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Thoughts on Tools
Thread poster: Net-Translators

Net-Translators
Israel
Local time: 18:55
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Feb 29, 2016

We are thinking of doing an integration with one of these tools and would like to hear your thoughts/experiences on the following:
- XTRF
- MemSource
- Plunnet
- MemoQ
- XTM
- Or if you heard/had a chance to work with any other tool that you liked…

How user-friendly are these for the translators, and if you had to work on-line or download the files to your computer and work locally.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
memoQ, without question. Feb 29, 2016

Net-Translators wrote:

We are thinking of doing an integration with one of these tools and would like to hear your thoughts/experiences on the following:
- XTRF
- MemSource
- Plunet
- MemoQ
- XTM
- Or if you heard/had a chance to work with any other tool that you liked…

How user-friendly are these for the translators, and if you had to work on-line or download the files to your computer and work locally.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!



The only real option in your list is memoQ: definitely the best, and highly recommended! memoQ 2015 is amazing.

Michael

PS: If anyone pops up here and says you should consider SDL Studio, please ignore them. Even though it is the so-called "market leader", the program is a hideous monster to use.


[Edited at 2016-02-29 09:35 GMT]


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2003)
French to English
memoQ Feb 29, 2016

I completely agree with Michael on memoQ but have recently tried both Memsource Cloud and XTM as part of a course I was doing; of the two, I found Memsource much more user-friendly from the translator's point of view.

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Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:55
English to Russian
Cannot add a word Feb 29, 2016

memoQ.

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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:55
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
I tend to avoid online tools/systems Feb 29, 2016

Imo online systems tend to make a job more complicated, time consuming, and the whole work process becomes sterile making the work experience much less pleasant for everyone involved.

I'd prefer to receive an email offering me a job where the mail was written to me by another person on the other end of the line, a person you end up being colleagues or even friends with really.

Receiving an automatic machine-generated message assigning me a job as if I was a cog in a machine is not the best way to arouse my interest, manage a job or find just the right person to do it, with the time to do it.

The worse systems tell you the amount of your invoice and won't let you upload an invoice except within a certain window from say the 25th to the end of the month, which is silly if you're on holiday for example.
There have also been cases of systems like these being used to contact many different translators with urgent requests, a translator may start work, then the job is assigned to another "resource" in the system.
I mostly refuse to work with agencies using systems like this.

Imo PMs and agencies in general should concentrate more on finding just the right translator for each particular project, one who's specifically qualified with hands-on experience if possible who's going to do the best possible job, also using the translator as a resource to help them with the project. This also means managing the client so the deadline is reasonable enough to be able to use just the right translator to get the best results.

If you really want to go down this "everything is automated" road, Plunet is pretty intuitive to use.

Personally I prefer Studio to MemoQ.


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Texte Style
Local time: 17:55
French to English
Plunet Feb 29, 2016

Jo Macdonald wrote:

If you really want to go down this "everything is automated" road, Plunet is pretty intuitive to use.



I know of agencies that use Plunet but still send mostly personal e-mails to translators.

I saw Plunet in use in one of these agencies and all I can say is that it looked deadly boring
This perhaps is a reflection of my opinion of project management (i.e. dead boring admin and letterbox work, with an occasional enjoyable bit of banter with translators)


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@Net-Translators: Feb 29, 2016

Net-Translators wrote:

We are thinking of doing an integration with one of these tools and would like to hear your thoughts/experiences on the following:
- XTRF
- MemSource
- Plunnet
- MemoQ
- XTM
- Or if you heard/had a chance to work with any other tool that you liked…

How user-friendly are these for the translators, and if you had to work on-line or download the files to your computer and work locally.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!



Incidentally ... Plunet doesn't fit in your list, as it isn't a CAT tool, it's a (translation) project management tool. Just to clarify: what exactly are you looking for?

I also agree with what other have said here: online tools are crap, and should be avoided at all costs. I refuse to translate in anything that is not on my own computer. I need full and unrestricted access to all my own resources (TMs/glossaries/corpora), voice recognition software, macros, need to be able to split/join segments freely, etc.

@Jo: There is also a distinction between using e.g. memoQ locally, and logging onto your client's memoQ server. I refuse to accept any jobs where I have to work on someone's server, but happily accept memoQ jobs that I can do locally in my own copy of memoQ 2015.

PS: disclosure: I sometimes work for Net-Translators (using memoQ)

[Edited at 2016-02-29 10:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-02-29 10:29 GMT]


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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 17:55
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Agree with Jo Feb 29, 2016

Having worked with many different online and offline systems, I tend to agree with Jo. Somehow the projects I do on my desktop tools feel more "serious" and "real" than those I do over online systems. Even memSource, that has a desktop version, transmits this kind of "cheap crowdsourcing" feel - apart from lacking most of the functions of a real CAT tool. I know that sounds kind of vague or even esoteric, but it might influence the performance of your translators.

I have worked with SDL Studio for a long time and it is not as bad as many say, but I prefer memoQ, as it has more functions that help me with translation speed and consistency. Although it also has a steeper learning curve and a strange way of organizing files.

I guess it depends on what you plan to work on - if it is cheap, quick jobs for the masses, an easy tool might be the better choice. If you are looking for specialized high-quality translations, opt for one of the large CAT tools, or even better, arrange things so that translators can use their tool of choice.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Six of the large agencies I work for now use Plunet, and the list is growing. Feb 29, 2016

Texte Style wrote:

Jo Macdonald wrote:

If you really want to go down this "everything is automated" road, Plunet is pretty intuitive to use.



I know of agencies that use Plunet but still send mostly personal e-mails to translators.

I saw Plunet in use in one of these agencies and all I can say is that it looked deadly boring
This perhaps is a reflection of my opinion of project management (i.e. dead boring admin and letterbox work, with an occasional enjoyable bit of banter with translators)


Plunet et al. make things easier for agencies, and my life more complicated, as I already have my own invoicing system in place, and every client that has a new system of their own, is just one more I have to learn/remember how to use.

Plunet is a project management platform. A very different thing than a CAT tool, or TEnT.

I can handle being sent jobs via a stupid online portal (although email is far better), but draw the line at using any form of online CAT tool.


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Net-Translators
Israel
Local time: 18:55
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We really appreciate all your replies so far Feb 29, 2016

- We've noticed that most of you prefer working locally rather than online; the advantages of your local material is understandable. However what about the advantages of working online - for example: gaining from other translators' TM when the task is split between several translators, automatic checks that those tools allow, etc.
What about the overhead/space of having to save so many files on your computer and having to back up everything? We thought an online tool would make it easier… no?

- Most of you mentioned MemoQ as a preferred translation tool than Studio. Can you please elaborate? We'd like to know more of the advantages and disadvantages of each one as you see/experience them.

- Clarification (@Michael Beijer): We are looking into both CAT tools (such as MemoQ) as well as a project management system (i.e XTRF, Plunnet, etc). Most of the project management systems have the ability to integrate with different tools, this is why the feedback on both are important to us.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
some info Feb 29, 2016

Net-Translators wrote:

- We've noticed that most of you prefer working locally rather than online; the advantages of your local material is understandable. However what about the advantages of working online - for example: gaining from other translators' TM when the task is split between several translators, automatic checks that those tools allow, etc.
What about the overhead/space of having to save so many files on your computer and having to back up everything? We thought an online tool would make it easier… no?


memoQ, locally installed, can do all of that! You can now share TMs/TBs with other translators using memoQ, over the internet.
You can now also back up your projects online to the Language Terminal (https://languageterminal.com/ )

The overhead of storing files locally is a non-issue. (SSD) hard drive space is extremely cheap these days.

- Most of you mentioned MemoQ as a preferred translation tool than Studio. Can you please elaborate? We'd like to know more of the advantages and disadvantages of each one as you see/experience them.


memoQ's UI is much better. Much clearer and fun to work in. Studio is not very well designed, from a UX perspective. Studio's terminology handling is also a mess, as it involves MultiTerm. Also (and this is highly subjective of course), it seems to me that there are way more translators out there who love memoQ than there are ones who love Studio. There has to be a reason for this.

- Clarification (@Michael Beijer): We are looking into both CAT tools (such as MemoQ) as well as a project management system (i.e XTRF, Plunnet, etc). Most of the project management systems have the ability to integrate with different tools, this is why the feedback on both are important to us.


OK, I understand.

I would avoid XTRF and XTM. I would also not recommend Memsource, as it's CAT tool component is nowhere near as good as memoQ. Also, a lot of translators hate it, and so you would risk isolating many potential translators.

I recommend going with Plunet + memoQ. However, please try not to force your translators to only work on memoQ server projects, but let them work locally. And if you insist on server projects (as they do have benefits when working on multi-translator projects), make sure your translators can split and join segments freely!

Michael

PS: memoQ can also handle Studio files/projects just fine these days, in case this is relevant.
PPS: hmm, see also: https://www.memoq.com/integration-with-xtrf (seems maybe XTRF + memoQ might also be a nice combo)

[Edited at 2016-02-29 12:57 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:55
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Context switching destroys productivity Feb 29, 2016

Net-Translators wrote:
- However what about the advantages of working online - for example: gaining from other translators' TM when the task is split between several translators, automatic checks that those tools allow, etc.
What about the overhead/space of having to save so many files on your computer and having to back up everything? We thought an online tool would make it easier… no?

These aren't advantages. These all imply more, not less work. If you're a professional you backup everything anyway - project files from clients don't make that much difference.

The thing is, if you care about your tools at all, you have a workflow that is to some extent customised for your own use. In some cases the degree of customisation may be considerable - regexes, TMs, AutoSuggest or equivalent dictionaries, field-specific termbases, plug-ins, scripts etc.

So moving to an online tool that can make use of NONE of my existing workflow - even keyboard shortcuts are different - means an immediate and pretty significant loss of productivity. Are you going to pay me 30% more than the going rate in my pair and specialization to compensate me for the loss of productivity? No I don't think you are, no disrespect intended.

And this is not just a one-off problem, because each agency that wants me to use online tools seems to have a slightly different app or different way of doing it.

If three different agencies want me to use three different online tools, that's three significant switches of context, which is a major cognitive burden. I want to focus my mental efforts on the translation, not on trying to remember the way to confirm the segment on this particular online tool.

On the other hand if you - the agency - are dealing with translators who mostly either don't know what CAT tools are or know what they are but think CAT tools are "expensive" or "a scam", or if you mostly work with those translators who don't have much experience or confidence in using PCs, I think an online tool might well make sense. If those are the kind of translators you want to attract, go for it.

Regards
Dan


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:55
German to Polish
+ ...
Not true Mar 2, 2016

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:

PS: If anyone pops up here and says you should consider SDL Studio, please ignore them. Even though it is the so-called "market leader", the program is a hideous monster to use.


[Edited at 2016-02-29 09:35 GMT]


I'm working with Studio and MemoQ. Both have some pros and cons, but Studio is definitely not a "monster".


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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 18:55
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I didn't care for MemoQ Mar 2, 2016

I did not learn in in depth, as I only used it during a trial period and was happy to give it up. I did not find it as versatile as Studio in terms of screen flexibility and its file structure was a mess.
Multiterm integrates seamlessly into Studio, so I don't see a problem there.
Studio is becoming smarter, which I like.
It still has wrinkles, but I believe MemoQ also has lots of them.



Sandra

P.S the reasons people did not relate to Studio is that:

1. You did not mention it in your initial list of options, so there was nothing to talk about.
2. The initial list consists of a mixed bunch of different items, so it is not quite clear what you want and for what purpose.



[Edited at 2016-03-02 07:12 GMT]


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 17:55
Plunet doesn't like Mac Mar 2, 2016

I'm not able to download any files from Plunet with Safari for Mac.

I have no problems with XTRF on my Mac.


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