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Is SDL Trados really so good?
Thread poster: xxxManticore

xxxManticore  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:21
English to German
+ ...
Apr 7, 2011

Dear friends

I just installed a trial version of SDL Trados 2009. - I have been using Apples, PC's, Linux for many years. I designed the first Flash web site in South Africa. I only want to say that I am not a beginner.

With SDL Trados I feel like a beginner again. First, I don't know the purpose of their menus, buttons etc. Your have to switch forward, backward etc. This GUI is totally confusing. You have to worry more about the software than your translations.

How did SDL Trados get into that commanding position. This almost reminds of VHS beating Beta, although Sony's system was far superior.

What do you think?


 

Roy OConnor
Local time: 13:21
German to English
It's a mean machine! Apr 7, 2011

As a programmer yourself I think you might be able to see where the main problem with Trados and with many other CAT tools lies. Trados deals with a wide variety of input types and seeks to provide a wide variety of features. That is why you need all the controls. It's no different from sitting in a car, truck or the cockpit of an aircraft. It is all very bewildering at first sight and not for the faint at heart.

Of course, the difficulty is that with so many interactions taking place within the software lots of testing is necessary to make sure there are no conflicts. Many might say that Trados Studio was released too early and there is a feeling that it is still under development. But this seems to be the way most modern software is sold – underdeveloped with subsequent service packs.

I found the different interface of Trados Studio a bit strange at first and have been plagued by the odd bug or two, but I now find I can use it very efficiently. You just have to learn how to use it, that's all.


 

Alistair Ian Spearing Ortiz  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bloatware Apr 7, 2011

I am not a computer expert myself, but one of the most common complaints I've heard about Trados is that it is pure bloatware. This means that it has tonnes of useless code which affects the program's performance.

 

Alex Marshall  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Amazing product Apr 7, 2011

I'm using the latest service pack of SDL Trados Studio, and I couldn't be happier. Before trashing this amazing product, be sure to take the time to look through the help files and experiment.
I've upped my output by a solid 20% since discovering it.
And the comfort of opening humongous files with tricky formatting and never worrying about messing it up!
No offense, but if you call it "bloatware", chances are you are one of those 1,500-words-a-day translators.


 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
German to Spanish
I think Apr 7, 2011

Alex Marshall wrote:


No offense, but if you call it "bloatware"


I think he means there is a lot of unnecessary (old? bad?) code inside... I think, I am not a programmer.



MemoQ is less than 30 MB, how big is Studio 2009?


, chances are you are one of those 1,500-words-a-day translators.


This I don't understand.


Regards


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:21
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Amazing, but no grace Apr 7, 2011

Alex Marshall wrote:

I'm using the latest service pack of SDL Trados Studio, and I couldn't be happier. Before trashing this amazing product, be sure to take the time to look through the help files and experiment.
I've upped my output by a solid 20% since discovering it.


Apparently it is the first CAT tool you have experienced... As such, it might indeed seem 'amazing'. However, if you compare it to other similar tools, the 'wow' factor seems to decrease.


chances are you are one of those 1,500-words-a-day translators.


If you really have to get personal, you might as well make your insults more... well, insulting? In my book, if the translator does 1.5k per day and makes as much as the 5k one, then he is the smarter one...icon_wink.gif


 

xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 13:21
Italian to English
+ ...
My experience and view Apr 7, 2011

I have translated for 15 years, starting before CAT tools were on the market, sort of semi-retired right now, at the peak of my career my revenues were three times my national average and my costs were minimal.

In my experience, the worst investment I ever made was SDL Trados: for my purposes, other CAT tools are more efficient at a fraction of the price; I used it a few times, with no change in productivity, and thereafter it kept crashing.

I have the impression that it gained a commanding market position, as you put it, because it made revenue-sharing deals with a plethora of agencies.

I can see where it makes sense for big agencies managing large multi-language translations and teams of translators. But in my view it makes much less sense, if any sense at all, for the individual translator. I have the impression that many young translators trying to break into the agency market are "scared" into purchasing it because of its "commanding" position.

With good will, most other CAT tools are compatible with Trados, but I wonder if in some cases the marketing agreement discourages or prohibits implementing compatibility, or in some cases the agency just does not want to bother, especially on big projects, as a matter of management simplicity.

So, no, from the individual translator's perspective, SDL Trados is not necessarily really so good, there are alternatives.

[Edited at 2011-04-07 10:48 GMT]


 

Alex Marshall  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Unmatched Apr 7, 2011

Fernando Toledo wore: I think he means there is a lot of unnecessary (old? bad?) code inside


No such thing. If you mean bugs, most of them have been eliminated in the latest service pack.

Fernando Toledo wrote: MemoQ is less than 30 MB, how big is Studio 2009?


By the same reasoning, we should all return to Win 98 because Windows 7 is huge. And Windows 8? Oh no, let's not even think of ever buying it.

Jabberwock wrote:

Apparently it is the first CAT tool you have experienced... As such, it might indeed seem 'amazing'. However, if you compare it to other similar tools, the 'wow' factor seems to decrease.


What makes you say so? I have all the major CAT tools installed and use them when clients so require. And they only augment what you call the 'wow' factor, i.e. my impression of SDL Trados Studio.


If you really have to get personal, you might as well make your insults more... well, insulting? In my book, if the translator does 1.5k per day and makes as much as the 5k one, then he is the smarter one...icon_wink.gif


Touchy, are we?icon_wink.gif And why would it be an insult? There are people out there who are content to be translating 1.5k words a day. This is pretty much doable without any CAT tools.

What I really meant to say is that you can process large volumes of text faster and more efficiently with SDL Trados Studio. People keep trashing it here all the time. Mind you, I've also hit a number of snags with it. The wayward tags, memory overflows, you name it... I still think it's the best piece of CAT software out there. With a proper skill set (acquired over time), you can produce results that would have seemed incredible 5 years ago.


 

Pavel Tsvetkov  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 14:21
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Trados falls short of expectations Apr 7, 2011

I own more than 30 software titles, so I can say I like software, I like buying it, playing around with it, making it work for me, discovering the new options that come with new versions.

Of all these Trados is the most expensive and at the same time it is the worst in terms of malfunctioning and seemingly being built with no human logic in mind.

This is not an inherent problem with all CAT tools. Try DejaVu X which is probably 10 years old now and you will be able to start translating within 30 minutes - and not experience any problems in weeks or even months.

The same goes for MemoQ more or less - these guys are the newest on the market, but they are doing great.

The only reason why Trados has not been steam rolled by its competitors is the fact that many translation companies bought licenses long time ago and now require freelancers to use it.

That said, Studio 2009 is a great improvement over older versions. But two years and 3 Service Packs later it is still rather unreliable, and I can never be sure if I will be able to successfully start and finish a translation project with it.

In short: all the good features Trados has are also characteristic of its competitors, while its shortcomings are typically SDL.


 

ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 14:21
English to Arabic
+ ...
The same here Apr 7, 2011

Latin_Hellas wrote:

I have the impression that it gained a commanding market position, as you put it, because it made revenue-sharing deals with a plethora of agencies.


I have the same impression too. Further, I believe that the latest version is a result of premature birth. I am seriously thinking to give Wordfast a deserved try.


 

Alex Marshall  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Take the time to learn it Apr 7, 2011

Roy OConnor wrote:

I found the different interface of Trados Studio a bit strange at first and have been plagued by the odd bug or two, but I now find I can use it very efficiently. You just have to learn how to use it, that's all.


I didn't see your comment there, Roy. What you said pretty much sums up my own experience.


 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
German to Spanish
Reasoning? Apr 7, 2011

[quote]Alex Marshall wrote:


Fernando Toledo wrote: MemoQ is less than 30 MB, how big is Studio 2009?


By the same reasoning, we should all return to Win 98 because Windows 7 is huge. And Windows 8? Oh no, let's not even think of ever buying it.


Are you saying MemoQ is like Windows 98 and Studio 2009 like Windows 7?

Both are actual programs using the same OS.

Take a look at this comparison and then realize that MemoQ do this with 30 MB of code.
Studio can not even align files!

http://kilgray.com/memoq/memoQvsTrados09.pdf

Regards


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:21
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Wordfast for Word Apr 7, 2011

If, like me, you translate 99.9% of the time in Microsoft Word, then Wordfast Classic is ideal. It runs IN Word with a simple .dot file, it's fast and it doesn't often crash on you when dealing with huge or heavily formatted documents (I've had several experiences whereby Trados' workbench (latest version) couldn't handle docs that Wordafst could. Wordfast is a lot cheaper too. I have Trados, but I only use it to convert my customers' (who all use Trados, and there's the main glitch) TM exports to a Wordfast compatible format. Docs translated in Wordfast are always merged seamlessly back into Trados.

 

Ana Malovrh  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 13:21
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
Bipolar view Apr 7, 2011

I fought against Trados for quite some time.

I insisted on cheaper programs, that were more efficient and more user-friendly than Trados 2007. I really hated Trados 2007.

Then I bought Trados Studio 2009 ... I think if you survive the 2007 with all it's bugs and constant crashing, 2009 is a relief. As Alex already pointed out, it really does an excellent job on large files and/or pdf files. Other software I use just couldn't cope with this.
However, it surely needs more development. I am still trembling if my Term Recognition will last until the end of each file.

To me, MemoQ is as difficult to understand as Studio 2009.

I still think Trados is extremely complicated and not very user friendly with all it's features known only to those who take the payable (!) trainings and courses or take a vacation to read the whole manual for a decade or so.

But still ... I can say, it helped me with my work. Especially with pdf files.


 

Alex Marshall  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Re: Reasoning Apr 7, 2011

Fernando Toledo wrote:

Are you saying MemoQ is like Windows 98 and Studio 2009 like Windows 7?



Fernando, I only mentioned Windows as a case in point (software tends to grow in size as it becomes more advanced). Size should not be a decisive factor when it comes to choosing software. If it seems to big, just upgrade your hardware. There are just too many features in Trados Studio to fit into 30 Mb. Plus, I don't think the Studio is that big. 350 Mb if I am not mistaken.


 
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