Is it a good idea to combine Alchemy Publisher 3.0 with SDL Trados 2007?
Thread poster: Fredrik Pettersson

Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jun 13, 2010

Is it a good idea to combine Alchemy Publisher 3.0 with SDL Trados 2007?

I just saw this special promotion for Proz members:

http://www.alchemysoftware.com/proz/index_proz.html

Alchemy Publisher 3.0 for €249 for Proz members (normal price €749)!

It sounds terrific, to use one translation tool for all formats. And being able to use Trados TMW files also.

Does it work the other way around, can I translate any file format (website, pdf, software etc.) with Alchemy Publisher 3.0 and then save/export it as a Trados TM? I would need that as many customers require that I use SDL Trados.

What would the main advantages be to use a combination of Alchemy Publisher 3.0 and SDL Trados 2007 (or SDL Studio 2009)?

Wouldn't it be that if the customer sends a translation project in a "difficult" file format to me (pdf with a lot of tables and images) and require that I translate everything with SDL Trados 2007 (or Studio 2009) and return the SDL Trados TM to them, then I can translate with Alchemy Publisher 3.0 and then save/export it as Trados TM? In this case, would the formatting, tables etc. in the translated documents be exactly the same as in the original documents when I finally save/export as Trados TM? The key point would be that I could translate directly in the pdf:s and tables with Alchemy Publisher 3.0 without having to convert to another file format and then directly save/export as Trados TM.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Multiplelanguages
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It's all about interoperability and getting the job done in the format needed Jun 13, 2010

Fredrik,

No one is going to publish the TM format directly. It's just an intermediate format.
The goal is for you to provide the content in its multilingual form within the constraints of the published document, and using any available method or tools to make that possible.

It's not that your customer requires that you use SDL Trados, but that you do the work and render it in the required "publishable format" and that this is the same as if you had used Trados, and that you also must provide as Trados TM with the aligned segments.

And if you have the opportunity to get a tool that can handle the localization of lots of exotic file forms natively, why would you even question using it.

None of these tools can even handle direct image localization anyway.

And doing translation of PDF format with embedded tables and images is a joke. You need to persuade your customers to give you source formats, not output formats. And yes it can be done. I've convinced many customers why that is needed and got the source files. It was not easy, but it saved all this conversion mess that you are describing, which ends up costing the customer more money in DTP services above and beyond the translation work, or the translator ends up getting burned by having to do that work without being paid for it. I have "always" explained up front the costs for that multilingual layout and formatting work and have explained ways how those costs can be reduced. And every time they finally put me in contact with the IT guys, or the DTP agency, or whomever to get the source content files.

The best and most robust offer that any service provider can have is to be equipped with multiple tools and be flexible to deliver in different ways. Counting on any single software solution to do everything for you in all context is a dream that doesn't work.

You won't always get a tool that imports from and exports to other proprietary formats, or when they do, it might be limited to various older version formats. That's part of the whole issue of interoperability and how different tool vendors gain, retain, maintain or miss and lose the market share. It's the same in all software implementation sectors.

It's best to have several different options. If a software program with tons of relevant functionality, and which is used by a large market segment of the corporate localization market, is offered at a significantly discounted price, then just go for it.

But you really need to stop accepting PDF formats. I simply laughed at customers who told me they wanted to process those. And it ended up that I always got some format much closer to the source, and often dumps directly out of the source databases.
Don't settle with end-result output formats. It is just a waste of extra processing time.

And if your customers think that everyone in the entire industry only uses one tool, then you need to spend some time educating them about the reality of the market, and that this is not true. Off the top of my head I can name 15-20 Translation memory tools used by large enough populations of translators to warrant them being used for any project. They all have their strong and weak points with regard to specific projects. But no translation-buyer customer should limit themselves and their processes to any specific tools, especially in the language translation industry which is highly fragmented in this way.

Jeff

Fredrik Pettersson wrote:

Is it a good idea to combine Alchemy Publisher 3.0 with SDL Trados 2007?

It sounds terrific, to use one translation tool for all formats. And being able to use Trados TMW files also.

Does it work the other way around, can I translate any file format (website, pdf, software etc.) with Alchemy Publisher 3.0 and then save/export it as a Trados TM? I would need that as many customers require that I use SDL Trados.



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