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Word Suggestions in Trados 2015
Thread poster: JW Narins

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
Member (2015)
Russian to English
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Nov 15, 2015

Dear colleagues,

As I'm using Trados, I note it doesn't seem to have what would be the most obviously useful function a translation program could afford.

As I type, it suggests ONE possible translation. Obviously, the point would be to give me options - at least a thesaurus-like list of options for a word or phrase I'm working on.

Shockingly, an expensive, top-of-the-line translation program doesn't seem to have anything like that. Is that true, or am I missing something? Do other CAT programs also not do this?

Thanks in advance!


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 20:14
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English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
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Studio is no better than the raw material it has to work with Nov 15, 2015

Are you perhaps new to Studio? Because it sounds to me like your TM doesn't have very much to choose from. In that case you cannot expect many suggestions either.

I have used Studio for some time, and get quite a few possible translations. Of course, if you combine it with some automatic translation too like SDL Cloud, you would probably get even more suggestions.

I, therefore, believe you will see that Studio will increase in usefulness for you as time goes by. So be patient.


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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Follow-up question Nov 15, 2015

Thanks for that answer............ continuing, however:

Does it give multiple suggestions at all? It seems to give you one best-guess suggestion for whatever you're typing. Or a list of versions - which are usually similar, but some go further ahead into the sentence.

It doesn't ever seem to give multiple renderings of a single word. And if it tried to do that, in addition to multiple suggestions of various lengths, I think it would very quickly become unusable.

I'd expect an option to click on a word of phrase and get thesaurus-like results.

How does it work in your experience?


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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What a CAT tool does Nov 15, 2015

Dear JW,

it seems you're mistaken about what a CAT tool actually does. Although most CAT tools today can do what you describe (although only to a certain extent, and usually not out of the box - the functions that come nearest to what you are looking for in Studio are called Autosuggest and MultiTerm), it is not what CAT tools are about.

I suggest you look for any "CAT tools for beginners" video, where you can learn the basic concept of CAT tools.

HTH,
Erik





[Edited at 2015-11-15 19:23 GMT]


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
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response Nov 15, 2015

Erik, maybe, but I think what I'm doing is *thinking* about what the CAT tool does - and about what else it could easily do. This seems like an obvious function it could have, one that would be huge help. Do you disagree?

 

Walter Blaser  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 20:14
French to German
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The lookup function works on "sentences" and not on "single words" Nov 15, 2015

JW

The main purpose of CAT tools (not just SDL Trados Studio) is to search a translation memory trying to find a sentence that is similar to some percentage (by default it is 70%) to the sentence you want to translate (we call this a "fuzzy" search).

It does indeed return several suggestions (not just one as you said), provided it finds more than one for the match rate that you have set.

You may play by lowering the match rate and you will see what happens. The lower, the more (often useless) results you get, the higher the more accurate results you get.

It does not search for single words as this would (1) return too many results and (2) not really be very helpful (you would need to do this for all words in the sentence).

However, CAT tools have evolved and nowadays they also return matches for "parts of sentences" (in Studio, this feature is called AutoSuggest). But obviously, this requires that you have some content in your TM (translation memory).

I suggest that you go through at least some basic tutorials to get familiar with the way Studio (and a CAT tool in general) works before you start using it productively.

Walter


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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reply Nov 15, 2015

Walter, thanks. Yes, I've been using it and this is just what it does.

I suppose I want to suggest that it would make sense to say not that
"The main purpose of CAT tools (not just SDL Trados Studio) is to search a translation memory trying to find a sentence that is similar to some percentage"

but rather that The main purpose of CAT tools is to make translation as easy, rapid and high in quality as possible.

In that effort,
"To search a translation memory trying to find a sentence that is similar to some percentage"

is one very helpful tool.

But I can't be the only one who finds it necessary to have a thesaurus open in another application, maybe a phraseological dictionary, etc. Why on earth wouldn't that be built into this program (in a way you'd have to query intentionally, not as you type, for the reasons you indicate)?

I was thinking: perhaps it is and I'm not using that function because I'm not aware of it.

Playing with the match rate is an interesting suggestion, by the way - I'll do that, it'll be interesting to see how it alters the translating experience.


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:14
English to Russian
Dictionary v. CAT Nov 15, 2015

What you describe is called a dictionary.
A CAT tool is neither a dictionary nor a machine translator.
It just copypastes what you have translated two hours or weeks ago. This is the main purpose of any CAT tool.
The most disappointing part: right, other CAT tools do not do this either.


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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response Nov 15, 2015

Well, not exactly a dictionary. Thesaurus + phraseological dictionary - the things we're always going to have to use.

It's called computer-assisted translation. Why wouldn't it do the obvious things to assist us? Why just one such thing? Strange, if you ask me; they include word-processing functions already - e.g., spell-checking. Why not include a thesaurus function? Word has that, too, after all.

All they'd have to do is add something to the right-click menu: "thesaurus" or something like that. And people and companies would make them, we could improve/customize them... having listened to everyone here, it still seems so obvious.


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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more Nov 15, 2015

In other words, to put the same problem in "CAT-esque" language:

A translators' brain works with "segments" of various lengths - sentences, phrases, words.

CAT choose one segmentation and sticks to it. The option to get variants for a shorter segment (a phrase) or a still shorter segment (a word) would fit what we do as translators better - and it would be EASY.


 

Ben Senior  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:14
German to English
Glossary is what you need Nov 15, 2015

A termbank will do what you want. But you have to build your own.

 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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It's possible, but there's not much need for it Nov 15, 2015

JW Narins wrote:

In other words, to put the same problem in "CAT-esque" language:

A translators' brain works with "segments" of various lengths - sentences, phrases, words.

CAT choose one segmentation and sticks to it. The option to get variants for a shorter segment (a phrase) or a still shorter segment (a word) would fit what we do as translators better - and it would be EASY.


The function you want is there: As I said above, in the case of Studio this is the translation memory (for sentence or paragraphs), the Autosuggest dictionary (for shorter phrases) and the termbase (for individual terms, although they may consist of more than one word).

So it is in fact possible to create what you want as a termbase. Fact is, no one has bothered to do that yet, the probable reason being that most professional translators very rarely have to rely on general dictionaries to look up words.

It would of course be nice to be able to look up a word or phrase in a general dictionary (or even encyclopedia) within a CAT tool when you really need it. I just think that the effort to create, maintain, and use it would be enormous, while the benefits are minute for a professional translator. Instead, most of us (happily) use external resources when we need them.

What most of us really use are specialised dictionaries (and phrasebooks) in form of termbases and AS dictionaries (or whatever they're called in different CAT tools), and we create those ourselves by researching terms and storing them.

Again, it might be nice to have something like that, but I wouldn't use it much (certainly not at the expense of the usability of the software).

My 2 cents,
regards,
Erik


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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Term bank Nov 15, 2015

Be n, thanks. Yes, I'm always building term bases.

But that doesn't seem to be at all the same as the "thesaurus" or "phrase dictionary" function I have in mind.

My point is that there are words and phrases we don't always translate the same way. A term base doesn't let you, as far as I can see, enter multiple meanings for a word or phrase If you highlight a word or phrase for entry as a term and that term is already there, you have to replace what's already there.

Translators need to be presented with OPTIONS, the machine doesn't know better. Right now if we don't like what the CAT tool suggests, we just have to go elsewhere ....when even M$ Word has this kind of function built in.

Is that not so?


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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You can enter multiple options Nov 15, 2015

JW Narins wrote:

Be n, thanks. Yes, I'm always building term bases.

But that doesn't seem to be at all the same as the "thesaurus" or "phrase dictionary" function I have in mind.

My point is that there are words and phrases we don't always translate the same way. A term base doesn't let you, as far as I can see, enter multiple meanings for a word or phrase If you highlight a word or phrase for entry as a term and that term is already there, you have to replace what's already there.

Translators need to be presented with OPTIONS, the machine doesn't know better. Right now if we don't like what the CAT tool suggests, we just have to go elsewhere ....when even M$ Word has this kind of function built in.

Is that not so?


No, it isn't. In MultiTerm (and I suspect in most other similar products), you can of course enter more than one translation for a term.


 

JW Narins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
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response Nov 15, 2015

Erik, thanks. I'll figure that out then now, that'll help.

 
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