Which Trados package should I buy?
Thread poster: dawnpatriciad
dawnpatriciad
Local time: 02:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 2, 2009

Dear All,

I am about to buy some Trados software, but am in somewhat of a quandary as to what I actually need from the software as I have only used it once (in the course of completing my degree!). There are two packages which I am considering, one is the SDL Trados 2007 Freelance Certification Starter Pack which contains software + training + certification and the other is SDL Trados 2007 Suite Freelance and Multi-term Extract with Phrasefinder. The second sounds appealing, but is it too advanced for someone like myself who is just starting out? In terms of price, they are much of a muchness, but I would obviously prefer the one deemed 'best' for me. I would greatly appreciate any advice offered on this matter, or if anyone has purchased these packages recently and can comment upon their ease of use etc, as the second option does not come with training.

Many thanks in advance.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:08
English to French
+ ...
SDL training is fairly recent Mar 2, 2009

I have bought Trados Freelance a long time ago and have been upgrading since. I never had any training, because when I first started using Trados, there was none offered by the developer. Nonetheless, I managed to become a more or less advanced user and I now don't think I can learn anything new and valuable from SDL's training.

SDL training is fairly recent. Learning to use Trados on your own can take some time, but then again, even with training, practice makes perfect, so training is not really a must. I would say it depends on the type of person you are. If you are the kind of person who is a fast learner and doesn't mind looking things up in hefty manuals, then you may want to pass on the training. However, if you want to save some time and have someone else manage your learning experience for you, or if you are a clumsy learner, then you may want to invest in training.

As for certification, I somehow feel that it is bogus. I have yet to see and agency or direct client requiring certification. I also wouldn't mind hiring a translator who has no certification. I don't think SDL certification is very relevant, just as ATA certification doesn't always seem to attract quality clients.

The ultimate question is whether you have time to invest in training yourself and whether you are prepared to make an extra effort to save some money. There are also quite a few Trados training sessions offered by many individuals independent from SDL which may be worth taking a look at. These are often cheaper than SDL's own training and I have heard of several translators learning to use Trados through these successfully. I think you may want to shop around - you can find online training through a webinar, training manuals and in-person sessions. There are also some free training resources available - look for Ecolotrain, a website I used to learn to use MultiTerm in no time.

All the best!

[Edited at 2009-03-02 19:17 GMT]


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dawnpatriciad
Local time: 02:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your kind words of advice Mar 2, 2009

Hi Viktoria,

thanks for a detailed and thoughtful reply - I really appreciate it as you can obviously talk from experience and it was the user-friendliness of the product that bothered me most. I didn't want to spend a large sum of money on a product which I was then unable to fathom. I tend to agree with you regarding the certification, as I have also yet to come across a job post that required certification. I think I will opt for the package without certification as the Multi-term Extract and Phrasefinder addition sounds quite appealing...

Thanks again, and good luck with your translation work too!


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:08
English to Czech
+ ...
MT Extract + Phrasefinder Mar 2, 2009

I've tried both of them and both of them brought me more headache than good. But this was true for English/German => Czech terminology extraction, Czech being a very flective language with lots of endings and suffixes. MT Exctract and Phrasefinder can work well for your language pair(s).

As for the first option, I think Viktoria said it all.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:08
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You will get more with the first option Mar 2, 2009

Multiterm Extract does not appear to be very effective - although I am aware that it depends upon the language pair for which you are trying to use it. Nevertheless, you will probably not be able to do a lot with it or have a requirement for it until a much later date. Phrasefinder, I believe, is being phased out and is no longer supported. I could not even install it on my computer. As far as I remember, it is because it is not Vista-compatible.

Whether or not the training is useful, it will certainly give you somewhat more than Multiterm Extract and Phrasefinder will.

[Edited at 2009-03-02 22:53 GMT]


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dawnpatriciad
Local time: 02:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Astrid Mar 2, 2009

Thanks, Astrid, I am enjoying hearing about working translators' experiences with this software - it is really interesting and is providing me with much food for thought. I will definitely bear in mind your comment regarding non-compatibility and phasing out. Many thanks again, and best wishes with your ventures.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:08
English to French
+ ...
I have tried MultiTerm Extract once - didn't like it Mar 2, 2009

I believe that automatic term extraction in general is just a good idea - it is fairly non existent in practice. While Extract, PhraseFinder and other similar software can help identify some terms, they really don't do a thorough job. They sometimes flag a string of words as a term when it is actually not a term, and they also have a tendency to skip important terms. I have developed my own method of term extraction, which is rather manual - I don't believe in automatic term extraction, just as I don't believe in automatic translation. Such tools can help somewhat, but it is still the user who will do the bulk of the work.

My term extraction process involves the use of a concordancer (AntConc - there are other good ones, too). The concordancer scans the text to find words that are repeated often, then provides you with a list of words, ordered by frequency of occurrence. Some concordancers, like AntConc, then allow you to automatically create lists of strings containing such frequently occurring words, again ordered by frequency of occurrence or other criteria that you set. They also let you see the term in context so you can decide whether to include it in your list. The result is a list of words and word strings (the number of words in a string can be infinite and you can set your limit as you wish) that occur frequently in the text. You can then take that list and translate it.

I create a termbase out of the resulting glossary (MultiTerm Desktop - all Trados packages include it) and then I start translating. So, the time I "waste" on my manual term extraction process is recovered during translation because Workbench (the brains of Trados) proposes the terms automatically and I can insert them very easily - no more research! Often, the amount of time saved on translation is several times that spent on extracting terms manually. Some people have the impression that this method is too slow and cumbersome, but I have been using it regularly for some time and it does increase my efficiency. In any case, there is absolutely no waste of time.

All the best!


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dawnpatriciad
Local time: 02:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again! Mar 2, 2009

Thanks again, Viktoria, it really is good to learn of your experiences with certain software and the ways in which you have adapted your methods to suit your own way of working. I personally enjoy the 'old-fashioned' method of rifling through the pages of dictionaries to find the meaning of terms and vocabulary, but have decided to opt for Trados due to the implications that it could have for my obtaining work. I have found it difficult as late to find work, and the work which I have come across has stated that Trados is a must or at least desirable, so I feel that I have to conform! I am sure that it will have its advantages once I get to grips with it, and that there will still be the odd occasion that I have to resort to a dictionary! I guess then that I am best purchasing the first option then as it is actually £30 cheaper than the option with MT and Phrasefinder (which does not seem to be very popular), and at least I will get a bit of training.
Hope you're having a lovely day. Cheers!


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:08
English to Czech
+ ...
Not a must, really Mar 3, 2009

dawnpatriciad wrote:
I have found it difficult as late to find work, and the work which I have come across has stated that Trados is a must or at least desirable, so I feel that I have to conform!


Trados is often required, but definitely not a must. You can work on Trados TTX files with other software like Transit or MemoQ just as well.
I will once again stress the word required. That's the problem. Many PMs are far less technically competent than you would wish them to be. You can explain to them hundreds of times that you will deliver a TTX (Trados tagged file) along with an exported translation memory while editing the translation e.g. in MemoQ. You can continue explaining that your output file will be 100% compatible with Trados. They will hear, but they won't understand.

[Upraveno: 2009-03-03 01:00 GMT]


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Friderike Butler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:08
German to English
+ ...
SDL Trados 2007 Freelance Certification Starter Pack Mar 3, 2009

Viktoria gave a nice overview and I agree with her in that no agency has ever made the TRADOS SDL certification a requirement. However, I like to believe that a certification may give you little bit of an edge in the large body of translators of whom some are full-time professionals who take their careers seriously and some are part-time translators who happen to speak more than one language more or less well and who therefore put together a translator profile to earn some money on the side. A certification shows motivation to learn and to keep up with the developments in the industry, and even if an agency is not asking for it, they may notice it and may see it as a positive attribute.

I have used SDLX many years before I took the certifcation test last summer and in working through the study material I actually learned about a good number of features and options that I hadn't been aware of before and that are now making my work much easier. At least in my case, I think the certification was well worth my time.


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