Newbie to Across and a few questions about saving projects and TMs
Thread poster: Sarah Downing

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
May 19, 2011

Dear Prozians,

I've only just finished learning Trados Studio for one of my customers and now another of my agency customers needs me to learn Across if I am to continue working on an ongoing project for them. I'm not totally phased by learning new CAT software (as Studio wasn't nearly as hard as I had expected and I'm reasonably computer savvy), but I have to say Across seems somewhat more cumbersome than Trados. I know lots of people bitch about Trados, but I have definitely notic
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Dear Prozians,

I've only just finished learning Trados Studio for one of my customers and now another of my agency customers needs me to learn Across if I am to continue working on an ongoing project for them. I'm not totally phased by learning new CAT software (as Studio wasn't nearly as hard as I had expected and I'm reasonably computer savvy), but I have to say Across seems somewhat more cumbersome than Trados. I know lots of people bitch about Trados, but I have definitely noticed that Across seems more complicated with lots of unnecessary steps.

That's just my opinion, but I'm curious to hear what other people think of this software. Not sure why the end customer chose this for their project, but at least I don't have to shell out money for the personal version. I can't say I'm really warming to it though. It seems totally weird to have the translation memory at the bottom of the screen and I'm not exactly thrilled that I have to press two buttons instead of just one to confirm a translation and move to the next segment.

One thing I am wondering and still haven't managed to figure out is where on earth do the projects get saved? As those of you who use Studio will know, when you set up a project or unzip one that is sent by a customer you are generally asked where you want to save it, you browse and different folders are automatically created (for the source file/s, the target file/s, the TM et al). I tried creating a sample project in Across and am totally bewildered as to where the data gets saved to. The only time I am asked where I want to save something is when I "check out" (clean up) the document to save it in the target format.

Also, does anyone know what the deal is with the TM? From what I hear, you can't even really create separate TMs and in fact Across' system is supposedly not really that comparable with standard TMs per se. How would I open the TM or create a new one if I start a new project or is it automatically opened - I'm also not given the option to create and save a TM when I create a project (which is the case in Trados Studio), which might be explained by the fact that in Across everything is saved in the same TM or rather database (at least that's what I read in another forum).

I'm struggling to get my head around some of this and something tells me I'm not going to be using Across for anything but my customer's projects. I kind of wish they had at least chosen a CAT software that is more widely used because it almost seems pointless investing my time and effort to learn one that is seemingly not that in demand. Then again, I guess I can't bitch that much seeing as I don't have to pay for it.

I'd love to hear from anyone who uses Across or is familiar with it

Also: please don't lynch me for my criticism of this CAT tool - it's just my personal opinion and of course I entirely respect the fact that there are probably those out there who absolutely love this tool:-).

Thank you very much!

Sarah Downing

[Edited at 2011-05-19 23:35 GMT]
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Manticore (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Dear Sarah May 20, 2011

In a nutshell: Across is easier than SDL Trados. I used to work with SDL Trados and I am still working with Across. - In Across you start translating within five minutes after installation, in Trados you need quite some more time.

All your questions and concerns are covered in a handful of manuals, explaining (almost) everything. Have a look here: http://www.across.net/en/docum
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In a nutshell: Across is easier than SDL Trados. I used to work with SDL Trados and I am still working with Across. - In Across you start translating within five minutes after installation, in Trados you need quite some more time.

All your questions and concerns are covered in a handful of manuals, explaining (almost) everything. Have a look here: http://www.across.net/en/documentation-center.aspx

Some of your concerns: you press only one button to enter a translation. The state of this segment then changes from "untouched" to "touched". Once you have finished the translation you change all segments from "touched" to "translated" in one go.

You can export the TM anytime, either as one for further use in Across or for any other CAT. I have to do this occasionally. So far no customer has complained that the TM was not in line with standard rules. I have opened the TM with OmegaT, SDL Trados and Olifant (Okapi Tool) and the TM is fine. That means, export the TM and save it wherever you want it as a backup. There is no need to know where the original data is saved (well I know and everyone with a little imagination would probably find it). You can export the entire TM or just the TM related to a specific project.

You create a new project and a new TM is generated at the same time automatically. Don't believe what you hear, try it for yourself.

You are given the option of creating a TM (see above) and you are given the option of saving it. Just declare a segment or all segments as translated and the TM is saved. No, the TM's are according to projects, so each one may be exported. Yes, all TM's are in one database but who cares?

You can also export an entire project for further use. This is very important to me since I format my C-Drive every three months (and play back a saved image of the drive, to get rid of all the junk). I import all projects and everything is back where it should be.

Who says that Across is not widely used? The users of Trados? Sure, Trados has a market share of roughly 50% and Across has a lot less, but so have all the others including Wordfast, memoQ etc. Fact is that some other CAT, notably memoQ and Across, are catching up. Believe me, in the not so distant future Trados will cost 100 Euros, it will be the only way to retain the market share.

According to "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys" many people believe Across is a useless product since they paid a lot of money for some other CAT. Well, I have got bad news for them: Across is as good as any CAT. For me it's better than all others since I connect to Across servers for translations. Believe me, this is where the real strength of Across is.

By the way if somebody told me that I have to use a specific CAT for a translation I would decline the job. Since I am not using Trados I won't get jobs that specify Trados (although I can open any TTX file and work on it, but I cannot create a TTX file just a TM). I am getting enough jobs that don't specify anything or Across. Thank you.

Good Luck

Roland

[Edited at 2011-05-20 02:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-05-20 03:03 GMT]
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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your replies May 20, 2011

Dear Roland,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

[quote]Roland Fischer wrote:

In a nutshell: Across is easier than SDL Trados. I used to work with SDL Trados and I am still working with Across. - In Across you start translating within five minutes after installation, in Trados you need quite some more time.

Perhaps, I didn't make myself clear. I have already downloaded and tried out Across. To be honest, I feel that Trados is more intuitive. I have had to learn both. I started out learning Trados 2007 and it didn't take me long at all to learn the basics. Recently, I learned Trados Studio and it's taking me longer to learn Across, most probably because the workflow is different. Either way, comparing both workflows, I feel that the Trados one is simpler. But that's just my personal opinion. I also prefer the Trados translation layout.

All your questions and concerns are covered in a handful of manuals, explaining (almost) everything. Have a look here: http://www.across.net/en/documentation-center.aspx

Thank you for the link. Perhaps I should have mentioned that I already did download much of the documentation and did most of the tutorials.

Some of your concerns: you press only one button to enter a translation. The state of this segment then changes from "untouched" to "touched". Once you have finished the translation you change all segments from "touched" to "translated" in one go.

I guess I misunderstood this part when I read about it/saw it in the tutorial. Your explanation is very helpful - thank you!

You can export the TM anytime, either as one for further use in Across or for any other CAT. I have to do this occasionally. So far no customer has complained that the TM was not in line with standard rules. I have opened the TM with OmegaT, SDL Trados and Olifant (Okapi Tool) and the TM is fine. That means, export the TM and save it wherever you want it as a backup. There is no need to know where the original data is saved (well I know and everyone with a little imagination would probably find it). You can export the entire TM or just the TM related to a specific project.

Well, maybe there is no need to know where stuff is saved, but damn me I'm ever so curious and would still like to know. I also undoubtedly have an imagination and yet despite extensive searching for the original data in various different places, I am still bound to ask you: where is it? I can't find it and that's not for lack of trying or lack of familiarity with computers. I guess what bothers me mainly is that my source text doesn't seem to be saved along with my target text and from what I have seen I'm not even given this option. Perhaps I'm missing something, although despite reading the manuals and doing the tutorials, I'm still not sure what. Also, the TM doesn't seem to be saved together with the project, so I'm wondering how I would open it and find it if I needed to use it again for future files?

You create a new project and a new TM is generated at the same time automatically. Don't believe what you hear, try it for yourself.

Well, I did create a new project, but that was my first one and I noticed I could save stuff in the TM, but from what I could see I wasn't able to give it a name (which I am wont to doing) or save it in a particular location. Hence the confusion.

You are given the option of creating a TM (see above) and you are given the option of saving it. Just declare a segment or all segments as translated and the TM is saved. No, the TM's are according to projects, so each one may be exported. Yes, all TM's are in one database but who cares?

I guess this confuses me too. If I only save the TM once I'm finished with it, where is each segment saved as I'm working on it. As you probably know, in Trados you create a TM, save it with your particular project and fill it as you go. Despite searching my HD and reading the manuals, I'm unsure as to where the TM would be.

Who says that Across is not widely used? The users of Trados? Sure, Trados has a market share of roughly 50% and Across has a lot less, but so have all the others including Wordfast, memoQ etc. Fact is that some other CAT, notably memoQ and Across, are catching up. Believe me, in the not so distant future Trados will cost 100 Euros, it will be the only way to retain the market share.

To be honest, this is the vibe I got when I searched the Internet for information on Across. I've also heard much less about it than I have about memoQ and other smaller CAT tools.

According to "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys" many people believe Across is a useless product since they paid a lot of money for some other CAT. Well, I have got bad news for them: Across is as good as any CAT. For me it's better than all others since I connect to Across servers for translations. Believe me, this is where the real strength of Across is.

I'm not that ignorant to think that a paid product is always better (sometimes the best things in life are free), but I've got news for you too - there are versions of Trados that work with servers. As you said, it's definitely a useful function and probably one I'll be using in the near future for this particular customer.

By the way if somebody told me that I have to use a specific CAT for a translation I would decline the job. Since I am not using Trados I won't get jobs that specify Trados (although I can open any TTX file and work on it, but I cannot create a TTX file just a TM). I am getting enough jobs that don't specify anything or Across. Thank you.

By the way, I usually do the same. I will work with people who require either version of Trados (I have both), but I am not against learning new software. I'm more against paying out money for something that I'll only use for that particular customer. In this case, I will only use Across for this customer (because I personally do prefer Trados, even if you are of a different opinion), but I don't have to invest money in it, so learning it seems less of a chore.

Thank you again for your elucidations! If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you could answer my questions about the TMs - as I said above, it's not for lack of trying that I haven't been able to find the answers I'm looking for.

Cheers,

Sarah

[Edited at 2011-05-20 06:19 GMT]


 

Manticore (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Hi Sarah May 20, 2011

I will definitely answer your questions. I am bit under pressure and, therefore, you'll get my reply after the weekend.

Regards

Roland


 

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much, Roland! May 20, 2011

Hi Roland,

Thank you so much. I super appreciate this!:-).

Good luck with your deadlines!

Sarah


 

Manticore (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Hi Sarah May 20, 2011

Have a look at Uwe Schwenk's blog. Quite a bit of information for Across users: http://72arts.wordpress.com/

With regard to your question I'll come back to you on Monday

Roland


 

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank, you Roland May 20, 2011

Fabulous, Roland! I'll take a look at that.

Love,


Sarah


 

Manticore (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Hi Sarah May 23, 2011

General

All data (project, TM, terms, relations etc.) is stored in an SQL database. And yes, there is only one TM and one list of bi-lingual terms. However, since everything is in a database, all information about a specific project may be extracted, giving you just the TM, terms, relations etc. for this specific project. – For security I always backup every project and the appropriate TM and terms on an external hard drive. Afterwards I delete the project in Across, but TM and te
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General

All data (project, TM, terms, relations etc.) is stored in an SQL database. And yes, there is only one TM and one list of bi-lingual terms. However, since everything is in a database, all information about a specific project may be extracted, giving you just the TM, terms, relations etc. for this specific project. – For security I always backup every project and the appropriate TM and terms on an external hard drive. Afterwards I delete the project in Across, but TM and terms are still there. Why do you want to save your source text along with your target text? The TM does for you. At any time you may open crossTank and crossTerm relating to a specific project and check if everything is there. By the way, the latest version of Across (5.00 SP1 Update E) saves the TM in TMX 1.4. Exporting the TM gives you the opportunity to save the TMX for further use in Across and for use with a different CAT. And if you want only the text without any tags and additional information clear the check box “Export Rich Translation Memory information” when exporting the TM.

Quote: Well, I did create a new project, but that was my first one and I noticed I could save stuff in the TM, but from what I could see I wasn't able to give it a name (which I am wont to doing) or save it in a particular location. Hence the confusion.

Answer: Just create the project and translate, as soon as you declare a segment as “translated” the TM is updated. Afterwards you export this specific TM and you give it a name of your choice.

Quote: guess this confuses me too. If I only save the TM once I'm finished with it, where is each segment saved as I'm working on it. As you probably know, in Trados you create a TM, save it with your particular project and fill it as you go. Despite searching my HD and reading the manuals, I'm unsure as to where the TM would be.

Answer: just export it. See also “General”.

Quote: To be honest, this is the vibe I got when I searched the Internet for information on Across. I've also heard much less about it than I have about memoQ and other smaller CAT tools.

Answer: First of all Across is a server / client system. The standalone version is a by-product. When your Across client is connected to an Across server you have a few more features available like e.g., crossMining and auto-completion. But in general the standalone Version (it’s the same as the client, but not connected) is a fully featured CAT. Yes, there are quite a few people who only have negative comments on Across. For example it’s sluggish. I a m using Across on two PC’s (one for en>de, and one for de>en) and two laptops (for the same reason). One PC is a state-of-the-art the other a five year old AMD dual-core 2GHz. All PC’s have 4 GB RAM however, speed is not important, RAM is. I do not notice a speed difference between the two PC’s. On the laptops (I use them during frequent power failures in South Africa, switching then from DSL to 3G) I feel a difference, they only have 2GB RAM.

Quote: I'm not that ignorant to think that a paid product is always better (sometimes the best things in life are free), but I've got news for you too - there are versions of Trados that work with servers. As you said, it's definitely a useful function and probably one I'll be using in the near future for this particular customer.

Answer: I am aware of Trados being able to work with servers. Across was designed for networking (like Linux) some other CAT added networking later on (like Windows). I am working with three agencies that use an Across server and one private customer. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with this combination.

Verdict: I have worked with a handful of CAT. All of them have strong and weak points. I’ll stick with Across because it was designed as a server / client system and I finish a job faster than with any other CAT. If someone else prefers a different CAT – fine. We also prefer different cars. What I don’t like is when users of a certain CAT product are running down Across without having the required knowledge to do so. There are a few features not yet available in Across, but they are minor and / or there are workarounds. I am also sure that Across is aware of these missing features. And no – I am not being paid by Across. I just like it.

Regards

Roland
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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your detailed reply May 23, 2011

Hi Roland,

Thank you very much for taking the time for this detailed reply. One thing I am still wondering is this: it seems like many people just wait until the end to confirm all translation segments. Indeed, this almost sounds like the quickest way to do it. However, what happens if I am happily translating in my document and then something crashes - are the segments still backed up or is my work lost unless I confirm the segments as I go along. This may sound like a simple quest
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Hi Roland,

Thank you very much for taking the time for this detailed reply. One thing I am still wondering is this: it seems like many people just wait until the end to confirm all translation segments. Indeed, this almost sounds like the quickest way to do it. However, what happens if I am happily translating in my document and then something crashes - are the segments still backed up or is my work lost unless I confirm the segments as I go along. This may sound like a simple question, but I'd rather be sure because Across seems to work quite differently to certain other CAT tools. This is always something that many people appreciate about CAT tools - the fact that the document you are working on can crash, but your work isn't lost because it's in the TM.

Why do I want to save my source text along with my target? That's just a personal preference and that's how I've always worked. Obviously, learning a new tool takes some getting used to. I see that you are very happy with it and I'm glad to hear. Perhaps I was hasty with my assessment of Across, stating that it doesn't seem that intuitive, but initially it does and to be perfectly honest this is the second CAT tool that my customers have asked me to learn in a matter of months. Of course, I could just say no, but I want to be open-minded and give it a chance because I think the more tools I know the more marketable my translation skills. Either way, I'll give it a chance and will remain open-minded. It may not be for me, but at the end of the day I only have to use it for one particular project anyway. You are so right when you say that CAT tools are a very personal choice.

Cheers,

Sarah
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Manticore (X)  Identity Verified

Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Hi Sarah May 23, 2011

Don't worry! If you set all segments as translated right at the end you will not lose anything at all should your PC crash. If you wish you can also use Ctrl + S to save the source and the target segment (this does not store the segments in the TM, however). I press Ctrl + S every five minutes, it has become second nature.

To save a copy of your source / target document go to "Tools" > "Preview" > then choose source or target. The documents will then be opened in the native programm
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Don't worry! If you set all segments as translated right at the end you will not lose anything at all should your PC crash. If you wish you can also use Ctrl + S to save the source and the target segment (this does not store the segments in the TM, however). I press Ctrl + S every five minutes, it has become second nature.

To save a copy of your source / target document go to "Tools" > "Preview" > then choose source or target. The documents will then be opened in the native programme and you can then save them.

I do this with target documents all the time: I preview and save the target document (nothing has been stored in the TM yet), send the document through quite a few quality checks (Duden, LanguageTools etc.). Then I correct (if necessary) the target segments in Across. When I am happy I declare all segments as translated and finish the project. That way you make sure that your TM is not full of target segments that are basically obsolete.

I hope that helps.

Regards to Oberkassel

Roland

[Edited at 2011-05-23 12:43 GMT]
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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Roland:-) May 23, 2011

Thanks for taking so much time to answer my questions. Your hints are really useful. I remember how phased I was when I started learning CAT tools, but the more I learn the easier it gets.

Actually, Oberkassel is a part of Düsseldorf, which is where I live, but maybe the map on my profile makes it look as if I'm from there?

Regards to South Africa! I recently wrote a review on a South African restaurant here in Düsseldorf. Seems that your cuisine has many interestin
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Thanks for taking so much time to answer my questions. Your hints are really useful. I remember how phased I was when I started learning CAT tools, but the more I learn the easier it gets.

Actually, Oberkassel is a part of Düsseldorf, which is where I live, but maybe the map on my profile makes it look as if I'm from there?

Regards to South Africa! I recently wrote a review on a South African restaurant here in Düsseldorf. Seems that your cuisine has many interesting influences.

Cheers,

Sarah
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Newbie to Across and a few questions about saving projects and TMs

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