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How necessary is Trados?
Thread poster: Anne Seerup

Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 10:40
English to Danish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2003

I am looking towards getting trados freelance (the new offer here on ProZ.com) but how necessary is it? I have used Wordfast so far which is compatible with Trados - but I seem to be losing out on jobs because the client demands Trados. I wonder would it make a difference to "lie" and say that I have Trados if Wordfast is perfectly compatible? Let me hear your opinions

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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't lie, but be informed about Trados and Wordfast Jun 11, 2003

Truly, my best advice is "don't lie". It just isn't good business practice (and I know that you don't really mean lie, but "lie"). However, when communicating with a potential client about a job you know they want Trados for you can, and should, say things like "working with Trados files is not a problem",or "delivery of ..." etc. The catch here is that you have to have a very good knowledge of what Trados can do, how it is commonly used, and what your alternative's limits are.
I have Trados, but find that one of the alternatives out there is much easier to use in a variety of ways (no expensive dongle to lose is a big one!), and compatable in every way, and as a consequence I use a product one 6th the cost of Trados the vast majority of the time.

I won't be shocked, however, if others reply with differnet opinions.


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Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 11:40
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Trados is fine, but Jun 11, 2003

I bought Trados not long ago. I read the manual, and started to use ver. 5.5 and then ver.6.

My conclution: When working inside Word, Trados is just not good enough compared to Wordfast. I even use ver. 3.3x version of Wordfast, and plan to upgrade.

On the other hand: Trados is useful when bif-files etc arrive from a customer, and Wordfast may not be compatible (I do not know about ver. 4.2) and for Framemaker and Interleaf files.

If you have both Wordfast and Trados it should cover most translators' needs. Some times just having Trados is useful when marketing yourself.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:40
Italian to English
Not as necessary as Anne Seerup ... Jun 11, 2003

Jason and Ivan have given you some very solid advice, but do remember that your biggest selling tool is your own experience and past work.

Trados, Wordfast, DejaVu, MetaTexis and all the other CAT programs can help, but at the end of the day, the crucial factors are your specialist skills and your ability to deliver the product in the format that the client requires.

As Jason points out, you don't need to do exactly what the client says, so long as you don't tell untruths and your product satisfies the person who is signing your cheque.

I find Trados to be a very useful, if occasionally irritating, product that helps me to earn many times what I pay for the licence and upgrades. I am sure other people can say the same thing about the other CAT programs on the market.

Above all, don't worry about what one client says. Take your time and make your choice.

There are plenty of CAT programs on the market but only one Anne Seerup.

Cheers,

Giles


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 10:40
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
hmm Jun 11, 2003

So as fairly new in the translation business without a frequent income is Trados something I can live without? I have just had my first large project so I guess I should rather save that money for tough times to come. I just thought that having Trados may bring more jobs as well.

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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:40
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
How unnecessary is it? Jun 11, 2003

Hi Anne,

Even if I had (and still have) my share of troubles with Trados, not exactly my definition for an user-friendly, install-&-work-easily-with CAT, I am happy I bought it some years ago... Trados can be used with many different files, with the T-Collection you translate for ex. *.xls or *.ppt files more quickly than drectly in Excel or PowerPoint...

It depends on what you translate (I mean here both file extensions & content).

There isn't a perfect tool, plus each one of us is different: some colleagues prefer Trados, some other DV, Wordfast, SDLX, MetaTexis, TransSuite or any other CAT.

A CAT is an investment: are the jobs, for which you are asked to use Trados interesting for you? Are they repetitive jobs? (I don't mean the same boring stuff, but regular updates, for which the use of a powerful CAT is an advantage). If the answer is always yes, I'd suggest you to go for it


Giuliana


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Pee Eff
Germany
Local time: 11:40
English to German
+ ...
Not really necessary... Jun 11, 2003

Hi Anne!
Well, I'm quite new to the business to and I'd say you can do without Trados. I downloaded a trial version some time ago and it didn't do anything else than crashing my PC and Word all the time. From what I have read here and elsewhere I have realised that there are many people out there having loads of problems with Trados... Not really a good thing for a tool that'll cost you around 600 bucks - if it's cheap!

So I have been working with Wordfast for the last couple of years or so (the free version still) and am realy satisfied with that. However, I've done a little evaluation of SDLX and DejaVu lately, just to see what they are like, and I must say they seem a lot more userfriendly than Trados (and are not as bloated).

So I'd suggest you download a trial version of Trados and see if it works for you. But you should not be biased just because everybody talks about Trados being "the market leading CAT tool" and also try out other tools - they will be at least as good but mostly better. Don't buy it just because you think you might get more or better jobs. If you buy it, do so because it provides a real value for YOU!

I know that people here on ProZ generally speak very much in favor of Trados but you should have a look around, there's more out there and it's not worth to spend a lot of money on something that'll mainly benefit your clients (e.g. via discounts on fuzzy matches and stuff like this).

Good luck and best regards!
Patrick


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 10:40
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Found free WordFast Jun 11, 2003

Try and go to www.wordfast.org - there you can get it for free - you can also register after you downloaded the program.

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José Serodio
Portugal
Local time: 10:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Good point Patrick! Congratulations! Jun 12, 2003

Patrick Füldner wrote:

Hi Anne!
Well, I'm quite new to the business to and I'd say you can do without Trados. I downloaded a trial version some time ago and it didn't do anything else than crashing my PC and Word all the time. From what I have read here and elsewhere I have realised that there are many people out there having loads of problems with Trados... Not really a good thing for a tool that'll cost you around 600 bucks - if it's cheap!

So I have been working with Wordfast for the last couple of years or so (the free version still) and am realy satisfied with that. However, I've done a little evaluation of SDLX and DejaVu lately, just to see what they are like, and I must say they seem a lot more userfriendly than Trados (and are not as bloated).

So I'd suggest you download a trial version of Trados and see if it works for you. But you should not be biased just because everybody talks about Trados being "the market leading CAT tool" and also try out other tools - they will be at least as good but mostly better. Don't buy it just because you think you might get more or better jobs. If you buy it, do so because it provides a real value for YOU!

I know that people here on ProZ generally speak very much in favor of Trados but you should have a look around, there's more out there and it's not worth to spend a lot of money on something that'll mainly benefit your clients (e.g. via discounts on fuzzy matches and stuff like this).

Good luck and best regards!
Patrick


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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
An excellent point! Jun 12, 2003

This is a very nice point, and well stated! Just the sort of thing people should hear when just starting out!

George Watson wrote:
There are plenty of CAT programs on the market but only one Anne Seerup.

Cheers,

Giles


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 10:40
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Problems with fuzzy matches in Wordfast Jun 12, 2003

Do any of you find that Wordfast have problems with the fuzzy matches? I heard another translator I know saying that this was such a big problem that they had to use TRados instead. Then again - fuzzy is only a way for clients to lower the rates

I am looking towards getting trados freelance (the new offer here on ProZ.com) but how necessary is it? I have used Wordfast so far which is compatible with Trados - but I seem to be losing out on jobs because the client demands Trados. I wonder would it make a difference to "lie" and say that I have Trados if Wordfast is perfectly compatible? Let me hear your opinions[/quote]


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farmor
Local time: 11:40
Danish to English
May I email you? Jun 15, 2003

Hi Anne,

My name is Nanna. I am Danish and I live in DK. I'm just getting started.

May I email you?

Kind regards,

Nanna



Anne Seerup wrote:

Do any of you find that Wordfast have problems with the fuzzy matches? I heard another translator I know saying that this was such a big problem that they had to use TRados instead. Then again - fuzzy is only a way for clients to lower the rates

I am looking towards getting trados freelance (the new offer here on ProZ.com) but how necessary is it? I have used Wordfast so far which is compatible with Trados - but I seem to be losing out on jobs because the client demands Trados. I wonder would it make a difference to "lie" and say that I have Trados if Wordfast is perfectly compatible? Let me hear your opinions
[/quote]


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 10:40
English to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
email Jun 18, 2003

You are welcome - my email is found on my profile page.

- Anne


farmor wrote:

Hi Anne,

My name is Nanna. I am Danish and I live in DK. I\\\'m just getting started.

May I email you?

Kind regards,

Nanna



Anne Seerup wrote:

Do any of you find that Wordfast have problems with the fuzzy matches? I heard another translator I know saying that this was such a big problem that they had to use TRados instead. Then again - fuzzy is only a way for clients to lower the rates

I am looking towards getting trados freelance (the new offer here on ProZ.com) but how necessary is it? I have used Wordfast so far which is compatible with Trados - but I seem to be losing out on jobs because the client demands Trados. I wonder would it make a difference to \\\"lie\\\" and say that I have Trados if Wordfast is perfectly compatible? Let me hear your opinions
[/quote]


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Gustavo Alonso
Uruguay
Local time: 06:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not really necessary but useful Jun 19, 2003

Dear Anne:

I started working with Trados not very long ago and I admit it was because of customer demand. Leaving aside the technical issues (crash or not, good interface or not - with which I 've had no problems so far)I found it does indeed speed up my work when dealing with rather long projects (not huge projects, just rather long ones) so I think it does provide some value to the individual translator and even more when working in teams.
Unfortunately, however, many customers who request Trados do it just to have you reduce your rates and if you accept that, you pay $600 for the software price only to lose more than that reducing rates over time.

Anyway, I think it's a useful tool for every translator. As for the lying, you shouldn't lie, simply because if the customer asks for Trados, and you have something compatible but not really Trados, you don't know to what extent it is really 100% compatible. And if any problem arises you will get very bad publicity if they find out you've been using other software. Just tell customers who ask you for Trados that you have this compatible software and let them decide. It's better to lose one job and not a reputation.
Eventually when you start making more money you could think of investing in Trados if you see many opportunities are being lost. In my case it has paid, because I got jobs where customers request it more as a means of sharing translation memory among several translators in a team, rather than as a means to brutally chop off your rates
Good luck

[Edited at 2003-06-20 03:18]


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Emmanuelle Riffault  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:40
Member (2004)
German to French
+ ...
Well, that's interesting ;O) Jun 24, 2003

I've been dealing with the same kind of questions for some time now. I am also new in th job (sorry for my english, I translate french german) and don't know if I should invest in trados.
The second point that bothers me is that trados doesn't work on Apple and I just want to stay faithful to my dear Apple Macintosh. Buying Trados would therefore mean for me buying a PC (;o(( and a second MS Office. Well, your discussion was very helpful : I'm now sure I won't buy Trados, not yet. Thanks a lot dear colleagues !


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