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What exactly are the advantages of Transit?
Thread poster: Claudia Digel

Claudia Digel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
English to German
+ ...
Mar 21, 2007

Hi all,

In the past few weeks I have been working on a few projects that required the use of Transit.

While I didn't find it too difficult to use the software as such, I found it rather awkward and translator-unfriendly. I think the screen layout is a mess, working with fuzzy matches is really a nuisance and I was missing quite a few helpful functions that other CAT tools have (e.g. concordance search).

That's why I have been wondering whether there are any advantages to this tool that make it worthwile using it. Does it handle special file types better than other CAT tools, does it have any special functions that other tools don't have or is there anything else that I'm not aware of?

I must admit that so far I have only worked with the Satellite version which, of course, is limited in it's functionality. But the general 'disadvantages' that I have mentioned above surely are the same in the full version, aren't they?

I'm looking forward to comments from more experienced Transit users.

Thanks and regards,
Claudia


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Wouter van Kampen
Thailand
Local time: 05:01
Danish to Dutch
+ ...
I concur Mar 21, 2007

I have experienced exactly the same nuisances. Yet, a not to be ignored number of outsourcers prefers this CAT-tool.

One advantage is that the files remain extremely small and that files that go together stay together since you work on projects.
Maybe Transit eases handling workflows.


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
German to Polish
+ ...
Not known to me Mar 21, 2007

I really hate this CAT and try to avoid using it.
With PlusToyz you can prepare the files for translation in Trados.

Best regards

Andrzej


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:01
hmmm... Mar 21, 2007

I used to work for them in-house a few years ago and I never got the hang of it, so don't worry (bearing in mind that I'm normally very good with computers).
Personally, I wouldn't bother getting it unless you're definitely going to get a huge project with a steady workflow.

Orla, the Trados fan.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
some advantages Mar 21, 2007

Dear Claudia,

the Satellite version is only a demo version with a fairly restricted functionality. The full version has all the features typical of a good CAT tool - including concordance, editing segmentation, etc.

If you are having problems with the screen layout, try one of the other views (the full version has 5 different ones, I'm not sure if Satellite does).

A few advantages

1) The main advantage is being able to set a translation status to each segment. In the full version (I use Professional) I can select 5 different levels depending on the level of translation (I use untranslated/translated/translation checked/grammar+spelling+readability checked/final. Each level can be filtered separately and I can quickly find segments that need more work on them.

2) It is much faster to get from segment to segment than e.g. Trados

3) You can open all the project files simultaneously - a major advantage, especially for websites

4) You can choose reference materials manually - selecting particular projects or only files, independently of one another (e.g. quality management files from 16 different customers)

5) Termstar - beats Multiterm any day. Much quicker and more flexible. Adding terms on the fly is standard. It has its own window and all terms in a sentence are displayed simultaneously.

6) One editor for all types of files.

Unfortunately, Transit has a bad name on Proz, it has been knocked by people who have only used the Satellite version and who have been comparing it to full versions of other software - which is like comparing apples and oranges. Its editor seems to put many people off, but once it has been configured properly (e.g. different colours for different segment statuses, one line per segment), it is excellent.

It would be interesting to have a CAT fight at one of the conferences - same text, same language pair, different CATs. I think a lot of people would be very pleasantly surprised.

There is an excellet CBT on the Transit website, well worth going through - unless you've already found it.

Hope this of interest,
cheers,
Jill



[Edited at 2007-03-22 08:06]


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:01
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I really love it! Mar 21, 2007

I've only used the free version, Satellite, and I really love it. I consider it better than Trados. It has never crashed! The terminology management is much better than Multiterm (why? Because it gives you all the terminology needed in a segment in one single window, and when you close a segment it warns you if you have not used a proposed term).
Why I haven't bought it yet? Because its too expensive for me... but, when I think that every year I have to spend lot of money to update to the newest version of Trados (allways full of bugs until its second release), i say to myself: I'm not being very smart!

I also love that I don't have to "update" the translation memory when I do changes in my translation.

I fully agree with Gilliam! And I promise you that my next CAT tool will be Star Transit!

Have a nice day

Clarisa Moraña


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Luis M. Cuerdo Galarraga  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with Gillian Scheibelein Mar 21, 2007

I just wanted to add a bullet point to Gillians precise defense:

-It does NOT work with Word

While working with Trados most of the problems I get are due to this point. Transit is completely Standalone and is usually problem free.


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Valentina_D  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
a few advantages Mar 21, 2007

Hi,

I'm pleased to see that finally somebody has replied to back Transit and I can only agree with all the previous posters!

I've done hundreds of projects with Transit and lots and lots of other projects with Trados and this is what I like about Transit (I only own the Satellite version, but I'm seriously thinking of buying it this year as it has already repaid itself throughout the years I've been using it):

1. It never (and I mean it) crashes. Regardless of the format type (regular .doc documents or more complex DTP formats or xml), I've never had a single problem, even with huge projects (hundred thousands words).

2. I like the Editor. I can concentrate on the text and forget the formatting. No need to insert, cut, copy, displace tags. They are just there, in the right place and I only need to translate the words.
I like the fact that source and target are clearly separated (two different windows) and my text is not cluttered with words and other translation-irrelevant characters. I don't need to copy the source, if there are numbers or other things to be copied, as I only need to overwrite the words that need translating.

2. I can forget about Word and all the headache it gives when working with Trados on Word documents (I translate technical manuals).

3. I can check the status of my project anytime with a click of a button (no need to run an analysis every time).

4. Each segment is numbered, and I find this very useful when checking/editing my project.

5. No need to open and close each segment to write/correct. This saves you a lot of time. You can use search/replace without having the problem of updating the TM.

6. Transit files are easy to receive and send as they aren't big, and this saves you a lot of troubles at the time of receiving/sending files from/to your customers.

Finally: I agree with the other collegues, it's not possible to compare Trados with the Satellite version, although it still gives you the opportunity to work on projects (and earn from them) at zero cost.

Just my two cents.

Valentina


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 00:01
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Not bad at all Mar 22, 2007

I had sentiments for years against using Transit and lost some job opportunities accordingly. When I did my first project with satellite I noticed that the software is very well thought out, unlike Trados.
I have no problem with Trados, and not much with Wordfast. And I like SDLX a lot. But I believe those with more experience with Transit, that it's the best.

What many people don't know is that there are tryout version of the full Transit software available. Just contact your local dealer, and they will mail you a CD.
My full version of Star Transit is lying already a year on my desk, I haven't got around installing it, because I'm waiting for the big project where I can use it.
I have the impression though that agencies use Transit all the time less. Seems that Trados is winnig the fight, like the inferior VCR had won the much better Sony Beta in the 1980s. Hope I'm wrong about this!

REgards
Heinrich


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Wojciech Froelich  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:01
English to Polish
Speed Mar 22, 2007

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:

It would be interesting to have a CAT fight at one of the conferences - same text, same language pair, different CATs. I think a lot of people would be very pleasantly surprised.


Transit will kill all other CATs with speed of preprocessing/pretranslating files. It's incredibly fast.

The other thing is the quality of export/import addons for Quark and InDesign. These plugins are much better than their competitors.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Wow Heinrich! Mar 22, 2007

Hi Heinrich,

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

I had sentiments for years against using Transit and lost some job opportunities accordingly. When I did my first project with satellite I noticed that the software is very well thought out, unlike Trados.
I have no problem with Trados, and not much with Wordfast. And I like SDLX a lot. But I believe those with more experience with Transit, that it's the best.

I have the impression though that agencies use Transit all the time less. Seems that Trados is winnig the fight, like the inferior VCR had won the much better Sony Beta in the 1980s. Hope I'm wrong about this!

REgards
Heinrich


I'm glad you've seen the light! And I think you are right about Trados becoming more prevalent. They have an aggressive advertising campaign, especially on Proz. I have never seen any adverts for Transit - mind you Trados has to keep advertising to get everyone to keep on buying new upgrades at almost yearly intervals. The Transit "service packs" - with quite a few upgraded features - are free.

Cheers,
Jill


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
screenshot? Mar 22, 2007

Hi Claudia,

If you are interested, I can e-mail you a screenshot of a Transit project that shows the layout and a lot of the settings that I use.

Regards,

Jill


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Claudia Digel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still not convinced Mar 22, 2007

Thank you all for your interesting comments so far.

Thanks especially to Gillian, Clarisa an Valentina for mentioning all the advantages. I must admit though, that I'm still not convinced. Actually, my favourite CAT tool - SDLX - has most of them too, and some more which I'm desperately missing in Transit.

One example: I worked on a project the other day, where the dictionary didn't include any data for the target language and there was no termbase or whatsoever. In this case it would have been absoultely essential to be able to do a concordance search for terminology in the TM. But since this seems to be impossible in Transit, the project was a real nightmare. - Of course, you could say that the project hadn't been prepared properly in the first place but then that was definitely beyound my control.

Transit will kill all other CATs with speed of preprocessing/pretranslating files. It's incredibly fast.


Strange that you would all mention that Transit is by far quicker than other tools. Of course, I cannot say anything about file preparation, but when it comes to starting Transit, receiving projects and opening language pairs, I found it to be extremely slow.

I do agree that the way files are compressed and can be sent and received is a big advantage.

Unfortunately, Transit has a bad name on Proz, it has been knocked by people who have only used the Satellite version and who have been comparing it to full versions of other software - which is like comparing apples and oranges.


I'm aware of this, which is why I explicitly mentioned in my first post that I have only used the Satellite version so far. Also, I deliberately did not complain about a few 'shortcomings' of the Satellite version, which wouldn't be an issue in the full version. I also deliberatly did not mention the name of any other CAT tool because I didn't want this thread to turn into one of those where everyone quarrels about which CAT tool is the best. I was (and am) really keen to find out about the advantages of Transit.

Regards,
Claudia


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Claudia Digel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:01
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Screenshot? - Yes, please! Mar 22, 2007

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:
If you are interested, I can e-mail you a screenshot of a Transit project that shows the layout and a lot of the settings that I use.


Hi Gillian,

This sounds really interesting. If you could send the screenshot to cdigel at solocal.de that would be great.

Thanks and regards,
Claudia


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Go CAT hopping! Mar 22, 2007

Claudia Digel wrote:

I must admit though, that I'm still not convinced.


I'd suggest you use one of the opportunities to convert the project and process it in your own CAT tool. I process Transit projects in Deja Vu X and it works like a charm. I do use Satellite PE for a final check though, which is an added value - and it is free after all. I am sure there is a way to get it into SDLX and back from there.


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