Trados 2007 certifications - worth getting both SDLX and Workbench?
Thread poster: Bjørnar Magnussen

Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Jan 28, 2008

I have recently passed the Translator's Workbench advanced exam and thus become a certified SDL Trados 2007 user. I have seen that it is also possible to get a certification in the SDLX component, but I would then have to buy another training package for USD 250.

Have any of you taken both certifications or considered doing so? Was it worth it from a ROI/marketing perspective?




[Zmieniono 2008-01-28 23:11]


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
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The question is... Jan 28, 2008

Have you seen any (or many) job postings that require CAT software certification? If not, I wouldn't bother. Every posting I've seen that required credentials referred to translator certifications in a language pair, but not software certification.

I hope the agencies don't start buying into this silly business of software certification. Most CAT tools aren't complicated enough to warrant it. What next? MS Word certification?


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
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I would very welcome that Jan 28, 2008

Steven Capsuto wrote:
snip...
MS Word certification?


This would probably limit the number of reported problems, not only limited to Word itself.

Speaking seriously I do see some use in the SLD Trados certification - it is a sign, that a certified person does know the software well, let's say better than average. This is - again - not any form of a translation credential, as it has nothing to do with translation itself.
I cannot answer the question, if it is worth to get also SDLX. My knowledge about SDLX is far to limited to even try to certify there. So in my case it is true, Trados Workbench certified means my knowledge about this software is good enough to pass the exam, and missing a certification for SDLX means exactly the opposite. Even if I'm able to work with SDLX, it is not enough to certify.


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Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Reply to Steven Jan 28, 2008

Steven Capsuto wrote:

What next? MS Word certification?


MS Word certification (as well as Excel, Outlook et.c.) has been around for a while, it used to be called Microsoft Office Specialist (2003 version), but now it is called Microsoft Certified Application Specialists (2007 version).

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Every posting I've seen that required credentials referred to translator certifications in a language pair, but not software certification.


Yes, in job postings CAT specialization is very rarely required. However, I often get ask by potential clients about my Trados capabilities and then a certification doesn't hurt. As Jerzy said, it only shows that one's knowledge is good enough to pass the exam. I have learned more useful things about Trados from experienced colleagues than I did during the exam preparation.

Steven Capsuto wrote:

I hope the agencies don't start buying into this silly business of software certification. Most CAT tools aren't complicated enough to warrant it.


Regarding difficulty, I think that CAT Tools are fairly simple to learn for most computer literates. However, there probably exist many good linguists that don't find computer tools intuitive. Software certification(s) might be one (out of several) indication of general computer skills, which again would be a consideration during the recruitment to some job types.

Of course I don't dispute the fact that these examinations are milch cows for the software producers:)

[Zmieniono 2008-01-28 23:18]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
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With the new filters ... who knows? Jan 28, 2008

Since ProZ's new approach seems to be leaning towards outsourcers instead of translators, I wouldn't be surprised if at one point outsourcers are pushed towards using this requirement.

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Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Reply to Jerzy - SDLX time investment Jan 28, 2008

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

I cannot answer the question, if it is worth to get also SDLX. My knowledge about SDLX is far to limited to even try to certify there. So in my case it is true, Trados Workbench certified means my knowledge about this software is good enough to pass the exam, and missing a certification for SDLX means exactly the opposite. Even if I'm able to work with SDLX, it is not enough to certify.


Being aware of your Trados know-how, Jerzy, I don't think it would take very long for you to transfer these skills to another CAT tool. I decided to try the SDLX placement exam today even though I had previously only used SDLX for one 100-word job. Just intuition/Trados knowledge was enough to almost make it into intermediate level. I found some of the questions quite logical after having taken the Trados exam and even some of the software terminology is shared between the two tools. That's why I think it might be a good idea for me (from a time perspective) to take the two examinations short time after another. The question is just whether it's worth it money-wise, hence this tread.

[Zmieniono 2008-01-29 00:04]


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Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Reply to Claudia - proz filters Jan 29, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:

Since ProZ's new approach seems to be leaning towards outsourcers instead of translators, I wouldn't be surprised if at one point outsourcers are pushed towards using this requirement.


In my opinion we are still very far away from a situation where outsourcers feel pressured to demand Trados certification (or any other kinds of software certification). As Steven wrote, there are extremely few (if any at all) job postings that require such certification. At the moment, I don't think the proz policy is decisive for anyone's choice, and I have difficulties imagine how it can get such a big impact in the future.

If I decide to take the SDLX, I will do it because of the marketing effect, not because of some filters that are never used in practice.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Marketing effect Jan 29, 2008

Bjørnar Magnussen wrote:
snip...
If I decide to take the SDLX, I will do it because of the marketing effect, not because of some filters that are never used in practice.


I see this exactly the same way. Certification is just another parameter, with which one can show some skills. Especially when you work in a language pair with huge competition through number of translators and price pressure, you need some "goodies". Certification might be one of them. Again, it does not tell anyone anything about someones translator skills. They have to be proved separately. But as an additional instrument I do welcome the possibility to showcase my skills in that way.


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Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Certification as a "goodie" Jan 29, 2008

Jerzy Czopik wrote

I see this exactly the same way. Certification is just another parameter, with which one can show some skills. Especially when you work in a language pair with huge competition through number of translators and price pressure, you need some "goodies". Certification might be one of them. Again, it does not tell anyone anything about someones translator skills. They have to be proved separately. But as an additional instrument I do welcome the possibility to showcase my skills in that way.


Precisely, I haven't been certified long enough to verify this effect, but there is a post here stating it: http://www.proz.com/post/481202#481202. I would think it works as follows:

The outsourcer gets two similar offers, however one of the translators is Trados certified while the other states that he has used it since 2000. The outsourcer has had a couple of bad experiences in the past where she had to spend a lot of time fixing missing tags etc. after receiving the files from the translator, even though the translator asserted Trados knowledge. Then I think she will tend to choose the offer from the translator that can verify his claims, even if the word price is a little higher.

But enough speculations, let's get some input from the SDLX certified...

[Zmieniono 2008-01-29 08:49]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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I'm certified Jan 29, 2008

And TBH I cannot tell the impact of this on my workload.
But I think I'm a special case, as my numerous postings here in this forum and in some other fora about Trados have already had their influence before I got certified, so I cannot see the objective benchmark for it.
However, in the case you described above (certified - not certified) might be quite easy.


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Annelise Meyer  Identity Verified
France
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I am certified as well Jan 29, 2008

Hello,

I am SDLX-certified and I am intending to take the Trados certification.
To be honest, the SDLX certification did not get me any new job, because it is so rarely used, which is a shame considering that SDLX is way more user-friendly than Trados!

I took the opportunity to buy the Trados certification with the SDL Trados pack not because I thought it migh help my marketing effort, but because I felt that I could benefit a deeper training on Trados. The thing is I need to understand why things go wrong when they go wrong, see? In my opinion, machines remain machines, and most of the errors and bugs encountered are caused by the user not knowing how to use the tool properly.
Though I agree that that it is quite easy to grasp the main features of CAT tools (or at least of the tools I use, ie Trados and SDLX), I still think that one always benefits from training. It cannot only be a marketing tool (I think Trados certification might become one in the years to come), but also a way to improve your way of working and become more performant. Anyway, that's just the way I see it

Cheers,

Annelise


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Bjørnar Magnussen  Identity Verified
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Reply to Annelise: Trados certification and errors Jan 29, 2008

Annelise Meyer wrote:

To be honest, the SDLX certification did not get me any new job, because it is so rarely used, which is a shame considering that SDLX is way more user-friendly than Trados!


Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Annelise. I am sorry that the SDLX certification hasn't had any impact on your business yet.

The thing is I need to understand why things go wrong when they go wrong, see? In my opinion, machines remain machines, and most of the errors and bugs encountered are caused by the user not knowing how to use the tool properly.


There was a section about errors in the Trados Workbench certification, but it only covered very basic errors like wrong file format during batch procedures etc. The Trados certification will not help me to understand all the strange errors that seems to be mostly caused by incompatibility with other software.

That said, I don't think the training material was worthless, but I think I could have learned the same by trial and error and referring to the included help documentation.


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Trados 2007 certifications - worth getting both SDLX and Workbench?

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