Fluency vs. SDL Trados: Marketing Implications
Thread poster: Barbara L Pavlik

Barbara L Pavlik  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Member (2011)
Spanish to English
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Dec 8, 2011

I'm new to the idea of CAT tools and have been considering buying SDL Trados, because it seems to be in demand by outsourcers.. I've attended several webinars introducing CAT tools, (including Trados), and have fallen in love with Fluency. I know that Fluency is the tool that I want to work with, but how much will this affect my marketability with so many outsourcers requesting Trados (even when other programs are compatible)? What is the reason that outsourcers specify a particular CAT tool?

Does anyone work exclusively with Fluency? Would love to get some feedback. Thanks!


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
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Fluency Support Forum at ProZ Dec 8, 2011

There is a forum dedicated to Fluency Support http://www.proz.com/forum/fluency_support-1043.html The number of posts in that forum may answer your questions. Currently no messages!

But Fluency may become the preferred tool in the future. There is a great competition in the CAT tools market. And Trados is no more the only tool.

-------------------
Worth reading: http://www.proz.com/forum/translator_resources/173956-new_fluency_cat_tool.html



[Edited at 2011-12-08 18:39 GMT]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
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Fluency discussion Dec 9, 2011

http://www.proz.com/forum/wordfast_support/213787-wordfast_vs_fluency_translation_suite.html

We have a little discussion going on about the merits of Fluency at the above link.


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Paul Kozelka  Identity Verified
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French to English
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Fluency vs Trados Dec 11, 2011

Barbara,
Outsourcers tend to specify the use of one CAT tool or another based on a number of factors: the TM's they already have from previous work with clients, clients who have that particular CAT tool, ease of reformatting back to the original source document, etc.
As you will find from other sources, Wordfast was a bit hit early in the history of CAT tools because it was very user-friendly and easy to learn; Trados, which consistently gained a bad rep because of a long and steep learning curve (still applicable, according to some) was a hit because it could handle a wide range of file formats. Many CAT tools are trying to become the be-all-and-end-all for both free-lancers and LSPs, thus attempting to incorporate both easily-accessed resources and project management features, some of which you may find you do not need.
I, too, took to Fluency (FL) early in its history, especially its Resources panels and the ability to "undock" those windows and put them elsewhere on my screen, as well as rearrange the Source/Target/Preview windows (I still prefer the top-to-bottom Source/Target style). FL has tremendous, personalized support, and has bent over backwards (or forwards, if you will) to accomodate new file formats (InDesign, for example), make the use of imported formats (e.g., Trados ttx files) easy to work with and then re-export, and has been quick to incorporate minor user-friendly features on its own or at the request of users (e.g., the nice, large symbols insertion panel). I have found its learning curve is very digestible.
After 10+ years with Trados, I have now switched over to FL for 90% of my work, including Trados files sent by clients.
The biggest bugaboo for freelancers these days is PDF files, for which there is still no perfect solution. FL is working hard on improving conversion facilities for these, and has now sent out a query to users to see if some sort of Web-based or server-based solution would be welcome until they can find a way to incorporate a more effective conversion tool into FL.
As others have noted, you should work with whatever CAT tool you are comfortable with, whether it is your first purchase, a second tool or s.t. you plan to switch to.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:15
Finnish to French
You can use Wordfast Anywhere/Pro for converting PDF's Dec 11, 2011

Paul Kozelka wrote:
The biggest bugaboo for freelancers these days is PDF files, for which there is still no perfect solution.

Here are two possible ways to deal with PDF's, using Wordfast Anywhere and Wordfast Pro:
http://youtu.be/ZwYgFbWzpFQ?hd=1
http://youtu.be/bGDzllw6CFI?hd=1
You can do the actual translation outside Wordfast.


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Barbara L Pavlik  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:15
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Dec 15, 2011

Thanks, everyone for your input. I have visited the links and read all your comments with interest. Thanks especially to Paul for your detailed input. I think I will be going with Fluency. I've been test driving it, and I like using it. I just wonder about applying for translating jobs where they specifically ask for Trados. You can get away with it, because you also own the Trados program, but will I be able to convince outsourcers that Fluency is Trados compatible? Do they tend to work with compatible programs or is there a "snob factor" involved?

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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:15
Finnish to French
Just go with your instinct Dec 18, 2011

Barbara L Pavlik wrote:
Thanks, everyone for your input. I have visited the links and read all your comments with interest. Thanks especially to Paul for your detailed input. I think I will be going with Fluency. I've been test driving it, and I like using it.

You have tried Fluency, you like it, so just go with your instinct and use it as your main tool. You're the one going to use your CAT tool day in, day out, so what *you* feel about it is what matters, not what potential outsources want you to use.

Barbara L Pavlik wrote:
I just wonder about applying for translating jobs where they specifically ask for Trados. You can get away with it, because you also own the Trados program, but will I be able to convince outsourcers that Fluency is Trados compatible? Do they tend to work with compatible programs or is there a "snob factor" involved?

Trados domination is no longer what it used to be: although it is still a major player among both agencies and translators, many agencies nowadays use other tools (and very few "Trados shops" have upgraded to the new Studio), and so do many translators. Anyway, you would want an agency to hire you for your skills as a translator, not for the tool you use.


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Barbara L Pavlik  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:15
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 20, 2011

Thanks, Dominique,

I have bought Fluency and am having fun learning to use it!


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:15
Finnish to French
Congrats! Dec 20, 2011

Barbara L Pavlik wrote:
I have bought Fluency and am having fun learning to use it!

Excellent! I hate it when people end up buying a tool they don't really fancy just because some client (or maybe just potential client) is bullying them into it.


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Barbara L Pavlik  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:15
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Extortion Dec 21, 2011

Exactly! That was one of the factors I considered... the extortionate way that Trados is marketed and requested in the industry is a real turn-off for me. (in addition to the fact that Fluency just seems to me to be a better product). As long as I can provide a document in a format that is compatible with what the client is using, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to do the job. Of course, I realize that a lot of searches will miss me for the simple reason that they put Trados in their search criteria, but I've always enjoyed working with people who are a bit off the beaten path anyway.

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Fluency vs. SDL Trados: Marketing Implications

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