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Client specifies Trados - is Wordfast ok?
Thread poster: Jenny Nilsson

Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:27
English to Swedish
+ ...
QA features Jun 19, 2011

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
I do not say Wordfast is bad.
But in my opinion you cannot tell people who seem not to have any experience that Wordfast is fully compatible with Trados (or the other way round), as it is NOT. To make it compatible you need some knowledge. If you have the necessary experience, than you can indeed use any tool of your choice and make any customer happy - but because of your experience you* shouldn't mislead other people.

* Please note, that "you" does not address anyone in person here, but just means "you" as the opposite of "me" - simply all people here


OK, the Studio QA is better than I had noticed, but I still didn't see any automatic replacement of qoutation marks (or dashes)
I suppose I can live without it.

My conclusion is that the main difference is that Wordfast is easier to use and get used to, while Trados Studio is more flexible in what type of formats it can handle, but it is also much more complicated to learn.

As to the compatibility between Wordfast and Trados, there is never a 100% compatibility, and now even less with Studio. You need to post-process the files in the demanded CAT tool to achieve 100% compatibility, or at least be very sure of what you're doing, based on extensive use of both tools.
Different tools are different, but if you know what you're doing they might seem equal, under certain circumstances.


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
Still no use to translate native MS Word files in something else than MS Word Jun 19, 2011

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:

The reason for having tags is that the translation isn't being done in the native format of the text. To compensate for the fact that the translation cannot be done directly in InDesign or PowerPoint, for example, there has to be some way to include the formatting of the text in the translation program. You cannot skip the formatting, and it IS the translator's job to indicate which words should be in italics and which should be bold in a text (the typesetter probably doesn't speak your language if the typesetting is done in another country).

So, you're stuck with either translating in the native program or having to work with tags. No other way around it.


Hi Ulf,

All you are saying here is very clear to me, but I still don't get, why I should translate source texts, that never come in another format than MS Word, in TagEditor (or Studio). Only because some technically weaker colleagues are having problems with formatting changes using the TWB+Word combo (I don't have those problems anymore) and the agency decides to hand them over the live jacket called TagEditor? Do I have to pay the price for the shortcomings of others?

MS Word was the native format of the technical regulations I mentioned, it was also the format required by the end client, so there is no need to switch to something different. 95% of all of my source texts are in MS Word or best to be translated in MS Word. Whenever something else comes in (HTML, for instance), I am ready to use the bloody TagEditor or anything else, that is required.

And still, who is compensating us the extra work of dealing with the tag soup? It is very hard to get a surcharge for having to work in TE out of the agencies.

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
The reason for chosing to work with TagEditor rather than directly in Word is most likely because they had noticed that some essential tags were being lost when translating and overtyping directly in Word. The text is the same, but automatic indexing and quick links between pages are easily lost when overtyping in Word, and sometimes it even affects inline imaging. I'm pretty sure that is the real reason for switching to TagEditor, but that is neither here nor there now as the Word interfacing is fading out anyway.


Yes, sometimes I had such cases, but I was (and am) always able to correct it myself. We have to check the final file anyway, no matter if we translated in MS Word or anything else. So, in order to see the original formatting while translating (and not the tag soup), my choice will always be to work in MS Word. But the SDL lobby will recommend something else, of course ...

And, to get back to the original question, if there are no reasons not to work in MS Word and the translator has the right to segment the texts as he feels necessary, than there should be no significant difference between using the MS Word + TWB and MS Word + Wordfast Classic. Yes, Wordfast doesn't save formatting information in the TM, but as long as the concern is not about superscript and subscript it is even better not to save the formatting information to the TM.

Have a nice day.

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.

[Edited at 2011-06-19 08:57 GMT]


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:27
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Translator vs. IT specialist Jun 19, 2011

René Stranz-Nikitin wrote:

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:

but in "proper segmentation" is also included whether bullets and numers in numbered lists should be included in the segment or not, and whether beginning and ending tags should be included in the segment or not. Some CATS do and some CATS don't.


That is exactly why I entered this discussion. Is it really the task of a translator to manage tags? Is there really a reasonable ground to exclude a qualified translator from projects he clearly fits to with his specialisations just because he is not willing to play around with tags for free?

It is only done for free, if you do not set your prices right. It is your task to set a price so, that it covers all your needs.
Unfortunately the days of "just translators" are counted (IMHO they have already ended).
As a translator you nowadays cannot live without a computer. And the very basic knowledge of the computer software is not enough to work with it properly, so you must learn more. You have to know how to manage files, you need to know something about networks, you must know how to send and receive files even if they are big. Usage of archiving tools like WinZIP or WinRAR is exactly as necessary as the ability to create a regular backup of your files and system.
Then you need to know how to deal with TOC or index in Word, how to create a new Word file, how to place graphics there and what to do if some links are broken and so on.
Without all this knowledge you cannot do your job.

Of course, an end client can demand what he wants (also *unreasonable* things, since he is not a language professional), but when an agency gets unreasonable just because of greed, then I will have my own opinion on that.

Who is to tell what is reasonable or what not? are you able to understand all processes behind your translation? Then you are also an IT specialist as I mentioned before.
Many "unreasonable" things become reasonable when you ask why the requirement is so or other. What seems unreasonable to you may very well have a great reason elsewhere.

I had such a problem some time ago, when I was translating technical regulations of EU countries via an agency. The Commission just needed to get Word documents to be sent back. First everything was OK translating Word documents in Word+TWB (quite logical to translate Word in Word, isn't it?). Later on they lured the cheaper colleagues into translating the same Word documents in TagEditor. It was entirely clear to me, that in this situation I was becoming a minority and that the different segmentation and the segments becoming fuzzy because of the tags from TagEditor would cause a conflict. But really, I couldn't make myself translate Word files in such an unfriendly environment as TagEditor (to Jerzy: please don't elaborate on this now, this is my unchangeable point of view and it has been discussed too often and a further discussion on this would be entirely infertile), since this was simply unreasonable. So I was faded out from those projects for those reasons, but mainly because of rude cuts of the rates to be paid to translators. In fact the whole change was performed just to cut rates.

Are you sure you can process ANY Word file in Word with Trados or even Wordfast?
What about files with cross references? Never had such files? Trados damages cross references and restoring them is quote a tough task.

I think that tags are not subject of a translator's work. Translators are forced to deal with them in a very rude way, but in fact we are stealing work from DTP specialists here and are stealing from ourselves. Not a very professional approach ;-(

Exactly as you need to learn how to deal with computer you must learn how to deal with tags, unless you want to translate Word files until the end of your days.
A html file will have tags and all other non-native formats will have tags.
Tags are translators friends, not enemies.

We should not deal with tags at all!

Well, then you should not deal with translations at all...

Who is enforcing this? Major translation agencies, I believe ...

When you ask me, I do to. I love tags and work gladly with tagged formats. This is the only way I can concentrate on what is my real task, namely translation - I do not have to deal with formatting, formats and files, but just with plain text and some symbols which need to be placed properly. An easy going job, requiring not more time and attention as writing a completely new text in Word.
BTW, when posting to this forum how do you insert a quotation? Or bold formatting...
With tags.

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
As to the compatibility between Wordfast and Trados, there is never a 100% compatibility, and now even less with Studio. You need to post-process the files in the demanded CAT tool to achieve 100% compatibility, or at least be very sure of what you're doing, based on extensive use of both tools.
Different tools are different, but if you know what you're doing they might seem equal, under certain circumstances.

Exactly - this is what I am always trying to say.
Promising people, who lack any experience (remember, the topic starter said: "m new in the world of cat-tools and don't want to bother my clients with these kinds of questions."), that it will be ok to use a different tool than required is cheating them. Just this.
You tell such person it is OK to use Wordfast when client wants Trados. He accepts the job, delivers and will have to pay the extra expenses at customers side, if they have had expected a TTX file... You told him WF is compatible, so he would not ask for TTX - he doesn't have a clue about it.
So the answer to the initial question of this very topic must be:

Client specifies Trados - is Wordfast ok NO!

[Edited at 2011-06-19 18:27 GMT]


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
I am not your little child, Jerzy! Jun 19, 2011

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

René Stranz-Nikitin wrote:

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:

but in "proper segmentation" is also included whether bullets and numers in numbered lists should be included in the segment or not, and whether beginning and ending tags should be included in the segment or not. Some CATS do and some CATS don't.


That is exactly why I entered this discussion. Is it really the task of a translator to manage tags? Is there really a reasonable ground to exclude a qualified translator from projects he clearly fits to with his specialisations just because he is not willing to play around with tags for free?

It is only done for free, if you do not set your prices right. It is your task to set a price so, that it covers all your needs.
Unfortunately the days of "just translators" are counted (IMHO they have already ended).
As a translator you nowadays cannot live without a computer. And the very basic knowledge of the computer software is not enough to work with it properly, so you must learn more. You have to know how to manage files, you need to know something about networks, you must know how to send and receive files even if they are big. Usage of archiving tools like WinZIP or WinRAR is exactly as necessary as the ability to create a regular backup of your files and system.
Then you need to know how to deal with TOC or index in Word, how to create a new Word file, how to place graphics there and what to do if some links are broken and so on.
Without all this knowledge you cannot do your job.

Of course, an end client can demand what he wants (also *unreasonable* things, since he is not a language professional), but when an agency gets unreasonable just because of greed, then I will have my own opinion on that.

Who is to tell what is reasonable or what not? are you able to understand all processes behind your translation? Then you are also an IT specialist as I mentioned before.
Many "unreasonable" things become reasonable when you ask why the requirement is so or other. What seems unreasonable to you may very well have a great reason elsewhere.

I had such a problem some time ago, when I was translating technical regulations of EU countries via an agency. The Commission just needed to get Word documents to be sent back. First everything was OK translating Word documents in Word+TWB (quite logical to translate Word in Word, isn't it?). Later on they lured the cheaper colleagues into translating the same Word documents in TagEditor. It was entirely clear to me, that in this situation I was becoming a minority and that the different segmentation and the segments becoming fuzzy because of the tags from TagEditor would cause a conflict. But really, I couldn't make myself translate Word files in such an unfriendly environment as TagEditor (to Jerzy: please don't elaborate on this now, this is my unchangeable point of view and it has been discussed too often and a further discussion on this would be entirely infertile), since this was simply unreasonable. So I was faded out from those projects for those reasons, but mainly because of rude cuts of the rates to be paid to translators. In fact the whole change was performed just to cut rates.

Are you sure you can process ANY Word file in Word with Trados or even Wordfast?
What about files with cross references? Never had such files? Trados damages cross references and restoring them is quote a tough task.

I think that tags are not subject of a translator's work. Translators are forced to deal with them in a very rude way, but in fact we are stealing work from DTP specialists here and are stealing from ourselves. Not a very professional approach ;-(

Exactly as you need to learn how to deal with computer you must learn how to deal with tags, unless you want to translate Word files until the end of your days.
A html file will have tags and all other non-native formats will have tags.
Tags are translators friends, not enemies.

We should not deal with tags at all!

Well, then you should not deal with translations at all...

Who is enforcing this? Major translation agencies, I believe ...

When you ask me, I do to. I love tags and work gladly with tagged formats. This is the only way I can concentrate on what is my real task, namely translation - I do not have to deal with formatting, formats and files, but just with plain text and some symbols which need to be placed properly. An easy going job, requiring not more time and attention as writing a completely new text in Word.
BTW, when posting to this forum how do you insert a quotation? Or bold formatting...
With tags.


Dear Jerzy,

I won't answer every of your comments, because you are speaking to me like to little child. Are you aware of this?

I am earning the living of our family as a professional full-time translator for 14 and a half years now. Be sure, that everything you said I should know, I know it long ago.

Just to illustrate how few you know about me, my translation services and translators translating INTO German, I would like to comment on this:

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
What about files with cross references? Never had such files? Trados damages cross references and restoring them is quote a tough task.


You mean cross references to an external database or so?

I must admit that I do not remember when I had such a case the last time. I had Word files with embedded Excel tables, PPTs with such tables. In my language combinations (from Slavic languages into German) files with cross references will be 1 file out of 500.

If I would get such a file, I would simply translate this 1 file out of 500 in the recommended tool (maybe TagEditor). But I really don't know why I should go through all the hassle of the tag soup with the other 499 files. 400 files of the 499 I OCRed from PDFs and formatted myself, so I know what they contain. Yes, your company translates into Polish and for sure mostly manuals. Your situation will be much different from mine, but you should remember, that there are other scenarios than yours.

It is not long ago that I worked with an agency with a clear TTX workflow. I did the high quality translation in Word + TWB (saw the original formatting while translating, which enables me to translate better) and then produced the bilingual TTX with the memory (had to adjust the segmentation, that's true). The agency did not request that 100%, but I wanted to comply with their workflow. Of course this cost me more time than usually, but I did it to keep the client happy.

And my main argument, why I want to see the original formatting instead of the tag soup, is the following:

Formatting is a part of the text. It carries information, that most likely will be important for rightly understanding the source text and rightly rendering the information in the target text. Congratulations if your head is transforming the tags into formatting without any effort and you have the formatting in front of your eyes when reading the tags. But I guess many translators find this exercise quite a useless one, because it eats up resources in our heads, which could be better used for the translation work itself.

Please remember, I am speaking only about translating MS Word files here. I am absolutely aware that it is impossible to translate Indesign outside of Indesign without tags.

Why I see an issue in SDL lobbyists like you, who don't tolerate other workflows then theirs? Because you are excluding („ausgrenzen” in German - you know that word for sure) a huge part of very experienced translator professionals from a big part of the market. You are choosing your translators by a wrong criterion: the ability to deal with the tag soup. And this criterion has the highest priority for you, it technically excludes the non-complying translators absolutely. Shouldn't the ability to translate well in the requested language pair and direction and the knowledge of the relevant subject area be the criterions number one and two?

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.


 

Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:27
English to Swedish
+ ...
Tags for free? Jun 19, 2011

René Stranz-Nikitin wrote:

That is exactly why I entered this discussion. Is it really the task of a translator to manage tags? Is there really a reasonable ground to exclude a qualified translator from projects he clearly fits to with his specialisations just because he is not willing to play around with tags for free?



You mean cross references to an external database or so?



Formatting is a part of the text. It carries information, that most likely will be important for rightly understanding the source text and rightly rendering the information in the target text. Congratulations if your head is transforming the tags into formatting without any effort and you have the formatting in front of your eyes when reading the tags. But I guess many translators find this exercise quite a useless one, because it eats up resources in our heads, which could be better used for the translation work itself.


First of all, tags aren't included for free. They are counted as words in an analysis. You are getting paid for handling them.

Secondly, there is a discussion here from March of an example of a problem with a client because of missing bookmarks in a Word file. Those were internal cross referenses within the file. The agency wants to pay the translator 700 euros less becuase of the cost they claim for having to hire someone else to fix the problem.

Finally, I don't find it very hard to learn what formatting each tag represents, so I really don't see why you wold HAVE to translate Word documents in Word. Personally, I feel more confident that no formatting is messed up if I work in Studio rather than TWB. At least I can see that the bookmarks and index fields don't get messed up.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Three different issues here Jun 19, 2011

One issue here seems to be those outsourcers that demand Trados on a "perché mi piace" (= "because I like it" in IT) basis. Some of them have no idea on CAT tools, yet they have been bombarded by SDL and their proselytes into believing that professional translators only use Trados; all others are for amateurs only. They'd consider someone carrying a Hasselblad as a professional photographer, and never think it might be just a wealthy amateur.
... See more
One issue here seems to be those outsourcers that demand Trados on a "perché mi piace" (= "because I like it" in IT) basis. Some of them have no idea on CAT tools, yet they have been bombarded by SDL and their proselytes into believing that professional translators only use Trados; all others are for amateurs only. They'd consider someone carrying a Hasselblad as a professional photographer, and never think it might be just a wealthy amateur.

The second issue is outsourcers who have extensive TMs in a Trados-proprietary format, and are justified in demanding compatibility. The illustration here is that each DTP software has its own proprietary files, so there is no point in having e.g. someone using QuarkXpress to work on InDesign files, or vice-versa.

The third one involves tags, which I understand as formatting commands embedded into the text to be translated. I've never seen Trados in my life, however from what my esteemed colleagues here say, it apparently has its own interface to go into InDesign, Quark, FrameMaker, and possibly Scribus, PagePlus, and MS Publisher files bypassing these programs, and getting the files translated. Meanwhile WordFast Classic only operates within Word. Though I have it, I didn't go exploring what files WordFast Pro can handle.

As a reference, I am a PageMaker wizard, have been using successive versions of it for almost a quarter century, so I know my way in DTP, despite not having experience with other same-purpose applications.

Anyway, what is the point, the objective in doing DTP? To build a neatly laid-out publication. And what is the most popular publication format? Adobe Acrobat PDF, common to all DTP applications, actually common to any print-enabled software.

So what would be the point in using the holy Trados to translate DTP files? After the translator is done with their job, a DTP operator using the proper software most likely will have to go over it to adjust all text overflows, displacements, and other mishaps. And chances are the DTP operator doesn't know the target language, so the translator will have additional reviewing work.

I've had such a case. I translated a ~200-page book into PT, formatted files being provided in MS Word. It was quite 'artsy', so the layout was rather complex for a book. Typesetting came out pretty bad, as it's usual in Word. So the publisher got it redone using InDesign. The DTP operator knew nothing about PT, and I have no idea on what dictionary she used for hyphenating. To make a long story short, both me and my fellow reviewer had to proofread the entire book (provided as a PDF), eight times because each hyphenation corrected in a paragraph caused a new wrong hyphenation to appear down below.

So what is my process now? I work on the PDF file (it's all the end-client needs) using InFix. The process is described here. Maybe other adequate PDF editing software exists, or will eventually come up, I don't know. To translate all that tagged file InFix exports as XML, I use MS Word and WordFast. To protect/skip the tags, I get Word to mark all XML tagged text in red and grey as 'untranslateable', using the 'marching red ants', and it's pretty straightforward. After translation I remove the red ants, and InFix imports the translated XML into the PDF, all properly formatted in place. Then I use InFix to fix the layout shifts and overflows (of course I charge for it! - yet they won't spend on DTP), and my client gets a finished translated PDF.

A couple of points to consider...

The InFix Pro translation feature was admittedly developed and tested using Trados and DejaVu, so it should work even better there than with WordFast. Lucky Trados owners.

While no translator would be expected to learn and have all the various leading DTP applications, nor learn to create publications with each of them, fixing formatting with InFix is much easier than doing it with MS Word, once one has read the 150-page manual.


So IMHO the (third) issue here is more about fulfilling the client's needs in the most cost-effective way, and not just pleasing their wants by having Trados.
Collapse


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
English to Czech
+ ...
Some insight Jun 19, 2011

René Stranz-Nikitin wrote:
Why I see an issue in SDL lobbyists like you, who don't tolerate other workflows then theirs? Because you are excluding („ausgrenzen” in German - you know that word for sure) a huge part of very experienced translator professionals from a big part of the market. You are choosing your translators by a wrong criterion: the ability to deal with the tag soup. And this criterion has the highest priority for you, it technically excludes the non-complying translators absolutely. Shouldn't the ability to translate well in the requested language pair and direction and the knowledge of the relevant subject area be the criterions number one and two?

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.


Hello René,

what you say is of course perfectly true. Theoretically. Practically, the situation is very different for many outsourcers. Many translators are no longer just translators; many of them have to have some IT knowledge as well to comply with the market requirements. And these requirements are evolving and changing continuously.

Let me draw a brief parallel to begin with:
Imagine a food-producing company that needs to implement an in-line x-ray checking system do detect metals and other small foreign particles in the food it produces. The company will most probably compare several systems from several possible suppliers, compare their pros and cons and then make a final decision on purchasing one of them. Probably the one that best fits the needs of that particular company.

The situation is very similar at big translation agencies. They will select one or prehaps two CAT tools to manage and have done their jobs with. Why not five CAT tools at a time? Because each tool costs money (and as you know, professional licenses are damn-expensive) and time that you have to spend on training your project managers.

Thus, as an outsourcer who has chosen to work with Studio, I want my suppliers to deliver bilingual SDLXLIFF files. Basically, I don't care if they work with Studio or MemoQ or anything else, as long as they can deliver bilingual SDLXLIFF files. The reason is that this is my workflow and I am the client. So, either you can deal with bilingual SDLXLIFFs produced even from Word, or I am not interested.

Anyone can call me all possible names for this, but this is a free market.


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
You made me really curious! How do you make Trados counting all the tags as words? Jun 19, 2011

Dear Ulf,

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:

First of all, tags aren't included for free. They are counted as words in an analysis. You are getting paid for handling them.


Thank's a lot for this interesting input. I made a little test on a file I translated recently. First I opened an empty TM in Workbench and analyzed the DOC-file I received from the client. This is the resulting analysis:

Match Types Segments Words Percent Placeables
Context TM 0 0 0 0
Repetitions 26 43 1 0
100% 0 0 0 0
95% - 99% 0 0 0 0
85% - 94% 0 0 0 0
75% - 84% 0 0 0 0
50% - 74% 0 0 0 0
No Match 398 3,378 99 0
Total 424 3,421 100 0

Chars/Word 5.88
Chars Total 20,143

Then I opened the same DOC-file in Tageditor, saved bilingual as TTX and analyzed the TTX file with Workbench (again against an empty TM). The resulting analysis is this:

Match Types Segments Words Percent Placeables
Context TM 0 0 0 0
Repetitions 25 41 1 9
100% 0 0 0 0
95% - 99% 0 0 0 0
85% - 94% 0 0 0 0
75% - 84% 0 0 0 0
50% - 74% 0 0 0 0
No Match 398 3,389 99 253
Total 423 3,430 100 262

Chars/Word 5.88
Chars Total 20,188

Switching between RTF and XML-workflow in TWB didn't make a difference. MS Word 2010 counts 3,496 words, by the way.

As you see there is a difference of 9 words or 45 characters between the two analysises. But in TagEditor I see hundreds of tags that I will have to place right and that will distract me from my translation work.

Payment for Trados jobs is almost always based on those analysises. So I would be quite curious, how I could get an adequate renumeration for playing around with hundreds of tags, when Trados counts only 9 of them as a word. Or is this different with Studio? I wasn't asked to do Studio jobs yet.

I doubt an end client would be ready to pay extra for playing around with tags. Even if you as an agency would pay the translator for handling tags (on whatever basis, I can't imagine on which), most probably you will then try to pay him less for the actual translation work in order to fit into the end client's budget. So such an approach would be pure cosmetics.

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
Secondly, there is a discussion here from March of an example of a problem with a client because of missing bookmarks in a Word file. Those were internal cross referenses within the file. The agency wants to pay the translator 700 euros less becuase of the cost they claim for having to hire someone else to fix the problem.


I know, I read that discussion as well. I can assure you, that this would not have happened to me. Some 6 years ago, when I started to use TWB, I learned quite quickly, that there are elements in Word I rather should not touch with Trados. Two of those elements are tables of contents and bookmarks, you are right.

But the solution for tables of contents is easy: Just don't touch them and simply update them, when you are ready with the translation and proofreading work.

On the contrary, this is one of the big advantages of working in Word+TWB. You don't have to translate every single character with Trados. If a segment doesn't allow to open and close it without technical problems, just translate it without! Do a concordance search on the segment and translate without opening and closing it. If you want the segment to be in the TM, then copy the segment as text only to an empty Word document and translate it there as well, this time opening and closing the segment with TWB. As text only it won't cause problems anymore. This is what I did all the time in the years, when TWB was still unable to handle footnotes properly. After the problematic segment you can go on as usual. If you want to be on the safe side during the cleanup-process, clean a copy of your unclean file to update the TM and "clean" the final document that you want to send to the customer using the tw4win.Clean-macro.

In the TagEditor workflow I would have no chance to translate a segment without Trados. The QA checker would call me an idiot for that (untranslated segment) and the agency would worry and give me a worse ranking.

I know to whom the TWB+Word workflow causes problems: To those, who rely on quick pretranslation without checking the result. But this is not my approach to quality; I am always checking everything I am sending out. Again, I don't want to be held responsive for what the cheapsters are doing.

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
It is by far not the aim of my argumentation to raise the level of competition. Jun 19, 2011

Ahoj Stando,

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

Thus, as an outsourcer who has chosen to work with Studio, I want my suppliers to deliver bilingual SDLXLIFF files. Basically, I don't care if they work with Studio or MemoQ or anything else, as long as they can deliver bilingual SDLXLIFF files. The reason is that this is my workflow and I am the client. So, either you can deal with bilingual SDLXLIFFs produced even from Word, or I am not interested.

Anyone can call me all possible names for this, but this is a free market.


Of course it is your decision. The aim of my argumentation in this thread is by far not competition of all translators with all translators, no. In fact it is not that bad for our rates, that with the development of the new CATs (like MemoQ) the available pool of translators is somewhat divided into more camps by the "CAT borders" than in the first decade of this century. This means less competition.

I only start to get upset when someone is asking me to use a "default segmentation", which would force me to work with segments that don't make sense.

In Studio I see a trend to eliminate the number of tags translators have to deal with. Maybe some day, when quite no tags will be left on the screen and when the Preview function in Word will work reliably enough with all Word files, even I will switch to Studio.

Two questions I would have to you, by the way:
1. You don't even accept a TMX export + clean file? Why that?
2. Do you send the original file format to the translator or only the SDLXLIFF? I mean, is your translator able to see the original formatting or does he have to decode the tags into formatting in his head while translating?

René


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:27
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
This is now really far from the original question.... Jun 19, 2011

René Stranz-Nikitin wrote:
...
I only start to get upset when someone is asking me to use a "default segmentation", which would force me to work with segments that don't make sense.

Even then you can change that, quite easily in fact.
The default segmentation does not really exist in text files. It may however exist in certain software strings or database application and there you indeed cannot change it for technical reasons. If however the segmentation in such files appears to be illogical you can still refuse to translate such segments and put a note to the customer why.
But OTOH the bad segmentation will most probably be the smaller problem in such job - you will most certainly be also limited to a maximum number of characters, not exceeding the source. Then I wish you luck and the ability to produce nice abbreviations. Does not work well from English into any language I know. And then you will also have to deal with abbreviations in your source.

In Studio I see a trend to eliminate the number of tags translators have to deal with. Maybe some day, when quite no tags will be left on the screen and when the Preview function in Word will work reliably enough with all Word files, even I will switch to Studio.

This is in fact not really true. There is nearly the same amount of tags in Studio as in any other plain-text based CAT tool. Only in case the formatting can be recognized by the program and shown the tags are hidden by default. TBH this is the worst way to work with Studio. With no formatting and all tags shown you can work with the program much faster.

Two questions I would have to you, by the way:
1. You don't even accept a TMX export + clean file? Why that?

Quite simple, because you cannot produce a "clean" file. Such file does not exist in many systems.

2. Do you send the original file format to the translator or only the SDLXLIFF? I mean, is your translator able to see the original formatting or does he have to decode the tags into formatting in his head while translating?

In most cases there will be no original fiole send to the translator.
Maybe a PDF printout or an access to a web page.
But quite often the text will be plain and the tags will not represent formatting, but some steering elements for the software producing the final version.
When you count the number of segments with formatting versus the segments without any internal formatting you should see, that around 90% of any translation (technical) is plain text with no formatting. When you refer to headings, list elements and so on, so this is not formatting but document structure level. And this is clearly stated in Studio, so you know if you translate a heading, a cell or a footnote now.

Why I see an issue in SDL lobbyists like you, who don't tolerate other workflows then theirs? Because you are excluding („ausgrenzen” in German - you know that word for sure) a huge part of very experienced translator professionals from a big part of the market. You are choosing your translators by a wrong criterion: the ability to deal with the tag soup. And this criterion has the highest priority for you, it technically excludes the non-complying translators absolutely. Shouldn't the ability to translate well in the requested language pair and direction and the knowledge of the relevant subject area be the criterions number one and two?

With all your statemets here, first of all the above one, you deliver me the best argument to keep my principles and chose the best translator by his/her ability to fulfill my needs. These consist of a good translation done in the desired workflow. Either you understand why it is necessary and can fulfill the needs, including of course the linguistic ability, or you will fight this demand with all your energy, stating things like those mentioned above, because you feel excluded. Try to understand the workflow and be invited to join. But there are requirements which have to be met in order to join. Exactly as with the traffic: you may be very well able to drive a car, but you are first invited to join when you have a driving license.
BTW I do not answer you as I would treat you like a child, even if my experience is much longer than yours. I also have been extensively using the TWB and Word combo for Polish translations, making the formatting to be a huge problem and having developed methods to circumvent nearly any problem in Word. And exactly this experience has brought me to understand tags and to be able to deal with those.
Calling me a lobbyist is also a mistake. I do not force anyone to use anything.
What I do is to show problems with statements about compatibility, like in this topic. Or I do also help people with my experience in SDL Trados (whatever version you may chose - I started with Trados 3). This indeed includes sometimes the necessity to correct wrong statements or hear sayings people tend to write about Trados.

Now I think I have said enough on this topic.
I quote myself:
(if you are honest)
Client specifies Trados - is Wordfast ok = NO!

Over and out.


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
You quote yourself - Jun 19, 2011

I say: As you like it!

[Edited at 2011-06-19 21:36 GMT]


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
English to Czech
+ ...
Replies Jun 19, 2011

Ahoj René,
here are my replies to your questions:


1. You don't even accept a TMX export + clean file? Why that?

Because the latest version of TMX definition (1.4b) has its limitations and does not make all the CAT tools 100% compatible in terms of TM exchange. In other words, if you export your TM from tool A and import it into tool B, chances are that some important meta information may be lost during the export -> import process. This will of course decrease the TM leverage for future projects, making the project preparation more time-consuming.

To give an example: before I send a project out to a colleague, I will normally pre-translate the project files with the latest version of my TM, check the pre-translated segments manually and lock them against editing because these translations have already been approved by the client. Imagine that tagging information gets lost and I would have to re-insert all tags manually in pretranlated 99% match segments. That would mean a problem in a 20k words project with 5k words in Context Matches penalized -1% for missing tags.
Once TMX makes the TMs produced by all CAT tools 100% compatible, I will most probably have no problem with the workflow that you suggested.

2. Do you send the original file format to the translator or only the SDLXLIFF? I mean, is your translator able to see the original formatting or does he have to decode the tags into formatting in his head while translating?

I most definitely do, if it's possible. On the other hand, at least in Studio most tags are self-explanatory and it's not much trouble to "head-convert" the tags into formatting information. Once you learn that, you will find out that this is much quicker than referring to a PDF, switching between windows over and over again.
In fact, learning the meaning of most tags is a big advantage, for example in OCRed files that you mentioned in one of your previous posts. Sometimes you really do need to deal with a tag soup, even if you took care to clean up your Word file before loading into your CAT tool. In that case, and if you know the meaning of tags, you can easily forget about most of them in your OCRed file. Just translate the segment and only insert one tag pair out of four, because the other three pairs are the same anyway.

And as Jerzy said, working with tags hidden is the most dangerous way of working (or at least I would find it so). I like to have perfect control over what I am doing and to keep my control over the file, I need to see all formatting information. Yes, I am a tag fan, provided the document author knew what he/she was doing.

I hope this helps?

[Upraveno: 2011-06-19 22:31 GMT]


 

Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 00:27
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Wordfast may be ok Jun 19, 2011

Wordfast or any other CAT tool can be used if the user knows the details of both tools. But it seems that some Trados users do not have sufficient knowledge about other CAT tools. Only a proficient user of both Trados and Wordfast can make a general statement like Wordfast is (not) compatible with Trados.


Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

A CAT-tool for poetry is most probably not the best choice.
And Word is Word and remains what it is - a great word processor. But it is NOT a CAT-tool and so has its limits. Regardless the interface in Word yxou use (MT, Trados, WF) you will be limited to what you can achieve in Word. And this is next to nothing in terms of CAT.
Of course you can easilly process text in Word and use a TM and even a terminology solution. But what about integrated QA? What about formats other than Word? What about fast dealing with repetitions? Numbers? Multiple TMs? Perfect Match?


There was a "correct tool" out there, which can do all and more (yes, DVX)! But many Trados users were happy with the Word environment, slow dealing with repetitions, single TM, ...


Yes, you are right - but you have correctly put the accent to "were". I belong to those, who were very happy with Trados Word interface. But this is similar to anything else in the IT. I also was happy with my X286 processor in my first computer ever. And even if I am happy for now with the i7 in my laptop I am quite certain in some years a Q99 or something newer will make me happy...
Neither can nor wish I to stop the development. And if you're honest, the same applies to you (all).


First version of DVX was released in 2003, and there was Trados 6 in 2003! Unfortunately Trados users were using an old technology until the release of Studio (but SP3). Only after 8 long years SDL now sells a modern CAT tool.

In other words there was a i7 of CAT tools in the market when some Trados users were still using X286.


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:27
Czech to German
+ ...
Freebee tags as a source of economical curruption / possible pillow talk of a corrupted PM Jun 20, 2011

Dear Stanislav,

Thank you for your detailed and honest reply.

Nevertheless I can't be convinced of the fruitfulness of the "head-conversion" of tags.

Imagine PM Maruška made translator X her lover. At the same agency, translator X is in tough competition with translator Y. Translator Y has no sex appeal to Maruška. Both translators are heavily dependent on the income from this agency. They can't refuse a single assignment in order to make a living from th
... See more
Dear Stanislav,

Thank you for your detailed and honest reply.

Nevertheless I can't be convinced of the fruitfulness of the "head-conversion" of tags.

Imagine PM Maruška made translator X her lover. At the same agency, translator X is in tough competition with translator Y. Translator Y has no sex appeal to Maruška. Both translators are heavily dependent on the income from this agency. They can't refuse a single assignment in order to make a living from the lousy Czech and Polish rates. Here is the story:


Maruška adores sex with X, she can't live without it.

X says to Maruška: I probably won't have time for sex with you next week, I have to work even harder than now to pay my bills. But I would have more time for you, if you would help me to fade out translator Y from the agency.

Maruška: I will help you with this. The next scanned PDF that I will send to Y for translation I will OCR saving with the so called "original formatting" setting in FineReader. I will sugar the file with some additional rogue tags directly out of my dirtiest pocket and then you will be able to watch, how his brain starts boiling. First some steam will come out of his ears, then he will be in flames entirely. After that you will be able to raise your lousy rate with the agency and jump into my bed every day.

The head of translator Y burnt down under the burden of the useless and unpaid task, nobody helped him. Since Maruška didn't send the original file to translator Y, he had no chance to do the OCR himself without the rogue tags, the random text boxes and so on.


Is there really anybody who gets paid an adequate amount of money for handling tags? If yes, how do we count tags? This would solve the problem, agencies would be forced to minimize the amount of tags themselves, but I never heard of an agency paying for tags like for words, als Ulf mentioned.

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.

[Edited at 2011-06-20 09:35 GMT]
Collapse


 

Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
Back to the original question Jun 20, 2011

The OP asked whether it is ok to use WF on a job that was offered as a Trados job. Just ask the PM. Sometimes it won't be a problem, and sometimes it will.

If you feel you cannot "bother" him or her with a question like that, then what does the rest of your cooperation look like?


 
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