Is it OK to reply to job postings requiring Trados if you use a different package?
Thread poster: toulousain

toulousain
Local time: 00:05
French to English
+ ...
Sep 15, 2010

I hope this is the right category to ask this question.
I just wanted to know if it is generally acceptable to reply to job postings that specifically require Trados, if you are using a different CAT package.
What are the reasons for requiring Trados, other than to be able to exchange TMs, which you can generally do even if the client is using Trados and you a different package?
Without wishing to appear a skinflint, I have no desire to shell out the asking price for Trados, when it seems that there other free packages that do the same job just fine (and indeed from my point of view as an IT specialist, it doesn't seem to me that what it does is anything particularly complicated for a program, other than dealing with many different formats). Add to that that I work under Linux, and don't really want to spend my time dual-booting either...

Thanks for any ideas on this.


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Is it ok to state you have InDesign when you have QuakrXPress or others? Sep 15, 2010

The only purpose of using InDesign is to create a final document...
So why bother, I use QuarkXPress instead. I tell the customer I can use InDesign and deliver what I produced with QXP. This is the final document, so why bother?
Of course the situation with Trados is not exactly the same, but very similar. As long you can guarantee that what you deliver is exactly what the customer requests, then you could try. But being honest with the customer would be a good option - tell them you use other software, but you gurantee for compatibility.


 

Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, if honest Sep 15, 2010

I also believe this is ok. I have bought Trados (possibly wishing I didn't bother) but use generally use Across. I find Across much easier to use and am a lot more familar with it than Trados.

Normally if one of my clients wants me to use Trados, I ask if they want an unclean file. If they don't but do require a TM I explain that I can provide them with a clean file and a TMX compatible TM if they wish and I briefly explain my reasons for prefering Across. Normally they are happy enough with this.

Occassionally the client decides they really need a 'unclean' file. If this is the case I make the decision based on the job itself, my workload and whether the client is a regular client who I want to keep happy, and on occasion I do the job in Trados. I find that these jobs tend to be jobs I don't want to take on anyway (not sure why this is thou). I think I take on a job to be done in Trados once every 3 months or so.

Louisa


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes, but be honest Sep 15, 2010

toulousain wrote:
I just wanted to know if it is generally acceptable to reply to job postings that specifically require Trados, if you are using a different CAT package.


Yes, it is quite acceptable, but if the client specifies that you must use Trados, then you have an obligation to inform the client if you don't have Trados (and you should do so clearly, so that the client can decide within moments of opening your e-mail whether he wants to delete it).

Some jobs require that the translator have Trados but do not specify that the translator has to use Trados. The same rule applies here -- it is important to be honest with the client about what you have and what you can do.

Some jobs specify "uncleaned" files but do not specify which CAT tool. In such cases, my approach would be to explain to the client what kinds of files I can deliver, or to ask him for clarification (in such a way that I appear informed but not in a way that might confuse the client if he is ignorant).

What are the reasons for requiring Trados, other than to be able to exchange TMs, which you can generally do even if the client is using Trados and you a different package?


In many cases where I'm required to use Trados, the facility or ability to exchange TMs is not as important as the facility or ability to create (or translate, and sometimes edit) bilingual files, which can be more easily edited, reviewed and proofread before the final file is created from it.

Without wishing to appear a skinflint, I have no desire to shell out the asking price for Trados, when it seems that there other free packages that do the same job just fine.


I agree with your attitude.

The question then becomes why the client wants you to use Trados. If he simply is unaware of other CAT tools and he is really interested in the final file (if getting a TM is an added value for him but not a crucial element of the job), then there is no reason why you can't use any other CAT tool.

Sometimes clients simply want to know that they can get discounts for repetitions in existing TMs, regardless of the CAT tool used by the translator (but since their TMs are in Trados format, it is easier to just specify Trados as a requirement).

You don't say what your current CAT tool is, but since you're on Linux I venture a guess that it might be OmegaT. OmegaT can't edit existing uncleaned RTF, TTX and SDLXLIFF files. You can translate untranslated TTX files in OmegaT (takes a bit of hacking, and Marc's tool), and you can create uncleaned RTF files in OmegaT (takes a bit of tweaking, and my uncleanify tool), but you can't generate TTX files from source files yourself. I'm not sure if you can use Okapi to pre-process SDLXLIFF files for OmegaT (perhaps you can), but then similar restrictions would apply to it as would apply to TTX. OmegaT can't read Trados segmentation files (INI files). OmegaT can't read Trados TMs, but it can read TMX TMs, which your Trados client (or a colleague) can generate for you from the Trados TM itself. OmegaT's exported TMX can be read by a Trados client, but if the client wants to use the TM for exact-match leveraging, he may find fewer exact matches in it.

I agree with what Jerzy said: can you guarantee that you will deliver what the client wants? This depends on what the client wants... (and some clients don't always know what they want).


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, if honest Sep 15, 2010

I think you must be honest to your customer. If you can handle Trados files but don't have Trados, just let the customer know and eventually do a test with them to make sure that the files will process nicely then back at the customer.

 

toulousain
Local time: 00:05
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Sep 15, 2010

Thank you everyone for your replies, and especially thanks to Samuel for the technical details (you're right - I do have OmegaT).

I think I will continue stating that I have Trados, but specify in any quotes that this is not the case, although I can supply most files that might be needed for Trados (on the assumption that many jobs may not actually need Trados specifically, but rather files that they are used to using in Trados).
I certainly never had the intention of deceiving people, but as an IT-minded person, am very aware that you don't necessarily need a specific tool to produce a specific format.

Thanks again!


 


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