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Article: Trados—Is It a Must?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 12:46
Jun 26, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Trados—Is It a Must?".

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:46
Member (2011)
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comments on article: Trados-is it a must? Jul 17, 2005 Staff wrote:

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Trados—Is It a Must?".

I've read through this article which provides a good description of the compatibility between Wordfast and TRADOS.

I do not agree with the following statement in the article:
"The main conclusion—you can advertise yourself as a Trados user even if actually you use Wordfast. Wordfast is completely compatible with Trados files (bilingual and TMs). No client sees a difference. The difference is significant only to your wallet—Trados is licensed for about USD 700, and Wordfast for free."

Claiming oneself as an experienced user of a given software product without knowing that product could present some problems down the road. However, advertizing compliance/conformity with a given software product, without specifically using it, by using other means to emulate or simulate it, is another story. This last point is an area where professional translators could be creative in following the advice statement in this article.


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
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Not quite exact... Jul 29, 2005 Staff wrote:

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Trados—Is It a Must?".

Much as I like WordFast, I have to say that this statement does not exactly represent the reality (living ethics aside):

"The main conclusion—you can advertise yourself as a Trados user even if actually you use Wordfast. Wordfast is completely compatible with Trados files (bilingual and TMs). No client sees a difference. The difference is significant only to your wallet—Trados is licensed for about USD 700, and Wordfast for free."

WordFast is not "completely compatible with Trados files":

a) You cannot translate TradosTag files (TTX) with WordFast. You need Trados for that.

B) WordFast translation memories do not store internal formatting while Trados translation memories do so. Trying to use a translation memory converted from WordFast in Trados will require quite some format reapplying.


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German Services
Local time: 14:46
English to German
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Free? Aug 7, 2005

I don't want to get into the whole "free as in beer/liberty" thing but as fas as I know, Wordfast is not free:

"Trial mode: (there is no specific trial version to download) Wordfast works for free (without license) with translation memories up to 110 Kbytes, and/or 500 TU (translation units). In other words, Wordfast can be used for short to medium jobs, for free, with all features activated (compare to Trados' demo mode limited to short TMs of 100 TUs). Buying a license removes this limitation and allows you to use Wordfast on jobs of any size." ( from )

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Vico Terzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:46
English to Italian
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Ethics aspects aside Jan 26, 2006

I agree with Andrei's article except where he recommends lying to clients. This is not good practice, even when you get away with it. Why? Well, even the most innocent lie can badly backfire when discovered. And to live honestly, quite aside from being a much safer method of going about things, gives a pleasure hardly obtainable otherwise.

Ethical considerations aside, I concur on the fact that Trados is highly overpriced for what it has to offer. While Wordfast is not free, it can be tested for free up to 500 TUs (Trados does not) and it is much, much cheaper in its full version (one licence currently costs 120 euros). All this quite aside from being very much user-friendly.

It is incredible how in all the forums, discussions etc. that I have seen, Wordfast comes out the winner as to reliability, user-friendliness etc. and how much translators in general consider it the best tool. This is is strikingly contrasting with the super-push we see on Trados, even in ProZ. Marketing is definitely a reason why this program is considered "an industry standard" while it hardly is. I bet that if promotion on it were to cease, it would disappear from the scene in less than a couple of years.

Finally, the statement that "Trados is able to keep the formatting of the target segment as opposed to Wordfast", is not fully true: Wordfast does keep the formatting and only in some rare and specific instances it does not. Yet, it is such a minor point compared to (for example) real-time terminology check function (a groundbreaking breakthrough by Wordfast), ease of use, lightness etc., that is definitely (in my opinion) not a selling point at all for Trados.

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IanDhu  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:46
Member (2005)
French to English
Trados v. Wordfast: my own, necessarily partial experience Mar 1, 2006

I greatly enjoyed reading Andrei Gerasimov's article: it's very stimulating. However, regarding the effect on business of possessing and advertising possession of Trados, my own experience speaks differently from his.

For quite some time, I had been finding that I was not getting long enough jobs to make a decent return on my efforts. A leading client openly stated that it would be advantageous for me to invest in Trados, and pointed to a discount offer from that publisher. It wasn't cheap, mind you, but I went ahead and invested in the Freelance software.

Overnight, large jobs came in from that client, and have continued to do so, while other clients have started to interest themselves in my services. It may well be that our patterns of customers differ, and that running Trados has a lesser impact in Andrei's case.

I have no experience of Wordfast, however, so I have no yardstick with which to measure the relative merits of the two packages. Apart from the main function of Trados, though, one function does speed up my work considerably: the "pull-down" terminology feature in the MuliTerm software bundled and interfacing with the translation software, and “leveraging” the frequently repetitive vocabulary.

I think the problem Andrei is facing is that manifestly, Trados was written for powerful machines running powerful operating systems; I used to work with a Pentium II machine running Windows 98 SE, and found Trados to be very sticky and slow with anything complex - particularly when working with the TagEditor included.

Reading between the lines, Wordfast appears to accommodate itself with slower, older, less powerful systems, running software such as the Office 97 software Andrei mentions and, I presume, Windows 98 SE, which is the minimum operating system for running Trados 6.5.

I still run, for file management, the old Pentium II on which I started using Trados. However, I have lately migrated to a new-generation Pentium machine generously-endowed with RAM and HD space, running Windows XP, and although the system doesn't always run smoothly, I can work far faster and more efficiently: I really don't think Trados 6.5 was written for anything much below Windows XP - a brief flirt with Windows Millennium Edition cured me of any illusions about that operating system's suitability for wordcrunching! Besides some significant flaws, it's basically marketed to cater for "fun" machines in family use, not the relatively heavyweight work we have to do, often involving indigestible gobbets of graphics.

I'm not vaunting the merits of Trados, since I do find it has a number of weaknesses: it does take quite a bit of tinkering to get it to do what one wants. But I think Andrei will find that upgrading to a more powerful configuration may make using Trados worthwhile.

Furthermore, I endorse what the other contributors have said about clients being entitled to the service they expect: if it's Trados they want, they are supposed to get work that uses it. And this will also avoid any unforeseen snags of compatibility.

A final word to Andrei, a brother in this hardworking community of ours: please, Sir, feel free to e-mail me or send an instant message (look up my ProZ profile), should you need any help tinkering with Trados as aforesaid! I'd be glad to hear from you.

Kind regards,
Adam Warren.

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Galina F
United States
Local time: 15:46
English to Russian
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Thank you Mar 10, 2006

I really liked Andrei's article because it is about the matter I am thinking right now - a translator's software. Being new in Proz and in this new field of my activity - translating through internet... it was helpful. Just for sharing - here, where I live, in the Far East of Russia, they use only book dictionaries even in bureau of translation (as far as I know) and I feel like I am standing near the open door - looking back and forward:)
Best wishes to you all.

[Edited at 2006-03-12 22:24]

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VIVA VOCE Ltd.  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:46
English to Croatian
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I hope it is not a must Mar 9, 2007

I was glad to read Andrei's article. The reason is simple. I've given each CAT tool "a fair chance" - Deja Vu, SDLX and Trados to see how helpful it would be. I'm not saying this as a general truth, but for me all three were a bundle of complications. Hence, I disliked them, particularly Trados which really requires a lot of fuss-around procedures.

My definite choice of a CAT tool if I need to use one is Wordfast. Simple, technically undemanding...just what I need. And yet, so helpful.

Personally, I wouldn't buy TRADOS. However, if my employee purchased it, I would fumble with its numerous items...
and perhaps, only perhaps would I learn what its advantages are...

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