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Thread poster: José J. Martínez

José J. Martínez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:47
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 24

CAT Tools
Many years ago (10 to be more or less exact) I got into the professional translation business... I started truly disoriented and started working for TXXX. This firm requested that I get a subscription to Wordfast, which I did and since then I have been working with it. However, in that time I got constant jobs from another company and had to get a subscription of MemoQ that was not as good as Wordfast, but cancelled and got my money back. NOW, the reason for this question is that I seem to be losing out on a lot of opportunities because they are specifically requesting that one should have SDL Trados. This worries me because I have a hunch that it is so that the agency actually pays the translator less money. I think that with the SDL Trados they do not offer on the strict basis of $ per source or per final word, they brake the price down tremendously depending on the percentages of brackets... like 80 to 99%. 60 to 78% and the like... this of course means that the translator will be getting less and less.

The final question here is...should it benefit me to join the pack and acquire the SDL Trados and start forgetting about my trusty Wordfast and the huge Translation Memories that I have, and get more jobs this way. Should I offer my services without accepting the % breakdowns or brackets? Please let me know how to evaluate the current CAT situation.


[Edited at 2018-07-25 13:34 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@José Jul 24

José J. Martínez wrote:
I started working for [agency name]. This firm requested that I get a subscription to Wordfast, which I did and since then I have been working with it.


Edit your post and remove the name of the agency (forum rules...).

I seem to be losing out on a lot of opportunities because they are specifically requesting that one should have SDL Trados.


1. Whether many of your clients require Trados depends on your specific client base. Among my own clients, half require WFP 3, and the rest require Trados 2009+, Trados 2007, MemoQ and a couple of online tools. But other translators may have clients demanding a different mix.

2. It is less so these days, but still: some clients do not know that there are other CAT tools out there, so they automatically ask for "Trados", but what they really mean is that they want you to use a CAT tool.

3. There are ways to handle Trados files in WFP 3 (although not comprehensive).

I have a hunch that it is so that the agency actually pays the translator less money. I think that with the SDL Trados they do not offer on the strict basis of $ per source or per final word, but instead they break down the price tremendously depending on the percentages of brackets...


This is not limited to Trados. I'm sure the agency you originally mentioned in your post also does it.

Will it benefit me to acquire SDL Trados and forget about my trusty Wordfast and the huge translation memories that I have...


I would recommend getting at least Trados or MemoQ in addition to Wordfast Pro, if you can afford it. WFP 3 is a great tool for freelancers whose clients do not require a specific CAT tool, but it can't handle many formats from other CAT tools reliably/easily.

Don't worry about your TMs -- you can export them to TMX, and then use them in Trados/MemoQ, and vice versa.

Should I offer my services without accepting the % breakdowns or brackets?


It is your decision whether to accept match discounts, but I would recommend that you do. However, make sure that your base rate is high enough so that you don't lose money through the discounts.


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:47
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
So much has changed in the last 10 years Jul 24

So much has changed in the last 10 years. First, let's thank Yves Champollion for disrupting the Trados market with Wordfast Classic. When you started out with WFC Wordfast adepts believed in CAT and Trados adepts believed in discounts. Wordfast translation memories where TXT files, Trados used a proprietary format that locked in users.

Trados merged with SDL and under pressure of the competition SDL Trados Studio evolved from the combination of two ugly products into something that pleases both translators and agencies. More or less open standards for TMs and glossaries have prevailed.

Nowadays I have non-CAT clients, WFC clients and Studio clients. Only my Studio clients have ever opened negotiations with a “grid” or are above all interested in discounts.

I have adopted the strategy of accepting any “grid” offered, but at a decent base rate, of course. Most of the time we only differ by some Euros and I can always say “no thanks”.

I have one regular client who just orders my translations and another regular client who fits me into an elaborate Studio scheme that she propagates to her different clients. I use Studio for both of them.

Another thing that has changed is the use of Big Mama TMs. Translation memories with all the translations you’ve ever made where never really useful, but MT beats any Big Mama TM.

Yet another thing that has changed is the use of Big Mama glos. Glossaries with all the translations you’ve ever made where never really useful, but MT beats any Big Mama glo.

TMs and glossaries should be client specific in this new era.

Cheers,
Gerard


Jorge Payan
Anthony Teixeira
 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Agree and disagree Jul 25

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Another thing that has changed is the use of Big Mama TMs. Translation memories with all the translations you’ve ever made where never really useful, but MT beats any Big Mama TM.


Agree


Yet another thing that has changed is the use of Big Mama glos. Glossaries with all the translations you’ve ever made where never really useful, but MT beats any Big Mama glo.


Storing everything in one glossary is still very useful, even with MT. It helps maintaining stylistic consistency (same sentence scheme for similar instructions etc.). MT is useful, but don’t expect any consistency (yet).


TMs and glossaries should be client specific in this new era.


Agree! Client or QA glossaries have priority High, all-in-one glossary has priority Medium and the TM has priority Low. MT has no priority since it is used interactivity only, by picking fragments or even whole segments. I constantly pick the best of (currently) 4 MT systems. Intelligently used, MT is not a threat.

[Edited at 2018-07-25 06:14 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 16:47
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Wf has lost ground Jul 25

I used to use WF a lot in the past, but the pro-versions were never as good as the competition. When I had installed version 4 I could not understand how it works and have never gone back. WFC is still good for simple files in Word. But in Studio it is easier to maintain consistency in large files or bunches of files.
I except clients' schemes for splitting, if the end sum is what I expect. I never do the calculations myself.


Ricardo Suin
ipv
 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:47
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Compatibility Jul 25

José J. Martínez wrote:

I seem to be losing out on a lot of opportunities because they are specifically requesting that one should have SDL Trados.


I usually point out that I use Wordfast and can handle most Trados files (sometimes with the help of free software such as Olifant or WfConverter to convert TMs, glossaries or other files into a format I can use in Wordfast). For the vast majority of my clients, this is fine.


 


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