing 10 percent repetitions. In SDLX Edit I get 7959 words (!!)
.....
What do you think?


If what you say is correct, freelancers doing SDLX jobs would have 20% bonus vs TRADOS users, given the same price per word. So I'll concentrate - as said above - on SDLX quotes (g). But to be honest I do not see too many on my radar.

Regards


Vito


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:45
English to French
+ ...
If you don't see them on the radar, it's because you are the one who should put them there Dec 31, 2007

This is exactly what bothers me about CAT tools. I pay to buy them, I pay to learn to use them, I maintain them, etc., etc. Using Trados is a service I offer to my clients, and it is my choice whether I want to use it, or if I use a CAT tool, it is my choice which one I use. It's the same as agreeing on payment terms and deadlines. I don't have to accept anything that I don't agree with.

So, CAT tools that appear on radars only appear there because translators have put them there. In fact, an outsourcer should look for translators on their radars and not the opposite. If all translators decided tomorrow morning to only use SDLX, I guess that agencies would have to pick up all these little SDLX icons on their radars - and manage with these.

All the best!


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:45
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
... Dec 31, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:


When I look at the file I noticed SDLX even translates the TOC. The itd-file has 80 Mb, the ttx-file only 2, creating the itd-file took an hour, creating the ttx-file only half a minute.

What do you think?



That you'll have a heck of a time of convincing your technically better educated clients to accept your SDLX word count when it's obviously not only much higher than a Trados word count but also than the Word word count, which usually corresponds pretty much to the Trados word count. Since the TOC is generated automatically, Word will not count it either. Considering the long SDLX conversion time of data that simply doesn't need to be processed, I'm tempted to call this a weakness in the program, not an advantage for the translator. Knowing the way Word creates the TOC from the main text information, it also makes me wonder whether extracting the TOC text and translating it might not create some problems down the line...
Translating the TOC text twice -- even with a tm -- is in any case redundant, even if you get paid for it. And I hate doing redundant work!

Could you figure out what else causes the divergence in word count?

In general, I look at my bottom line and that the price is fair to both agency/client and myself. I would have a bad conscience charging for "artificially inflated" word counts.

I personaly don't think that clients spend the time to find the tool that provides the best word count for them; they use Trados (or whatever other CAT tool) because that's what they've always been using or -- which I find more likely (at least regarding the clients I work with) -- they find it the best tool for their needs and that's what their entire work flow has been tailored to. That also means that if you want to be part of that work flow, you have to use a tool (not necessarily Trados) that integrates into their work flow. And they will, of course, use their tool to count the words...


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:45
English to French
+ ...
Faulty word count Jan 1, 2008

There are several reasons why a wordcount cannot be trusted. In the case of Word, it is not to be trusted at all, since Word counts the spaces between the words and not the actual words. This can lead to all kinds of word count errors which are not at all considered as such. What I don't like about most word counting methods is that numbers are usually not counted, whereas we actually do translate them pretty often. Hmmmm... How many centimeters is an inch again?

A weird thing that happened once is when I wanted to compare Word's word count with Open Office's word count on the same document. I could not believe my eyes: Open Office gave me a result that was about 30% higher! Imagine this kind of gap with a document of 10K words - makes a big difference in your pocket.

I sure would like to know how Trados counts words, and also how SDLX does the same. Maybe we should get in touch with SDL, to put the wrong things right - or the right things wrong, whichever it is... In any case, we're on to something here. I have now found another excellent reason why agencies prefer Trados.

On a side note, I translated a document not long ago that contained many part numbers in tables. The part numbers contained both numbers and letters, and were therefore considered as words, whereas they were not translatable. I made good money considering the effort - to those who may say it's unethical, there wasn't a workaround either and the client knew this also. It would have been more costly to exclude the part numbers of the translation than to count them without translating them. See? There are situations where faulty word count can be a good thing.

May word counting serve you all in this new year (as if)!


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:45
English to German
Differences in word count Jan 3, 2008

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
One exemple: a 26 Mb Word-file (including TOC, textboxes and lots of images) counts 5865 words in Trados or Wordfast, showing 10 percent repetitions. In SDLX Edit I get 7959 words (!!).


Well, since SDL Edit is NOT an Analyze tool, the Statistics option can't possibly take any repetitions or auto-propagated fuzzies into consideration. It simply looks at the file in its current state and reports the results. Pretty much like Word does when you choose "Tools>Count words". Is that a surprise? No.
If you want to analyze a source file for quoting, then you need to use the Analyze module.

Regards,
Stefan


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:45
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, 20 percent more than Word Jan 3, 2008

Stefan Keller wrote:

Well, since SDL Edit is NOT an Analyze tool, the Statistics option can't possibly take any repetitions or auto-propagated fuzzies into consideration. It simply looks at the file in its current state and reports the results. Pretty much like Word does when you choose "Tools>Count words". Is that a surprise? No.
If you want to analyze a source file for quoting, then you need to use the Analyze module.

Regards,
Stefan


It had nothing to do with repetitions, Trados, Wordfast and Word count only 5800 words total, as I stated.

Regards
Heinrich

[Bearbeitet am 2008-01-03 10:46]


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:45
English to German
You didn't, sorry Jan 3, 2008

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
It had nothing to do with repetitions, Trados, Wordfast and Word count only 5800 words total, as I stated.


Ok, then I misunderstood. You said
"...counts 5865 words in Trados or Wordfast, showing 10 percent repetitions."
No mentioning of "Word" or "total", so I took your figures as "5865 + 10 percent reps". Couldn't see that these were included, obviously.


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