The effect of Trados on translation speed
Thread poster: Behzad Nasiri

Behzad Nasiri
Local time: 05:20
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
Nov 2

Hello,

I am thinking of working with SDL Trados because I have heard about its benefits for so long.

But my question is that does it increase your work rate or not? Is it different for every person and perhaps it depends on your translation memory?

Thanks


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:50
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
It's all based on "fuzzy" math Nov 2

As with everything, it depends.
At a minimum, it reduces the chance of omission errors (such as skipping over an entire sentence), because the source-target table makes such omissions obvious.
Autopropagation of repetitions will of course increase speed also.
The remainder is where things get hazy. 100% matches should theoretically increase your speed IF they are from a reliable, maintained TM that is relevant to the specialty and customer.
Anything below 75% is usually
... See more
As with everything, it depends.
At a minimum, it reduces the chance of omission errors (such as skipping over an entire sentence), because the source-target table makes such omissions obvious.
Autopropagation of repetitions will of course increase speed also.
The remainder is where things get hazy. 100% matches should theoretically increase your speed IF they are from a reliable, maintained TM that is relevant to the specialty and customer.
Anything below 75% is usually worthless.
Very high matches such as 95%-99% might save no time in very short segments, especially if they also require tag manipulation, since all matching algorithms are horrible at short segments - for example, they routinely try to convince me that numbers completely different orders of magnitude or dates from different centuries or people with different last names are "99% matches".
75-95% matches are mostly YMMV - they might help, or not.
Bottom line - you will save time overall, but unless you refuse to accept CAT discounts you probably won't be making more money per hour. However, you will probably be more marketable (for most customers) and able to offer faster turnaround times.
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Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
dkfmmuc
 

Behzad Nasiri
Local time: 05:20
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 2

Thank you for your thorough response. It was very helpful.

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:50
German to English
Speed depends on previous translations Nov 2

This applies to all CAT tools, not just SDL Trados. Each translation you complete expands the translation memory (database of translations) as well as terminology database, if you add terms while you translate (or afterward, during a review, for example).

Around the turn of this century, I had a project involving several documents pertaining to vehicle painting procedures. The first document, about 6000 words took a little over 2 days, since I needed to verify terminology. The secon
... See more
This applies to all CAT tools, not just SDL Trados. Each translation you complete expands the translation memory (database of translations) as well as terminology database, if you add terms while you translate (or afterward, during a review, for example).

Around the turn of this century, I had a project involving several documents pertaining to vehicle painting procedures. The first document, about 6000 words took a little over 2 days, since I needed to verify terminology. The second document, about 5000 words, took less than 2 days, since most of the text (boilerplate legal notices, general procedures, etc.) was largely identical to the first, but with additional procedures, related quantities of equipment and other aspects not mentioned in the initial document. The third document, also about 5K words, took me a day since there was little text/terminology not contained in the first two documents. Over time I worked on similar projects which enabled me to expand the TM and terminology database. Fast forward to 2018, when I received an extensive document on the same topic. Although many advances had been made in the technology over the ensuing years, the general workflow remained the same. I completed the project in half the time estimated by the customer, thus freeing me up to take on additional work. I've enjoyed similar – if less spectacular – results with other projects.

The point of this long-winded anecdote is that the advantages provided by a CAT tool are cumulative. Unless you get a highly-repetitive project early on, you are not likely to enjoy performance gains until you have used the tool for a while.

I should also mention that my first project using a CAT tool was a painful and embarrassing lesson in GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).
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Dan Lucas
Georgi Kovachev
 

Anthony Keily
Local time: 02:50
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
Again, it depends Nov 3

Some years ago I was required to use another CAT tool (memoq) for EU institutional contract work and found it quite useless. My other work was mainly in the legal and financial field and mainly from source pdfs and there again, I just couldn't see the point.

Then I started getting work translating repetitive AML (anti-money laundering) material that was sent as quite nasty Excel files and suddenly the advantages offered by CAT tools became obvious.

I'd also say that i
... See more
Some years ago I was required to use another CAT tool (memoq) for EU institutional contract work and found it quite useless. My other work was mainly in the legal and financial field and mainly from source pdfs and there again, I just couldn't see the point.

Then I started getting work translating repetitive AML (anti-money laundering) material that was sent as quite nasty Excel files and suddenly the advantages offered by CAT tools became obvious.

I'd also say that it depends on your customers. If you're working for an agency that wants to take you on for work in a technical area for an established customer (for example, a customer offering a wide range of glazing products - windows and doors in other words), not only will a CAT tool save time, it will ensure that you can slot in seamlessly into a ongoing process of accumulation of terminology.
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Behzad Nov 3

Behzad Nasiri wrote:
I am thinking of working with SDL Trados because I have heard about its benefits for so long. But my question is: does it increase your work rate or not? Is it different for every person and perhaps it depends on your translation memory?


Generally, using a CAT tool speeds up the translation process even if you use an empty TM and you get no matches, because of segmentation. Segmentation (i.e. automatically splitting up the text into e.g. sentences) typically helps you to focus better. So even if you're not using a TM, a CAT tool can speed things up. Of course, a CAT tool may also have features that slow you down (for example, if the way you type diacritical marks is different or more cumbersome).

In addition, the glossary, dictionary and reference search features in a CAT tool can also speed things up a bit.

Whether using a TM will speed things up for you depends on the quality of the TM, the quality of the source text, the type of source text, the type of fuzzy matches, the way fuzzy matches are displayed in the CAT tool, how easy it is to insert text in the CAT tool, and whether you become adept at evaluating fuzzy matches (to decide if you want to re-use text or translate from scratch) and how good you are at editing fuzzy matches.

The above applies to all CAT tools, not just Trados.


Anton Konashenok
Jorge Payan
Laurent Mercky
 


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The effect of Trados on translation speed

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