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Help on deciding to use Trados
Thread poster: Being Earnest

Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
Sep 19, 2009

I am in the process of purchasing Trados. Up to now I have used Office tools for translations (25 years) and recently have used SDL Lite. By January next year I want to be able to implement and use Trados corectly. Can anyone give me some good tips and hints on what I should be looking for, and any warnings or beware of advice. The thing costs quite a lot so I am moving carefully

Thanks


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:23
English to Polish
+ ...
hello Being Earnest Sep 19, 2009

Well, you can start by reading some of the forum posts on Proz. Most of them read “troubles/problems with Trados; please help!”
cheers, Ewa


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Katherine Mérignac  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:23
Member (2004)
French to English
Why? Sep 19, 2009

Why?...

No, only joking, although having used Trados for years, I have now put it to one side for DVX and more recently MemoQ. Personally - and I am of course only giving my personal point of view - I'm not sure that it's as good (by 'good' read 'reliable') as it was. And you certainly need to be prepared to regularly invest in updates and lost time ironing out bugs (sigh...). I bought the upgrade to the 'new and improved' Trados when it came out, but have not even installed it. I can't see the point when it apparently does exactly wht DVX and MemoQ already do (will maybe ruffle a few feathers with that?)!

I am glad I have Trados - well Trados 2007 anyway - as it means I can comply with certain agencies wishes, but I'm not sure I'd invest the full sum today. MemoQ appears to be able to produce the 'bilingual' files a lot of agencies request without any difficulty...

I suppose all I'm trying to say is make sure you weigh up all the pros and cons before parting with your money.

K


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Mara Ballarini  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:23
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
my experience Sep 19, 2009

A few years ago, when I started to be asked by more and more agencies if I had a CAT tool and that meant getting more work, I started looking into that world. Like you, since it is quite a big investment, first I downloaded the free version of Wordfast to get familiar with CATs, after a while I had to make a choice for which tool to invest in, since the free version of Wordfast was limited of course, and went for Trados, which seemed to me then the most common one for general translations. I just bought it with a 'group buy' on proz and started playing with it, reading the manual, etc etc... A course would certainly be beneficial and probably quicker too. I've attended a few free webinars offered by SDL - they never go into too much detail, but they're a good way to start.
Although it does have many problems - they all do - and I get often frustrated - as usual with my computer in general anyway, you can't reason with machines! - I've been really happy, and always work with it. I used and still use other CAT tools now, but Trados is the one I get more requests for and that I most used to using when no CAT is required for a job.
I've always gone for all the updates and did with the last version too, ie trados 2009, and I'm really happy with it - again despite all of its faults still. However, not many agencies have it running yet and prefer to work with 2007 still, but you'll get both when you buy the latest version. The thing is that they're quite different in the way they work and you'll have to learn both from scratch - maybe you can see which one will be better for you to start from according to what your existing clients use.
Also, at the beginning I bought the special support for a year, another expense, but expecially at the beginning when you don't know how everything works and you may have more questions and problems, I think it's quite useful. And it gives you any upgrades free for that period as well.
All in all, I don't know if this is what you wanted to know but I hope I gave you some useful ideas.
Have a good weekend
Mara


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:23
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Pros and cons of Tradi Sep 19, 2009

The fact that you are a translator of 25 years' standing could be a big plus -- you probably have some areas of great expertise, familiarity with the terminology, and a collection of source texts plus your translations. This means that you can create valuable translation memories for use in Trados and achieve some real productivity gains.

Against that, it has to be said that it helps if you enjoy messing around with computers and are prepared to spend the time, effort and money required to master the product. Here your timing is unfortunate, because there are now effectively two rather different versions of Trados, at least in appearance (hence my strange title containing my guess Tradi as the plural of Trados).

There is Studio 2009 and Trados 2007, and I believe you get both for a single price. In your shoes, I would put aside Studio 2009 and concentrate on learning 2007 -- I suspect most of your customers will still be using 2007 for some time to come, even though 2009 is a more powerful product.


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Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 19, 2009

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak) wrote:

Well, you can start by reading some of the forum posts on Proz. Most of them read “troubles/problems with Trados; please help!”
cheers, Ewa
OK I will have a gander, thanks


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Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your ..... Sep 19, 2009

Katherine Mérignac wrote:

Why?...

No, only joking, although having used Trados for years, I have now put it to one side for DVX and more recently MemoQ. Personally - and I am of course only giving my personal point of view - I'm not sure that it's as good (by 'good' read 'reliable') as it was. And you certainly need to be prepared to regularly invest in updates and lost time ironing out bugs (sigh...). I bought the upgrade to the 'new and improved' Trados when it came out, but have not even installed it. I can't see the point when it apparently does exactly wht DVX and MemoQ already do (will maybe ruffle a few feathers with that?)!

I am glad I have Trados - well Trados 2007 anyway - as it means I can comply with certain agencies wishes, but I'm not sure I'd invest the full sum today. MemoQ appears to be able to produce the 'bilingual' files a lot of agencies request without any difficulty...

I suppose all I'm trying to say is make sure you weigh up all the pros and cons before parting with your money.

K


Thanks for your valuable feedback. I will consider what you have said; you haven't ruffled any feathers yet apparently....


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Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Response to yours Sep 19, 2009

Mara Ballarini wrote:

A few years ago, when I started to be asked by more and more agencies if I had a CAT tool and that meant getting more work, I started looking into that world. Like you, since it is quite a big investment, first I downloaded the free version of Wordfast to get familiar with CATs, after a while I had to make a choice for which tool to invest in, since the free version of Wordfast was limited of course, and went for Trados, which seemed to me then the most common one for general translations. I just bought it with a 'group buy' on proz and started playing with it, reading the manual, etc etc... A course would certainly be beneficial and probably quicker too. I've attended a few free webinars offered by SDL - they never go into too much detail, but they're a good way to start.
Although it does have many problems - they all do - and I get often frustrated - as usual with my computer in general anyway, you can't reason with machines! - I've been really happy, and always work with it. I used and still use other CAT tools now, but Trados is the one I get more requests for and that I most used to using when no CAT is required for a job.
I've always gone for all the updates and did with the last version too, ie trados 2009, and I'm really happy with it - again despite all of its faults still. However, not many agencies have it running yet and prefer to work with 2007 still, but you'll get both when you buy the latest version. The thing is that they're quite different in the way they work and you'll have to learn both from scratch - maybe you can see which one will be better for you to start from according to what your existing clients use.
Also, at the beginning I bought the special support for a year, another expense, but expecially at the beginning when you don't know how everything works and you may have more questions and problems, I think it's quite useful. And it gives you any upgrades free for that period as well.
All in all, I don't know if this is what you wanted to know but I hope I gave you some useful ideas.
Have a good weekend
Mara


Thanks Mara - your comments are valuable but I am still undecided. On one side I have stacks of work in Office programs, but on the other I have refused some work with Trados. I have used SDL Lite but it is limited. I think I will need to think about this. I do want to make an investment but.....quite honestly I may ask the company I work for to buy a license and give me a share but let's see. Nice weekend to you as well. It's sunny here in Bogliasco, Genova


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Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Valuable comments Sep 19, 2009

Peter Linton wrote:

The fact that you are a translator of 25 years' standing could be a big plus -- you probably have some areas of great expertise, familiarity with the terminology, and a collection of source texts plus your translations. This means that you can create valuable translation memories for use in Trados and achieve some real productivity gains.

Against that, it has to be said that it helps if you enjoy messing around with computers and are prepared to spend the time, effort and money required to master the product. Here your timing is unfortunate, because there are now effectively two rather different versions of Trados, at least in appearance (hence my strange title containing my guess Tradi as the plural of Trados).

There is Studio 2009 and Trados 2007, and I believe you get both for a single price. In your shoes, I would put aside Studio 2009 and concentrate on learning 2007 -- I suspect most of your customers will still be using 2007 for some time to come, even though 2009 is a more powerful product.


Thanks for this - I am even more confused now. Seriously I need to think about this given the price and what. I need to be convinced.


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 00:23
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
use vs. buy Sep 19, 2009

In the title you ask "Should I use it" and then you actually ask "Should I buy it"

IMHO, the market situation is such that owning a Trados licence pays and buying it is a reasonable investment into a freelancer's assets.

I actually use it for a fraction of my workflow only, but - whatever I or other translators may think about it - simply being able to say "yes, I own Trados" brings more business.

As a matter of fact, I am not sure if starting the actual CAT work with SDL Trados 2007 or SDLT Studio 2009 as the first CAT tool is the best approach; on the other hand, either of them may be as good (or bad) as many others for that purpose. I bought licences for both but have not installed 2009 yet, so I am unable to say "hands-on" if the problems (frequent crashing, etc.) are really that bad as they look on this forum.

It may. of cource, be also a question of how much you are willing to invest and what ROI you expect. To a certain extent, this aspect must depend on your language pair, field of expertise, intended intensity and methods of use, , etc.

Antonin


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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trados - no thanks Sep 19, 2009

I have been translating for many years without Trados - and I have no intention of buying it.

I am sometimes approached by agencies that ask if I use Trados. In my experience, these agencies are almost always bottom-feeders - paying between 4 and 6 eurocents a word. Telling them that I do not have Trados is an effective way of 'shooing' them away.


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Being Earnest
Italy
Local time: 00:23
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Haooy that you are of my same opinion Sep 19, 2009

Thanks. I to have this same feeling and I will continue to translate the "old" fashioned way with my head.

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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:23
Italian to English
+ ...
CAT tools have their place... Sep 19, 2009

Just look at it as an investment for yourself, not for agency work.

Yes, there are many agencies out there that want discounts based on repetitions, but first and foremost, if you buy any CAT tool, you are buying it to increase your own productivity, not to give agencies discount.

Any decent agency will be more interested what you produce, not the discounts.

I have and use Trados when specifically asked to do so, but I've become quite comfortable using another tool (Heartsome Studio) when not specifically asked to use Trados. I upgraded to it a little over a year ago from V6 Suite.

I've taken a small peek at Wordfast Pro (as opposed to Classic) and like what I see. Very similar workflow to what I am accustomed to.

I'm also interested in trying out Across, although I've not yet had time to try it.

My suggestion would be to try out several different tools - I think most, if not all of them, offer free trials. I'm very happy to see that Trados is no longer the only thing out there for serious consideration.

R.
==


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Consider other tools Sep 20, 2009

After a decade using Trados, I am about to switch to another tool (namely MemoQ) as soon as I have carried out some workflow tests with my colleagues in the office. I sincerely encourage you to evaluate other options: there are simpler, more cost-effective, more stable tools out there that will provide better working methods to you.

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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
Finnish to English
Not for me Sep 20, 2009

I do not use CAT tools and have no intention of using them unless the market alters dramatically. Given my language pair, I am by default a 'generalist' and the little amount of work I get that 'repeats itself' makes the venture seem a complete waste of time, considering the agro it will involve.


best

spencer


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