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Trados 6.5: To Buy or not to Buy?
Thread poster: Maria Lorenzo

Maria Lorenzo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 4, 2003

Hi everybody,

This topic has probably been discussed many times before but my situation might be a bit different...

I just finished a translation course with a translation agency (WLS)in Dublin, but to be honest, I am not very happy with it so I have enrolled in one with the UNED (Long Distance University in Spain). This course has just started, so I am still, "technically", a student, but after finishing the first course, I would like to start doing some translation work and I have heard about lots of translation tools and Trados seems to be everybody's favorite.

My question is (after all that... ;o) )

Is it worth it for me to invest €605 in Trados 6.5 at this point in my career or can I get by and work professionally without it?

Any suggestions, comments would be of great help!

Thanks a million!
Maria


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
German to English
+ ...
Save money and grief Dec 4, 2003

Trados has its benefits in some areas - almost to the extent of "overkill". But I believe it can also help you to perform "fatal actions" with alarming facility.

SDLX is cheaper, with a cool, intuitive UI and I know quite a few colleagues who are delighted that now they never need work in Trados, since you can import Trados files into SDLX.

And the user service is fantastic...


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
German to Polish
+ ...
Start with Wordfast Dec 4, 2003

You can still download for free an older version:
http://www.wordfast.org/site/version.html

This should be enough for the beginning, without any risk for you. Read about Trados and Wordfast compatibility, go to CAT Fight section. When you see your business growing, you may afford any other CAT tool.

Good luck!
Andrzej


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Maria Lorenzo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wordfast - SDLX Dec 4, 2003

Hi,

Thanks for your suggestions!
I actually downloaded Wordfast the other day and I am going to start learning how to use it.

About SDLX, I am actually working for SDL at the moment, not for their translation department(unfortunately) but for their software localisation (QA Test Engineer)one so I am going to ask them and see if they can give me a good deal !! ;o)

Cheers,
Maria


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
SDLX is much more comfortable Dec 4, 2003

Andrzej Lejman wrote:

http://www.wordfast.org/site/version.html

This should be enough for the beginning, without any risk for you. .

Good luck!
Andrzej


I agree with Adrzej. For the beginning, Wordfasrt should do. And, ahould you decide to buy a more advanced tool, I would still vote for SDLX. It is more comfortable to handle. As you may learn from the forums on proz, a lot of people have been experiencing compatibility and other technical problems with TRADOS. I have worked with SDLX first. Trados seems stone age to me after this.

Avoid headache.

Cheers
Steffen


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Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 14:57
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Trados will give you more jobs Dec 4, 2003

I am quite sure that Trados, being the market leader for CAT will give you one advantage: More jobs. Agencies will think that since you own a expensive license for Trados, you are a professional full time translator-and that is often true.

Which tool you buy to actually use for most of your translation work is another issue. My experience is that Trados offers a very stabile programme for easy tasks, and the TagEditor is very good for HTML files or when you receive a dtp file from a customer together with a tagged file.

For most other jobs Wordfast (ver 4) is the best due to its advanced glossary function, term rec, and many other flexible options.

If I could afford it, and had the time I most likely would invest time and money learing a third CAT-tool to see if that could help me even more.

Good luck, and remember: Most likely you would be able to get hold of a used Trados for a reduced price, but remember to ask for the dongle (USB or Paralell). I would have bought ver. 6 or higher.


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
So will SDLX Dec 4, 2003

As far as I have been informed, TRADOS is market leader only due to that it's sponsored by Microsoft. Does this mean it's the best? Not necessarily, as we know from other Microsoft-related products.

But you can be be sure it will be the most expensive.

Ivan Eikås Skjøstad wrote:

I am quite sure that Trados, being the market leader for CAT will give you one advantage: More jobs.


[Edited at 2003-12-04 13:27]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
German to English
+ ...
Wrong question Dec 4, 2003

Is it worth it for me to invest €605 in Trados 6.5 at this point in my career or can I get by and work professionally without it?


This is completely the wrong question. Trados is simply a tool; using it won't turn you into a professional translator (as many people claim) or prevent you from becoming one (as many other people claim).

The question you should be asking is whether you have sufficient experience yet to be translating on your own account. If the answer is "yes", then you should also be able to evaluate for yourself what tools enable you to work to a higher standard, more efficiently, or both.

On the subject of money: were you to buy Trados, you ought to be able to use it for two years without having to upgrade. €605/24 months = 24 €/month, or if you prefer slightly more than €1 per working day. Be honest: is that an issue? If you think it is, perhaps you should be doing something else.

Will Trados get you more jobs? Possibly, because there's a lot of work out there for Trados operators, and obviously you can't be a Trados operator without Trados. One reason Trados operators are in such demand is that they are regarded in some quarters as being cheaper than translators. Now, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't buy Trados. By all means buy it if, as I say, you think it makes you work more effectively or more efficiently. But if you want to get anywhere as a translator, avoid falling into the trap of making the "Trados factor" a major part of your business plan.

Marc


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Geneviève von Levetzow  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
More jobs... Dec 4, 2003

Maria,

You have more jobs if you are a good translator. It is the point.

I have worked with Wordfast, Metatexis, Trados and SDLX now. I would still vote for SDLX too. "And the user service is fantastic..."

Geneviève


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 14:57
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Marc is right Dec 4, 2003

Hello,

i think you should first look for an Inhouse translation job in an agency with using any translation memory system. This will give you the experience you need for really professional working (of course there are other ways to learn professional work and not all agency can teach you in this point).

After this, you can answer your question by yourself.

Hans


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:27
English to Tamil
+ ...
And I don't have any CAT, much less Trados Dec 4, 2003

I may be old fashioned, but I am able to get along without CAT tools. Wherever there are repetitions, 100% matches or fuzzy matches etc, the good old copy and paste technique does the trick for me. And no question of reducing the rates for the above matches, which seems to the curse of those with Trados.
And to tell you the truth, I was getting along fine even without computers and was delivering handwritten translations with the picures cut and pasted duly translated at the appropriate places. This state of affairs lasted for 24 years till February 2002. And I consider myself a very successful translator with a good practice in my locality.
The moral of the story: Nothing can replace the good old translator. If you go get Trados, it might improve your speed but it you will be expected to cut rates. Choice is yours.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
50/50, Narasimhan Dec 4, 2003

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

The moral of the story: Nothing can replace the good old translator.


Of course not, fully agree.

Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

If you go get Trados, it might improve your speed but it you will be expected to cut rates. Choice is yours.


This may differ from market to market, and for different kinds of documents, of course. But, as to my experience, a translator will always and in first order be expected to cut rates. Clients are this way.

Do you think you won't be asked to do a cheaper job if you tell your client: "You know, I don't have a CAT tool, therefore, the job will take six days instead of the requested three. And, of course, it will, thus, be more expensive. You should be the happiest guy in the world to assign the job to me, aren't you?". Of course, in 90% of the cases, he will (simply turn away and look for someone who has the cheaper and faster job for him).

You've probably got to understand that the problem is not for the client to find translators, but for the translators to find jobs and clients. Congratulations if your position is a different one. But your 150% reluctance towards CAT tools seems somewhat obsolete and just stubborn to me. A bit like German Chancellor Hindenburg who is quoted to have said: "After I had finished school, I've never read anything again".

Apart from this, these tools I have found extremely useful when working on a lot of numbers and tables.

I did the translation of an annual report these days: 30 pages of text vs. 150 pages of tables. What do you think took me longer, the 30 or the 150?

Besides, you could have brought me to the madhouse after I would have finished all these numbers by hand, basicly, just changing the commas and dots to dots and commas (ENG>>GER).

Plus, I am sure, there would have been a hell of a lot of mistakes still, and I would have needed stronger glasses afterwards.

At least at this job, my productivity increased by three times, and this job alone has greatly rewarded the purchase of SDLX.

[Edited at 2003-12-04 19:02]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 08:57
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Tables - very true Dec 4, 2003

Steffen Pollex wrote:


Apart from this, these tools I have found extremely useful when working on a lot of numbers and tables.

...
Plus, I am sure, there would have been a hell of a lot of mistakes still, and I would have needed stronger glasses afterwards.

At least at this job, my productivity increased by three times, and this job alone has greatly rewarded the purchase of SDLX.



In my case it's Trados, not SDLX, but for tables and tagged text, it's saved my sanity as well, many a time. Not to mention my stomach, from not needing quite so many headache tablets !
N.


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Maria Lorenzo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
THANKS!!! Dec 5, 2003

Hi,

I just wanted to say THANKS to everybody that replied and I that I will be taking a bit of advice from everyone of you.

I think I will look into getting TRADOS, but first I will work for a translation agency or in-house until I get the necessary experience to work on my own.

Thanks again.
Cheers,
Maria


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Never had use for it (Trados 5.5) Dec 5, 2003

Almost two years ago a client phoned me and offered a 3-page translation job. When he asked if I have Trados, I did not understand, because I had never heard of it. I said no, and the person hung up. Later I bought Trados, installed it and put in my profiles and on my webpage, that I am using trados.
So far nobody ever offered me a job for Trados or any other tm-tool. I use Wordfast most of the time.
Definitely I will not update Trados, which would me set back another 250 euros, more than my WF-licence costs.


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