SDL Trados Wishlist
Thread poster: TiagoVanRheenen
TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Feb 9, 2014

Translators have gone from being beneficiaries to being slaves of CAT tools, with clients requiring them to be used and deducting the leverage they provide from our fees. And with clients often requiring us to work in SDL Trados specifically, we are truly captive customers to this vendor.

SDL Trados is very useful, no doubt, and I am usually thrilled with every new release; however, I can't help but be disappointed by a number of recurring flaws and features that seem to be lacking. In general, Trados could be more translator-centric and provide features that really matter to translators as end users. As captive customers, all we can do is provide suggestions for improvement and hope someone at SDL is listening.

I am creating this wish list post so translators can recommend improvements they would like to see in the next release of SDL Trados. SDL representative Paul has been very helpful and I have come to see him as a "friend within the gates". Hopefully he can help these suggestions make their way into SDL's development pipeline, if feasible.

Please feel free to add suggestions after first making sure your suggestion is not already on the list.


[Edited at 2014-02-09 18:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-02-10 11:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-02-10 11:11 GMT]


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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wish #1 - Keep the user interface clean (no tags) Feb 9, 2014

I prefer to work with a clean, tagless workspace. Studio lets you toggle tags on and off, but you often need to toggle tags on when working with formatting (italics, bold, etc.). This should be reduced to a minimum.

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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wish #2 - Allow memories with different language variants to be enabled for lookup Feb 9, 2014

Studio currently will not allow you to enable memories with different language variants concurrently for the same project. This often requires you to import memories into each other to make sure you get any cross leverage. Future releases should preferably allow translators to enable memories with different language variants, after warning them about potential implications (date formats, etc.).

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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
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Wish #3 - Provide more (full) formatting capabilities Feb 9, 2014

I believe that the only translators still in business in the near future will be those able and willing to use their creativity to convey the original meaning in a way that is graceful in the target language, though not necessarily identical in structure. Clients will no longer be willing to pay for the word-for-word translations they can pretty much get from translation software (Google).

Trados should provide translators with the flexibility they need to use their creativity. This includes:

Font formatting, including adding and removing italics, bold, etc.

Merging segments, including across hard returns


SDL has argued that formatting can be done either before or after you translate, but I believe most translators prefer to do this as they translate.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 17:57 GMT]


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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
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Wish #4 - Test compatibility with third-party software Feb 9, 2014

This wish is obviously not a priority, but many translators would probably be grateful if Trados were made fully compatible with other translation aids, such as Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking. For example, Dragon will automatically capitalize the first words of sentences in Microsoft Word, but is unable to do so in Tradoss. Being able to dictate sentences without having to say "Cap" first would be great.

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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
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Wish #5 - Automatically detect matching terms across language pairs based on frequency of occurrence Feb 9, 2014

Though perhaps not feasible, it would be nice if Trados were able to detect matching terms across language pairs based on how often those two terms appear together in the memory. For example, Trados could somehow detect that the term "financial statements" comes more often with "demonstrações contábeis" in the target segment than with any other two words, and could then offer "demonstrações contábeis" as an auto-suggest term.

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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
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Wish #6 - Display meaningful error messages Feb 9, 2014

When faced with technical difficulties, such as being unable to save as target while the client is breathing down your neck, it is very frustrating to get a vague, generic error message that makes you none the wiser.

All error messages should indicate tangible problems and potential solutions in non-developer language (ex: "An image on page X of the source file is preventing Trados from saving your project as target. Would you like to delete the image and save as target? Press ok to proceed.)


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 23:08
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Wrong approach Feb 9, 2014

TiagoVanRheenen wrote:
Translators have gone from being beneficiaries to being slaves of CAT tools


with clients requiring them to be used and deducting the leverage they provide from our fees.


And with clients often requiring us to work in SDL Trados, we are truly captive customers to this vendor.


I completely disagree, and although I'm deterring from the original topic, since you brought it up I feel the need to reply.

Translators are not captives nor slaves of anyone or anything. True Translators are professionals, with all that definition entails (including knowing and respecting one's work and profession).

Sure, there are a lot of unethical brokers and even complete charlatans out-there, but translators that accept being exploited by those who abuse the technology and the profession have, first and foremost, themselves to blame.

No amount of technology improvement will change the faith of those with a self-defeating stance and a "slave mentality" that allow themselves to be exploited and abused by others and as a result put themselves in this disadvantage.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 21:10 GMT]


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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
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Captive customers Feb 10, 2014

Shai Nave wrote:

TiagoVanRheenen wrote:
Translators have gone from being beneficiaries to being slaves of CAT tools


with clients requiring them to be used and deducting the leverage they provide from our fees.


And with clients often requiring us to work in SDL Trados, we are truly captive customers to this vendor.


I completely disagree, and although I'm deterring from the original topic, since you brought it up I feel the need to reply.

Translators are not captives nor slaves of anyone or anything. True Translators are professionals, with all that definition entails (including knowing and respecting one's work and profession).

Sure, there are a lot of unethical brokers and even complete charlatans out-there, but translators that accept being exploited by those who abuse the technology and the profession have, first and foremost, themselves to blame.

No amount of technology improvement will change the faith of those with a self-defeating stance and a "slave mentality" that allow themselves to be exploited and abused by others and as a result put themselves in this disadvantage.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 21:10 GMT]


I appreciate your feedback but still stand by my introduction. I don't know what your market looks like, but my reality is that the vast majority of (if not all) translation agencies and even Big Four auditors are now requiring translators to use CAT tools (mostly Trados) and deduct most of the leverage from their pay. In addition to not benefitting from the leverage CAT tools are designed to provide, we are left to deal with all the bugs still lingering in these tools after so many years.

A freelance translator cannot handle large clients on his or her own and has to join a pool, such a translation agency. So unless you are willing to limit yourself to the increasingly shrunken market for "professional" my-way-or-no-deal translators, you have no option but to accept today's reality.

This is not a "slave mentality", but a matter-of-fact description of the current state of things. I am a captive customer to my power utility because I have no other option other than generating my own power. Accepting that doesn't mean I have a defeated mentality.

With this post I am hoping to provide SDL with valuable customer feedback on what translators feel is lacking or could be useful as an enhancement in future releases of Trados so it is increasingly beneficial for translators as well. Despite the negative, but accurate, introduction, this post is intended to be constructive.

I would appreciate any contributions you may have. But your mention of "professional" translators has reminded me of another suggestion, which I will post shortly.


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TiagoVanRheenen  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
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Improved tone Feb 10, 2014

Shai Nave wrote:

TiagoVanRheenen wrote:
Translators have gone from being beneficiaries to being slaves of CAT tools


with clients requiring them to be used and deducting the leverage they provide from our fees.


And with clients often requiring us to work in SDL Trados, we are truly captive customers to this vendor.


I completely disagree, and although I'm deterring from the original topic, since you brought it up I feel the need to reply.

Translators are not captives nor slaves of anyone or anything. True Translators are professionals, with all that definition entails (including knowing and respecting one's work and profession).

Sure, there are a lot of unethical brokers and even complete charlatans out-there, but translators that accept being exploited by those who abuse the technology and the profession have, first and foremost, themselves to blame.

No amount of technology improvement will change the faith of those with a self-defeating stance and a "slave mentality" that allow themselves to be exploited and abused by others and as a result put themselves in this disadvantage.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 21:10 GMT]


I have now improved the tone a bit, but retained the essence of the introduction. What really matters, though, is that translators start populating the wish list.

[Edited at 2014-02-10 15:55 GMT]


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Language variants Feb 14, 2014

Hi,

Did you know that there is a plug-in on OpenExchange that enables Studio to work with language variants as requested in wish #2 above? In fact, it does much more than that:

The AnyTM translation provider allows you to use any translation memory with SDL Trados Studio, regardless of whether its source and target languages match the languages of your translation project. It caters for the following three cases:



  • Using TM of different language variants than the project languages, for instance using an EN-US->FR-FR TM in an EN-GB->FR->CA project.

  • Using a TM in the reverse language direction, for instance using an EN-US->FR-FR TM in a FR-FR->EN-US project.

  • Translating documents containing content in more than one source language, for instance translating a document containing English and French text to German.



For more information see: AnyTM 2.0.

Best regards,
Erik De Vrieze


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