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Teaching Studio 2009 in CAT tool class - still worthwhile to learn 2007 too?
Thread poster: Amy Allen Schleicher

Amy Allen Schleicher  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:26
German to English
Jan 24, 2010

Hello everyone,

I was hoping to gather some opinions as I gear up to teach a Computer Assisted Translation course for a university translation program.

- How well do people feel Trados Studio is working at this time with the new
service pack?

- Are you able to use it successfully with clients that send you ttx files?
(importing and exporting?) Can you use it when clients want Word format
deliverables?

- Does anyone have agencies sending them work in Studio format yet?

- Other comments?

I'm wondering if I should make sure to teach the basics of Trados 2007 to the students as well or skip it because they can work well enough with Studio. As it happens, the IT dept for the uni computer lab I work in would prefer I just use Studio to avoid making them do the extra work of installing Trados 2007...so I need compelling reasons to justify making them install 2007. If translators have been able to switch successfully, it may not be that useful for students to learn an older version. The students have no previous CAT experience so no need to overcome habits from previous versions like your average translator might have.

I know SDL marketing material says what it can do, but I was wondering about the actual experience of those working with it because they seem to present an overly rosy picture at times. I wonder if in practice knowledge of Trados 2007 should still be considered practical for starting out in the translation industry.

Thank you very much for any input!

Amy Schleicher


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:26
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
For the time being: you CAN'T omit SDL Trados 2007 Jan 24, 2010

neither for workability reasons, nor fo teaching reasons.

First you must have Trados 2007 to be able to upgrade your materials you possibly have from the past. Should you start from scratch with Studio, you will still have to keep Trados 2007 for compatibility reasons. If you don't have it, you will not be able to translate materials prepared with Trados 2007, which represent the majority at this point, I would say.

As for the teaching point of view, while Studio is easy to understand and a very straight forward program, Trados 2007 is more complicated. But your pupils will at least have to be able to prepare translatable materials in T2007 to keep the compatibility for customers, who did not yet adapt Studio.

So what you have to do is:
- install the complete package, consisting of Trados 2007, Trados 2009 and Multiterm 2009
- take materials to translate and prepare them in Trados 2007
- using this materials show how to translate in Studio
- out of curiosity you simply could show how complicated the translation proces in T2007 was


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Joel Earnest
Local time: 05:26
Swedish to English
Rosy picture? Jan 25, 2010

Yeah, the picture they paint is a bit rosy at times, but to counter this, there are some excellent features that aren't mentioned in the advertising.

I've been using Studio since it came out, solely for agency customers who want TTXs in return, and am very happy with it. And I can only see it getting better.

Can't imagine going back to a pre-Studio version.


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
French to Polish
+ ...
Trados 2007 is a must now... Jan 25, 2010

Amy Allen Schleicher wrote:

- How well do people feel Trados Studio is working at this time with the new
service pack?

After the awful initial version, the T2009 SP1 is rather stable.

- Are you able to use it successfully with clients that send you ttx files?
(importing and exporting?)

Yes, alhough I use rather DVX.

Can you use it when clients want Word format deliverables?

No.
It's one of very few Windows oriented CAT-s which unable to process bilingual Trados DOC/RTF files the customers still want.

- Does anyone have agencies sending them work in Studio format yet?

No.

I'm wondering if I should make sure to teach the basics of Trados 2007 to the students as well or skip it because they can work well enough with Studio.

IMO it's a must to show 'em T2007.
In the real life, it's more important than T2009.
Maybe in 3-4 years the situation will be different but bilingual DOC and TTX are atill the de facto industry standard now and the customers want 'em.

As it happens, the IT dept for the uni computer lab I work in would prefer I just use Studio to avoid making them do the extra work of installing Trados 2007...

A "normal" behavior.
When the school is not a strictly translation oriented one, the contacts with the IT staff may be a horror.

.so I need compelling reasons to justify making them install 2007.

Well.
A correct T2007 setup in a fully patched machine may be a pain in the arse.
It's counterintuitive and illogical for a IT specialist who starts with a fully patched machine, so you have a lot of chances some Trados components will not work due to serious flaws in it's setup routines related to newer .Net and Java versions.
Probably the best approach is you setup one machine yourself, test it carefully and make the IT guys clone it.
So I do.

If translators have been able to switch successfully, it may not be that useful for students to learn an older version. The students have no previous CAT experience so no need to overcome habits from previous versions like your average translator might have.

Huh...
The problem is hot to leverage 'em, not how to overcome
E.g. the Multiterm part is almost the same for both tools even if you use different Multiterm versions.

I know SDL marketing material says what it can do, but I was wondering about the actual experience of those working with it because they seem to present an overly rosy picture at times. I wonder if in practice knowledge of Trados 2007 should still be considered practical for starting out in the translation industry.

Yes.
First at all, the basic comportment is still the same.
And when you start with an "outdated" tool like Workbench and Co, the students rapidly accept the advantages of an unified user interface.

PS.
I follow a kinda chronologicail program, i.e. after an introduction to Trados "Classic", I show other tools like Wordfast, MemoQ etc., T2009 is the last tool in my review.
The Trados "Classic" learning curve is awful, especially if you want include Mutiterm features (me, I do and my students agree it's a OMG IGP software).
After Trados "Classic", a false beginner is able to work with third party tools in 3 hours, especially the terminology management makes the difference.
The T2009 case will not be so optimistic but it's really easier than T2007.

Cheers
GG

[Edited at 2010-01-25 11:04 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:26
English to Czech
+ ...
Previous posts seconded Jan 25, 2010

Hello Amy,
I am going to deliver a block seminar on T2009 at Tomas Bata University in the Czech Rep. in February and although our main focus will be on T2009, I definitely want my students to know something about T2007 too. After all, it is still the most widely used CAT tool worldwide. As GG has written, the situation may be different in three or four years, but as for now, I feel it is still necessary for students to know T2007.

I also agree with GG that students should get acquianted with other CAT tools as well: therefore, my other course at Masaryk University, Czech Rep. too, is focused mainly on WordFast and StarTransit and I'd like to include MemoQ in the curriculum as well.

[Upraveno: 2010-01-25 11:58 GMT]


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Wladyslaw Janowski  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
German to Polish
+ ...
It's a matter of orientation Jan 25, 2010

Hello Amy, hello everybody
First I think, nobody is able to give a robust forcast of how the CAT-tool market will look like ind 3-4 years. I'm professional translator since 35 years and using CAT-tools since early versions of Transit. At the same time first "automated translation" tools as specialized computers had arrived. I remember discussions between translators in the early 90-ties. Many of us were thinking, in some 5 years we have no work more and our profession has no future. But we are still there and the demand for "human" translators is still growing.
CAT tools (and so called "controlled language" systems from large US corporations) have made our workshop more complex, our work not necessarily more producetive, but we can achieve with them the quality (as defined by customers - for example consistency has higher value than another aspects) easier as translating without them (even if translation itself is still done in our brains).
In this quite long "history" I have still used the same orientation - trying to use innovations and see, how they work. Many others preferred to stay with paper and pencil, typwriter or dictaphone and typist. All these "workflows" are still present.
According to my "innovative orientation" I'm using Studio 2009 since the first release, which was quite unstable (all early adopters know it). But SP1 came promptly and now Studio 2009 has no more issues than all other CAT software.
But now more detailed as to questions of Amy.
1. Studio 2009 SP1 is a stable tool.
2. Studio 2009 installs also Trados 2007 and assures so the compatibility with TTX and bilingual DOC/RTF formats.
3. Studio can handle all TTX files, from all original applications, even if custom TagSettings have to be used. No probnlems at all. TTX IN - TTX OUT.
4. Studio 2009 projects are coming from customers (agencies) even if they are still not very numerous, but I can do 99% of all jobs with Studio, even if the customer would prefer, I do it with TagEditor.
5. The only kind of jobs, for which I must use directly Workbench+Word, are jobs, where customers require bilingual DOC/RTF back. There is a workflow, letting do it without Word and Workbench, but not very comfortable, so in sich cases I'm still using Word+Workbench 2007.
6. More and more customers are accepting cleaned Word file plus TM export (TMX, which works not only in Studio and Workbench but also in another CAT-tools), because what end-customers need, is mostly only the cleaned file. In this case I can still use Studio 2009.
7. If I were teacher (I'm not, but simply translator), I would select Studio 2009 (if a SDL product, there are also another ones) as a mainstream for tomorrow (students are not yet translation professionals, they will be professionals "tomorrow"), even if according to statistics the majority of translation jobs is made today with Trados 2007.
8. To learn to work with Word+Workbench or TagEditor 2007 is still useful, so I would not totally postpone this environment.
Conclusion: there is no need to argue, Studio is a lot better interface for professional translation. I'm sure, in 1 year the majority of customers will work with it (if not with another system as Across, Transit etc.).

Regards
Wj


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Edric Barbosa Filho
Local time: 01:26
English to Portuguese
Until the market completely adopts Studio bilinguals, yes... Jan 25, 2010

Hi Amy

Here are my opinions:

- How well do people feel Trados Studio is working at this time with the new
service pack?

Works perfectly well on my system (Windows 7 64-bit). Of course I keep my PC fully updated with all mandatory (most security-related) and non-mandatory (patches to DotNet, specific patches etc.) Microsoft updates.

- Are you able to use it successfully with clients that send you ttx files?
(importing and exporting?) Can you use it when clients want Word format
deliverables?

All my clients demand TagEditor and Word bilinguals, and that's why I convert everything to TTX, import to Studio then export the memory to Trados 2007, making the bilinguals needed (Word DOCs/RTFs and TagEd TTXs).

Unfortunately, to date, Studio has some segmentation differences to Trados 2007 and it does not include leading and trailing tags in memory, so I still have to edit the originals, running Fuzzy Translate with the imported memory. But is a fast process, just copying/cutting/pasting some tags out of order: the text is perfectly there...

- Does anyone have agencies sending them work in Studio format yet?

Not to me, or that I know of, either...

- Other comments?

All agencies that I know of still use Trados 2007 and earlier, so all the revisors to my jobs, so I need to deliver legacy formats.

Not a problem to me, since I have obtained gains in productivity, using Studio, that doubled or even tripled my earnings. That means that I can finish my jobs in half or one-third the time it would take if I used Trados 2007: no problem spending less than an hour adjusting some tags...

Kind regards

Edric

[Edited at 2010-01-25 15:32 GMT]


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Amy Allen Schleicher  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:26
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the thoughtful opinions! Jan 25, 2010

This does help me a lot with my decision. I think I will press on and insist that the IT staff install 2007 as well. I would like to focus the class on Studio, as someone mentioned, these are translators of tomorrow, not today. The new software seems much more user friendly than 2007 but I think it's important for them to at least have gone through a realistic workplace scenario where their client may be requesting something that takes some exchanging to deliver.

One of the goals of my classes are to teach students a system to approach learning software, in hopes that when they inevitably forget the details later, they remember how to go back and re-teach themselves. Dealing with multiple versions of software is actually quite a good real world example of the life of a working translator. Now, just have to convince the IT staff of this. Putting Trados on a university computer lab is quite a pain - apparently one of the problems is that all of the files Studio automatically generates on the computers are removed as soon as a student logs off. They are trying to route these files to the "individual" drive provided to the students on the uni network, but so far translation seems tediously slow...

I do teach some other software later in this class and in more advanced class - I agree that once one understands on CAT tool well, it is far easier to learn new tools. I appreciate the detailed feedback which will help me plan to cover known trouble spots with current working process i.e. uncleaned Word files, etc.

Should you have further comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

My thanks to everyone who responded for sharing your knowledge!


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:26
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Virtual machines Jan 25, 2010

If you would use a virtual machine, this would save all the settings of Trados when closed and reload them when started again.
Studio is reasonable fast in a virtual machine, so this might be your solution.
The advantage of this solution is also, that you can keep copies of the virtual machines for the next semester without having to reinstall the whole or at least to reset the installation to default.


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Amy Allen Schleicher  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:26
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
re: virtual machines Jan 25, 2010

I'll check on the virtual machine idea but I suspect it will not be possible - the issue is the materials one can save during a log in session on the university machine are restricted due to security concerns. Outside of a special network based personal drive (which I think you can store files on but not programs), once the students log off, everything is wiped from the machine and it reverts to the default "official" settings. I doubt a VM could be created on one of those personal drives and it *seems* that otherwise there is no other way to save anything for future use on a machine.

The IT tech who's working with me has tried to route these files using a default user that goes directly to the personal drive of the student, but it was uncomfortably slow when I was testing. Such is the fun when dealing with not only complicated installation but all the "clever" ways the uni protects its computers from accidental damage by students!


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Amy Allen Schleicher  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:26
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
workflow with legacy formats Jan 25, 2010

Thank you Edric on the details of your workflow to deliver files in legacy formats. This is very helpful as well!

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Edric Barbosa Filho
Local time: 01:26
English to Portuguese
SDL sends along a great "migration guide" also... Jan 25, 2010

Amy Allen Schleicher wrote:

Thank you Edric on the details of your workflow to deliver files in legacy formats. This is very helpful as well!


You're welcome, Amy

BTW, SDL published a great migration guide, very practical ("SDL Trados Studio 2009 Migration Guide.pdf") that covers many possible situations. It is a very well organized tutorial with lots of screen captures, making it very easy to learn how to use that specific CAT tool, like importing/exporting, converting, populating memories, compatibility etc.

Good luck and thank you for the kind words

Edric



[Edited at 2010-01-25 19:41 GMT]


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
French to Polish
+ ...
IT infrastructure... Jan 25, 2010

Amy Allen Schleicher wrote:


Putting Trados on a university computer lab is quite a pain - apparently one of the problems is that all of the files Studio automatically generates on the computers are removed as soon as a student logs off. [/quote]
IMO it's a normal lazy IT approach.
Very easy for the IT guys 'cause the machines are always clean and neat.
If you let the students store their files in one account, after few weeks. you'll have an incredible bloody mess.
If you want have multiple accounts, the IT guys must manage 'em.
So...

As a palliative, you may ask to your students to bring some rapid modern USB flash/hard drive, it works well.
I hope the removable drives are not blocked by your admins...

They are trying to route these files to the "individual" drive provided to the students on the uni network,

A good approach if the bandwidth is large enough and the server drive is rapid.
If your network architecture is old or very cheap, forget it.

The IT guys imagine normal scenarios and uderestimate the translator's needs.
The translators are frankly abnormal.
When I say to my friends I need a data base system with 2-3 millions records working almost like a real time system, they simply don't believe.

but so far translation seems tediously slow...

As I often say, Trados was never designed to work well over the LAN in a file based scenarios, some operations are extremely slow.

Cheers
GG


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Joel Earnest
Local time: 05:26
Swedish to English
TTXs for delivery Jan 26, 2010

Edric Barbosa Filho wrote:

All agencies that I know of still use Trados 2007 and earlier, so all the revisors to my jobs, so I need to deliver legacy formats.

Not a problem to me, since I have obtained gains in productivity, using Studio, that doubled or even tripled my earnings. That means that I can finish my jobs in half or one-third the time it would take if I used Trados 2007: no problem spending less than an hour adjusting some tags...

Kind regards

Edric

[Edited at 2010-01-25 15:32 GMT]


Eric, my customers (who are all still using legacy Trados versions) have been receiving "Studio TTXs" (converted to TTXs in Workbench, translated and converted back to TTXs in Studio) from me since June. No one has complained yet.

Joel

EDIT: I never open the files in TagEditor.

[Edited at 2010-01-26 11:17 GMT]


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A. R. Raman
Singapore
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Trados 2009 and 2007 Jan 26, 2010

Hello All,

Can anyone share a workability (preferably in bullet points) on how to use studio 2009. I specifically want to know the part on how to use a TM (created in 2007/create a new TM in 2009 and then convert it to 2007) in 2009 and then converting it back to 2007 (with clean & unclean files) (the document is in word file). I am unfortunately under a deadline and unable to spare time to go through 2009 tutorial. Would deeply appreciate your help on this. If you have something on this please forward it to 2004.arvind@gmail.com

Thanks a lot
Arvind


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