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What do Trados/WordFast actually do?
Thread poster: mopc
mopc  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 5, 2007

Hi, I am experienced in translating but I have just started using Trados and Wordfast. I have a few questions:


1 - What exactly do they do? What is the advantange? Because so far, after a few trials, all I have seen is how they 'box in' text.
2 - How do they make translation faster?
3 - Do they 'automatize' repetitive translation tasks such as repeated words? How?
4 - Why do some clients require Trados? What's the big deal for them?

Well.... that's it for now.... thank you for your attention!


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:00
Italian to English
Quite a lot, actually. Jan 5, 2007

mopc wrote:

Hi, I am experienced in translating but I have just started using Trados and Wordfast. I have a few questions:


1 - What exactly do they do? What is the advantange? Because so far, after a few trials, all I have seen is how they 'box in' text.



That's right. They divide the text into segments (you can adjust the segmenting rules). The translated segments are stored in a user-defined database called a translation memory (TM).

.

2 - How do they make translation faster?



If segments are repeated, they will automatically present the earlier translation. If the segment is a near match (called a "fuzzy" match - again a value you can set) to a previous one, they will present that in a different colour so you only have to tidy up the text instead of retyping everything.

Be warned, though. Unless you have very repetitive texts, they will not do all that much for your speed but they can improve your accuracy and consistency considerably.

All CAT tools take a bit of learning, and building up TMs also takes time, so you won't get much benefit out of them for a while. Once you're up and running, though, you'll probably find them very useful.



3 - Do they 'automatize' repetitive translation tasks such as repeated words? How?



Yes, by building up TMs and comparing new segments against previous translations. They will also suggest individual vocabulary items occurring in a segment if you use the terminology management functions.

Another useful feature is the concordance, which will look up past translations of a word or phrase in the TM. This is a boon for accuracy and consistency, as well as a way of mining your past work for other options if you need variation when translating repeated phrases in non-technical texts.



4 - Why do some clients require Trados? What's the big deal for them?



These customers - typically agencies or large companies - can build up large, often multilingual, TMs and leverage them for future work. TMs also help them maintain consistency when several translators are working on the same project. This is why many clients want "uncleaned" files, which can be incorporated directly into a TM.

HTH

Giles
PS
If you translate a lot of very repetitive texts, you might want to look at Deja Vu X (DVX). It's rather different in approach from Trados and Wordfast but it has an excellent AutoAssemble function.


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mopc  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
excellent explanation Jan 5, 2007

Thank you for clarifying things! Very helpful! I'm doing my second wordfast translation and I have just seen a "repeat" and a "fuzzy repeat".

Why doesn't it indicate the repeat of individual words? Is there a auto-suggestion tool like in Excel, where if you type 'tec' it suggests 'technical' then you just click enter and don't have to type the whole shabang?

Furthermore, can a client notice the difference between a job done in Wordfast and one done in Trados? I'm working with a Trados-nazi and I'm doing it in Wordfast. Will they notice? I read they won't...

well thanks for your time and attention!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
For words rather than sentences Jan 5, 2007

Most CAT programs include a glossary/terminology management tool. This lets you create databases of specialized terminology, broken out by subject and/or client.

For instance, in Trados, I load a client's glossary into MultiTerm. Then I link the main Trados program (Translators Workbench) to a specific Multiterm termbase. As I translate, Trados prompts me with the client's preferred terminology as each term occurs in the source text.

[Edited at 2007-01-05 20:00]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
a nice first real swim ... Jan 5, 2007

would be to take a sizable chunk of your past translations (i.e. pairs of files in the relevant language combination) and build yourself a translation memory out of them.

Sounds simpe (sigh - you will need to learn yet another tool, for instance WinAlign in the case of TRADOS or the Aligh function in PlusTools/Wordfast). And then of course the mainstream tools to create the memory out of aligned file pairs.

Then, I guess it would (should) start to look a little more than just boxing in the text. Because, at this point, you have your past sweat available "in a machine-readable form".

Regards

smo


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:00
Italian to English
What CATs can do for you... Jan 5, 2007

mopc wrote:

Why doesn't it indicate the repeat of individual words? Is there a auto-suggestion tool like in Excel, where if you type 'tec' it suggests 'technical' then you just click enter and don't have to type the whole shabang?



As Steven says, if you use the terminology management tool of your CAT, it will propose individual terms that you specify. In Trados and Wordfast, inserting them into the translation is done very easily via a keyboard shortcut.



Furthermore, can a client notice the difference between a job done in Wordfast and one done in Trados? I'm working with a Trados-nazi and I'm doing it in Wordfast. Will they notice? I read they won't...



Don't worry, they won't notice. The segmentation rules may be different but these are user-defined anyway in both programs. If your customer has special requirements, they will have been explained in the job description.



well thanks for your time and attention!



My pleasure.

I hope you enjoy exploring what CAT tools can (and can't) do to help you improve your earning power.

Cari saluti dall'Italia,

Giles


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Portuguese to English
and not only that... Jan 5, 2007

In addition to what others have said, as you've seen, Trados presents you with a dedicated box into which to type your translation. No more overtyping, no more deleting as you go, or (worse) working in two windows.

And when it comes to revising, you click through the segments in sequence and compare the source and target sentences together. What do you do at the moment? - compare them in two windows, or print out the original and keep switching your eyes between the printed page and the screen?

I calculate that these two features alone increase my productivity by at least 25%.

The lack of an auto-complete function like in Excel is not a problem. Just highlight the term you want and click on the snowflake-like Concordance button, and it will show you the term in its context.

The more you use Trados - or any other CAT tool - and add to your TMs (translation memories) the more it will help you. As you become more experienced, you'll want to give thought to how you arrange your TMs - do you have separate TMs for different subjects (e.g. marketing, legal, accounts) or for different companies? And you can mix them - if you have a TM for Company X which is mostly technical and they suddenly send you a set of accounts, you can export the segments from your general accounts TM as a *.txt file and import it into your Company X TM.

I encourage you to give it a go for at least a month - treat it like learning to ride a bike - get on and pedal. You won't regret it.


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mopc  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
excelent comments! Jan 5, 2007

Thanks everyone!

One doubt.... in the text I am translating, there is an index, one of those Word indexes. Wordfast jumped that but didn't update the index as I translated the headers on the body. Do I have to translate the index manually?


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Irene Elmerot  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:00
Member (2005)
Dutch to Swedish
+ ...
Input to get output Jan 5, 2007

Welcome to the world of CAT tools
The thing is that you have to do some input yourself before you get any output. In Wordfast, for example, you can add words to a glossary, and when they come back, you can put them into your translated text by just a few key combinations.
Since Wordfast isn't an application of its own, it probably can't get the kind of "wordlist" T9-like function you mention.

Regards,
/Irene

mopc wrote:
Why doesn't it indicate the repeat of individual words? Is there a auto-suggestion tool like in Excel, where if you type 'tec' it suggests 'technical' then you just click enter and don't have to type the whole shabang?


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:00
Member
French to English
+ ...
No, whatever you do, DON'T translate it manually! Jan 5, 2007

mopc wrote:

... in the text I am translating, there is an index, one of those Word indexes. Wordfast jumped that but didn't update the index as I translated the headers on the body. Do I have to translate the index manually?


No, you should leave it till the very end, when you have finished translating all the section headings, subheadings etc., and then right-click anywhere in the table of contents (it should become highlighted in grey and all select together)

You then get a sub-menu offering you to update the table — either just the page numbers alone, or the entire contents of the table; it is this last option you need, and then you should see that magically all the table of contents listings change to reflect your translations.

This would of course apply just the same whether or not you are using a CAT tool, though I don't know if using one in any way changes what you have to do, or when you do it...

[Edited at 2007-01-05 22:48]


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mopc  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Tony, thanks! Jan 5, 2007

Great info, I knew that index update thing was somewhere but I had forgotten. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:00
Italian to English
Fields Jan 5, 2007

mopc wrote:

Thanks everyone!

One doubt.... in the text I am translating, there is an index, one of those Word indexes. Wordfast jumped that but didn't update the index as I translated the headers on the body. Do I have to translate the index manually?


Tony is right.

Have a look at the "Fields and Objects" section of the Wordfast manual:
>
To graphically understand this concept, press Alt+F9 now a few times to grasp the concept behind fields (the table of contents is a TOC field), and the two ways to look at fields (result or code). ... This manual's Table of Contents is actually a TOC field. If you were to translate this manual, you would not translate the Table of Contents, but merely update it by having the cursor anywhere in the Table of Contents and pressing Ms-Word's F9 shortcut once the entire manual has been translated and cleaned-up.
>

HTH

Giles


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Daniel Gebauer  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:00
Member
Spanish to German
+ ...
TRADOS Jan 6, 2007

Hi, I am also wondering why from time to time there are jobs offered in Porz.com with millions of words requiring TRADOS as a must! You do not see small jobs requesting TRADOS that way. Why is that? Probably pure coincidence.
I do not use TRADOS or something similar. I convert my translations into PDF and use the search tool of PDF if necessary. Or I use Google-Desktop to find previous translations of terms. All this is for free.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:00
German to English
+ ...
What do Trados/WordFast actually do? Jan 6, 2007

Daniel Gebauer wrote:

I convert my translations into PDF and use the search tool of PDF if necessary. Or I use Google-Desktop to find previous translations of terms.


Do your PDF files contain both the source and target sentence, side-by side? The benefit of CAT tools is that when you come across a word or phrase that you think you may have used before, you can search for it with a convenient shortcut - and find all instances of when you used it, together with how you translated it, instantly. A desktop search function is useful for some things, but it is very slow compared to an indexed translation memory, and it only finds either the source or target text - not both together, like a CAT tool does.

All this is for free.


That's an added bonus of using OmegaT. But this functionality is so useful, in any CAT tool, that it's well worth paying for.

Marc


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eesegura  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
useful freebies Jan 6, 2007

Daniel Gebauer wrote:

Hi, I am also wondering why from time to time there are jobs offered in Porz.com with millions of words requiring TRADOS as a must! You do not see small jobs requesting TRADOS that way. Why is that? Probably pure coincidence.
I do not use TRADOS or something similar. I convert my translations into PDF and use the search tool of PDF if necessary. Or I use Google-Desktop to find previous translations of terms. All this is for free.


WordFast is free also, along with all of its documentation and PlusTools. I really like it, and the fact that it is compatible with Trados (which I've never used, but know that it's a major CAT tool). Of course, with WordFast you can only do small to medium-sized projects - that is, you can create Translation Memory(ies) of up to 500 segments. On one of my projects, I had to do two TMs, one for the product descriptions and another for the About Us, Privacy Statement, etc., because putting all of that in one TM exceeded the 500 limit. However, this did not present a problem. Someday I plan to purchase a WordFast license, which will remove the 500-segment limit, but for now it is serving the purpose very well. I agree that having the source and target text right next to each other greatly boosts productivity.


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