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Trados 6.5 - how necessary is it for someone beginning in the field?
Thread poster: Greenwood
Greenwood
Spanish to English
Apr 7, 2004

I am new to the worlds of both translation and computers. I see many references to Trados 6.5. I understand only that this is a translation tool program. How necessary is it for someone beginning in the field? I would very much appreciate it if someone could tell me the basic functions of this program.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:54
English to German
+ ...
A few links Apr 7, 2004

Hi Greenwood,
Welcom to ProZ.com.

Trados is one of the tools commonly referred to as "CAT tools" (CAT = computer-aided translation). This is not machine translation, but refers to tools which can support the translation process - in very simplified terms, an extension to a translator's memory.

One point to start researching is the CAT Center right here at ProZ.com (Tools - CAT Center).

HTH, Ralf


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Harvetta Asamoah  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
French to English
+ ...
A Very Useful Memory Tool Apr 7, 2004

I would not say that it is an essential tool for a beginner, but I recently started using it and it is a fantastic tool for creating your own databases and for using databases created by others. Demos can be downloaded from the Trados website, which I highly recommend.

Of course, you can start translating without using Trados. I recommend it if you have enough work to justify the expense. When I started translating, I simply used the Word advanced search feature and my own and others glossaries, and my memory and that was fine. Remember, some great translators have worked twenty or thirty years without any translation memory tools at all -- some of them with nothing but index cards.

I did a cost/benefit analysis and decided to buy it. Now, I absolutely need Trados because: (1) I have enough work that I'm starting to forget what I have translated in the past; (2) the work is consistent enough that I have work that contains some repetitious segments and a huge number of repetitious terms and the jobs may have been months apart; (3) I have enough different subject areas and two languages so I need to be able to find terms instantly; (4) many potential employers require it (so that translators can work together on the same project). I love using it.


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Terry Ogborn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks for the question and the replies. Apr 8, 2004

I am also new to translating as a profession, and to ProZ. com. I was just getting ready to pose the same question - so thanks to Greenwood for doing it for me. Thanks also to Ralf and Harvetta for their helpful input.

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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
German to English
Return on investment takes a while Apr 8, 2004

CAT tools (a subset of which are Translation Memory [TM] programs) are effective when translating documents that have repetitive text.

Unless you are able to catch a sale, Trados or DejaVu (two of the most powerful programs) cost about $1000. Both translation memory programs offer terminology management in addition to usual "recycling" of sentences (and there are cheaper alternatives, such as Wordfast, which might also be useful). CAT tools work with electronic files (usually MS Office-compatible files and a few others, but *not* Adobe Acrobat documents), so if your source documents are faxes or xerographic copies, you're generally out of luck (unless you have a good OCR program, but that's another investment).

That said, it could easily take a year or two (or even longer!) before you even begin to realize a financial return on your investment. As a beginner, you might want to look into low-cost Wordfast to see whether you might benefit from a TM tool (look for a review in the CAT tools section here), and invest in a couple of good subject-specific dictionaries.
Kevin


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Greenwood
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trados Apr 8, 2004

Thanks for the help. Much appreciate it.
Greenwood

Greenwood wrote:

I am new to the worlds of both translation and computers. I see many references to Trados 6.5. I understand only that this is a translation tool program. How necessary is it for someone beginning in the field? I would very much appreciate it if someone could tell me the basic functions of this program.


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:54
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
There is a world of CATs beyond Trados Apr 8, 2004

Translation agencies are more likely to ask for Trados than for any other CAT tool, but I see SDLX is gaining some of the field, as this month I am doing my first bing project where the customer specifically asked for SDLX. Before that I used SDLX mostly to get leverage in jobs where clients did not ask for any CAT tool.

My preferred CAT for translation work is SDLX, but I must admit that Trados Winalign is better than SDL Align.

I used Wordfast a lot before I bought Trados, but I failed to convince my clients that WF is good enough to translate TTX files, and so I had to cough up some Euros and buy the tool.

It's a good idea to look for special discounts, for example SDLX offered a special reduced price on the International Translator Day last year.

HTH

Piotr


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Ivan Eikås Skjøstad  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:54
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Marketing Apr 8, 2004

Owning a Trados-license gives you a huge advantage when it comes to marketing. Many agencies, and some direct customers as well consider you a pro if you own Trados.

This should be a good enough reason to buy it, and I am not being ironic. You will have your ROI before you know it.

(But I would look into Wordfast as well, since this is the best CAT-tool on the market-just go to the "Cat-fight" and have a look)


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Greenwood
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trados Apr 8, 2004

Harvetta,
Thank you very much for your help. I will definitely seek out a demo tape as you propose. Would you mind answering another question for me. Does the Trados serve for dictionaries and/or glossaries? Thank you again.
Greenwood

Harvetta Asamoah wrote:

I would not say that it is an essential tool for a beginner, but I recently started using it and it is a fantastic tool for creating your own databases and for using databases created by others. Demos can be downloaded from the Trados website, which I highly recommend.

Of course, you can start translating without using Trados. I recommend it if you have enough work to justify the expense. When I started translating, I simply used the Word advanced search feature and my own and others glossaries, and my memory and that was fine. Remember, some great translators have worked twenty or thirty years without any translation memory tools at all -- some of them with nothing but index cards.

I did a cost/benefit analysis and decided to buy it. Now, I absolutely need Trados because: (1) I have enough work that I'm starting to forget what I have translated in the past; (2) the work is consistent enough that I have work that contains some repetitious segments and a huge number of repetitious terms and the jobs may have been months apart; (3) I have enough different subject areas and two languages so I need to be able to find terms instantly; (4) many potential employers require it (so that translators can work together on the same project). I love using it.


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Greenwood
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trados 6.5 Apr 8, 2004

Kevin,
Thank you for your suggestion. I will definitely look into Wordfast as you suggest.
Greenwood

Kfulton wrote:

CAT tools (a subset of which are Translation Memory [TM] programs) are effective when translating documents that have repetitive text.

Unless you are able to catch a sale, Trados or DejaVu (two of the most powerful programs) cost about $1000. Both translation memory programs offer terminology management in addition to usual "recycling" of sentences (and there are cheaper alternatives, such as Wordfast, which might also be useful). CAT tools work with electronic files (usually MS Office-compatible files and a few others, but *not* Adobe Acrobat documents), so if your source documents are faxes or xerographic copies, you're generally out of luck (unless you have a good OCR program, but that's another investment).

That said, it could easily take a year or two (or even longer!) before you even begin to realize a financial return on your investment. As a beginner, you might want to look into low-cost Wordfast to see whether you might benefit from a TM tool (look for a review in the CAT tools section here), and invest in a couple of good subject-specific dictionaries.
Kevin


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Greenwood
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trados 6.5 Apr 8, 2004

Ivan Eikås Skjøstad wrote:

Owning a Trados-license gives you a huge advantage when it comes to marketing. Many agencies, and some direct customers as well consider you a pro if you own Trados.

This should be a good enough reason to buy it, and I am not being ironic. You will have your ROI before you know it.

(But I would look into Wordfast as well, since this is the best CAT-tool on the market-just go to the "Cat-fight" and have a look)


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Harvetta Asamoah  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
French to English
+ ...
Trados doesn't replace dictionaries and glossaries Apr 9, 2004

Greenwood,

Trados does not replace any dictionaries (especially monolingual dictionaries, which are very important) or glossaries. However, I believe that it is possible to use some references on the Internet for terms.

There are two parts to Trados: (1) the workstation, which stores repetitions; and (2) Multiterm. With Multiterm, I believe there are some free files, not to download, but to use directly from a website. Also with Multiterm, the user can connect to a website for a translation agency's database or databases created by another translator in collaboration.

With Termbase, with Multiterm, the user can import his or her own glossaries in two different formats, but the original glossaries must be in XML format. This should all be described on the Trados website. Terms from existing glossaries that are in Word or Adobe Acrobat can be inserted manually. The user controls the format of the databases, with a wide variety of fields from which to choose, so that it is possible to include a lot of information beyond a simple definition, which allows context to be included in the termbase.

As for OCRs (for converting from Acrobat or E-Fax to Word), I have found that ABBY Fine Reader works well. I believe that program is not very expensive. It's certainly not the same investment as Trados. I downloaded the Fine Reader demo for free from the ABBY website. It's great because it allows the user to skip over text that the user is sure won't be recognized because it is extremely illegible, to avoid the "gobblegook" results. It's great on clear documents. Of course, it recognizes French and Spanish and a number of other languages.

[Edited at 2004-04-09 00:37]

[Edited at 2004-04-09 00:38]


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