When to use TRADOS
Thread poster: Kameelija

Local time: 10:35
English to Russian
Dec 29, 2006

Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I have received an offer from one local translation agency, which said that TRADOS is a must for ALL translations. Even if it is a simple text of a few pages I have to use TRADOS. They count the amount of the text in Trados, the apply the rate for repetitions to a simple letter. Is it a common practice for other agencies as well?


Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:35
Finnish to English
Trados invasion Dec 30, 2006


More and more companies seem to be asking for Trados - to save time and money (and that's YOUR money)

Trados costs money and can cause techno problems, I gather (I don't use it). But it might save you time too and help you attract more customers.

I also think that language pairs play a role in this. Were you to offer Lithuanian, perhaps the rarity of this combination would persuade agents to waive their Trados demands.


lexical  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Portuguese to English
it varies Dec 30, 2006

In my experience, agencies vary enormously in their attitude to Trados. Some require it for every translation (because, perhaps, they are building up a database for future use); others ask for it some of the time; and others never require it (or have never heard of it).

When I started using Trados, I only used it for long translations where there was a possibility of repetitions, or when the agency demanded it. However, I quickly began to see other advantages:

1. You don't need to overtype the original, or delete it as you go along. This saves quite a bit of time.

2. Revising is much easier as you are presented with the source and target texts side-by-side.

3. Over time, you build up a memory of identical or similar segments - even in simple translations like letters. And through the Concordance function, you have access to difficult terms that you may have researched in the past and forgotten.

The result is that I now use Trados for every job, whether the client demands it or not. I think Trados improves my productivity by at least 25%.

Of course, it's irritating that agencies use Trados to pay the translator less, but not all do. Over time, you will have documents that are similar to ones you did 1-2 years ago, where the agency doesn't specify Trados, and then you gain.


Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:35
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the agency and source format Dec 30, 2006

I use Trados for almost every job, even if the client doesn't request or want it. This allows me to use the Concordance function to find solutions to tricky phrases in future projects.

The only time I don't use Trados is for long jobs that arrive as faxes or other graphical scans, since keying in the source text would take too long.

I've used Trados 6.5 for several years (currently version 6.5.5) and have never had the technical problems that one person mentioned. I'm curious to know what the problems are and which versions of Trados produce them (hopefully not version 7 which I'm thinking of getting).


[Edited at 2006-12-30 22:35]


Ladislav Filo  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
English to Slovak
+ ...
It depends Dec 31, 2006

Some agencies want you to use Trados, send you a Word document and want to get back translated Word document. You can use any CAT tool for translation (Transit, Metatexis, Wordfast, ...), even Word, the agencies never know what did you use.
Then, some agencies want you to use Trados and get TMs back. You can also use any CAT tool (Transit, Metatexis, Wordfast, ...) and send the TM produced.
The only problem may be, when agencies want to get back uncleaned Trados documents (and refuse any other uncleaned document) or when they send you Trados project (although this is solvable with Transit and maybe with Metatexis or Wordfast too).
Problem is also with Trados rates, which are counted by matches in source text. This is bad for translations from English or German into slavonian languages, especially if text consists of very short sentences or simple words, which must be corrected by its grammatical gender, although in English is it always the same.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:35
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Adjust your rates Dec 31, 2006

Many customers don't even Know what Trados is, they only think the more Trados is used the better the translations will be. If such customer pays you for 1000 words of text only for 800 words or so, you must simply adjust (increase) your rates and translate as you find fit. Only if the customer sends you their own TM they could possibly require the use of a special tool.
You do not call the plummer and require him/her to use only Black&Decker tools?



David Earl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:35
Member (2007)
German to English
Use it when I can Jan 1, 2007

One agency told me that they did want _any_ CAT tools. To the jist of "The customer can tell when they're used by the repitition, and they mess up the formatting some times."icon_wink.gif But cut'n'paste is fine with them. #) Otherwise, it varies as others have said.

I don't see any way for a CAT to help (other than concordance) with pictures/faxes. Well, I've had a couple of jobs, where the customer inserted textboxes over pictures using Word's built-in picture editing.

I've seen problems in Trad 6.5/7.5 related to:
1. colums created by tabs (particularly in numbered headers),
2.4 tab "text" tab "description"
2. having to reset cross-refs (for internal links, TOC, etc.),
3. textboxes (partcularly textboxes in footers),
4. and table-in-table (after clean-up, the sub-table was in the next cell down).


Local time: 16:35
English to Chinese
TRADOS good and bad Jan 5, 2007

I work in an angency now and we use SDLX, Trados and TMwin (for IBM). Trados is the one I like least. But they all have good and bad.

SDLX and Trados can build TM(like a databse of your text) and dictionary. You don't have to go back every time to see what you write. If a sentence is fuzzy (eg similar to another sentence), you can get it down from TM and change as necessary. Time is surely saved (and more money for you if client doesn't know how to use it). Second, as a translator, we all like to gather glossaries. We can make it into trados dic, which shows up automatically when you translate. These two tools can transform text of various format, which is convenient, but seems having problem with pictures.

Bad things come. The Trados text has tags. If you accidentally move something or type in the wrong position, you will destroy your document. If you don't open segment and type directly, in the target section you must type from the second character and press backspace to delete the first word. Otherwise, your text will become tag. And the dic is funny because it doesn't always show up! Even the dic does have certain word, it doesn't show up when you use it during translation.

The worst of Trados is it seems haveing problem with Windows Word or Kaspersky. Sometimes this would destroy your doc.

Although they have many bad things, I still prefer to use them to do faster, especially SDLX.


Local time: 16:35
English to Chinese
one more bad thing Jan 5, 2007

As I am a reviewer also, I find some translators using Trados don't really make good use of it, or even ignore TM. That really makes me angry. I think they don't do well because the rate is lower (wordcount multiples percentage, such as 1000*0.2). Agencies always think translators save effort with Trados, so give them less them to do the job and surely pay less. And they even want to adopt this way to reviewer! So we often suffer from correcting those bad pieces. This is not a healthy way and as a freelancer, I hate this calculation as I still spend time checking if the translation of TM is right (they usually are not because client didn't review the previous project thoroughtly and carefully). Maybe one day I will finally give up and think " OK, this is what you want even if it is not right."


Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:35
English to Russian
+ ...
a poor excuse Jan 6, 2007

In your case it's only an excuse to pay less.


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