Best tools for Large-scale Translation Project
Thread poster: so__it__goes
so__it__goes
United States
Local time: 01:37
Japanese to English
Jun 4

Hello all!

I have pretty extensive experience translating between EN/FR/JP, and I have just been contacted to do something that exceeds the scope of anything I've done so far.

I am still waiting on the delivery of the necessary source files, but I am going to be leading a project for translating the entirety of an ecommerce portal which will likely be in the *millions* of characters.

As such I need to identify the best:
1) Translation software
2) Project management software
3) Any sort of software or tools that can help me identify repeats, often-used terms, identical terms across product categories, etc.

I am hoping to see what you would recommend for tools to use, as I am mostly familiar with smaller scale projects handled in-house by something like WordFast Classic.

My requirements for the translation software are:

- Ability to use multiple Glossaries/TMs
- Remote, simultaneous read/write access to Glossaries/TMs for the entire translation team (this may end up including 50-100 translators at times)
- Ability for translators to report issues such as unclear terms (preferably outside of actual translation working files) and communicate with one another

I will also need to have good Project Management software.

In the past I have used stuff like Google Docs to allow my translators to keep track of terms they could not define, and I have QCed stuff like Glossaries/TMs daily, in order to ensure that translations are consistent across an entire project.

Given the larger scale of this project I want to have something more robust for the translators to keep in touch and also for other parties to be able to keep tabs on the status of the project.

In a past life I've used stuff like JIRA for this purpose--do you think that would work, or is there something that is better for translation-specific PM?

Thanks a million!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 14:37
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Microsoft Office Jun 4

"My requirements for the translation software are:
- Ability to use multiple Glossaries/TMs
- Remote, simultaneous read/write access to Glossaries/TMs for the entire translation team (this may end up including 50-100 translators at times)
- Ability for translators to report issues such as unclear terms (preferably outside of actual translation working files) and communicate with one another"

It is amazing that good latest package of Microsoft Offices work best to me. I can manage big projects with Trados, MemoQ or other commercial CAT tools. However, as the last resort, I need to go back to MS Office e.g. Access, Excel, Word. MS Office rarely crash to run with multiple files or resources.

For instance:
- Ability to use multiple Glossaries/TMs --- Access
- Remote, simultaneous read/write access to Glossaries/TMs for the entire translation team (this may end up including 50-100 translators at times) -- MS OneNote
- Ability for translators to report issues such as unclear terms (preferably outside of actual translation working files) and communicate with one another -- MS Word

MS Office's basic functions e.g. proofreading, editing, revising save my time very well since the software package is gradually and systematically improved.
By the way, I simultaneously use the latest version of Trados with MS Office to maximize my productivity on translation of large projects.

Soonthon L.


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Pascal Pierre Kameim  Identity Verified
Guinea
Local time: 07:37
Member (Feb 2017)
English to French
+ ...
"Best tools for Large-scale Translation Project" Jun 5

In my humble opinion I would advise you to use SDL TRADOS it is one of the best software that will allow you to provide a high quality work therefore very consistent for satisfactying your clients' needs.
Thank you in advance and wish you good luck .


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William Tierney  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:37
Member (2002)
Arabic to English
MemoQ Jun 5

I used to TRADOS for many years, but left them for two main reasons: the large number of technical problems and the devious business practices by SDL/Trados (removing souce editing, then putting it back in as a "new" feature. If you want to keep package creation, you have to buy the enterprise version, even if you don't need it).

I am with MemoQ right now and am much happier. the technical issues are relatively insignificant, it is very effective as a tool, and I like the organization much better than SDL/Trados.


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Translation PM Jun 5

I must admit, there's still no such a system, only a few half-cooked and proprietary options.

For instance, I was really disappointed when colleagues didn't support a free MS Word add-on "E-Stylebook" and "Curiouser" by Kirill Eltsov & Co (http://kirilleltsov.narod.ru).
So far, only partial solutions available...

If it's a serious large-scale project, then why not hire a dedicated IT company to develop or just integrate it exactly how you want it to be? Anyway, it would cost much less than a million)


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H Moon
South Korea
Local time: 16:07
Member (Sep 2017)
Korean to English
+ ...
I prefer MemoQ Oct 6

Of course I know a bunch of companies use Trados these days, but I still prefer MemoQ. It's lighter and cheaper. Easier to learn how to use. And I have this feeling that Trados is trying to monopolise the CAT tool market. Just my personal opinion.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Apparently MemoQ Oct 7

I normally use WordFast Classic, but I have no objection to use a client-provided portable license for other CAT tools.

A couple of years ago, a friend/fellow translator/PM/agency owner contacted me about joining a team of translators for a series of immense jobs. To make a long story short, I did, and it went on for several months.

At peak time, she was single-handedly managing four teams of about 10-15 translators each, working in three language pairs, scattered over several time zones and latitudes. Some translators had their own MemoQ licenses, and she provided portable licenses for the duration of the project to all those who hadn't.

We worked online all the time, and MemoQ provided matches from peers in real time. Now this is interesting... she did NOT adopt any fuzzy match discounts, however her fixed per-word rate was about 20% below standard. Considering that the material had a significant number of matches, the actual compensation we - translators - received for the time & effort spent was tops, as we were all reusing a lot of material as it was being translated by peers.

One incident was interesting... She is located in Florida. However her MemoQ server was in Toronto, Canada. One day a snowstorm hit Ontario, and caused a power outage, which was not expected to be fixed soon. In a couple of hours, all by phone, she rented a power generator, got it driven to her server location to get it running, transferred the entire contents via www to another server in Los Angeles, and got us all back to work.

After each job was completed, she got extensive and detailed reports on TM non-compliances, had the group fix them, and delivered it with extreme consistency.


One caveat on working online. Both servers in Toronto and L.A. were FAST. Being used to the sluggishness of off-line WordFast, for me MemoQ was faster. My Internet connection is pretty fast and stable, 50 MBPS, so no problem on my side.

More recently I had a similar situation, working online with a portable Memsource license, but alone, no team. I'm in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and this client is in the UK. I tested the setup during a weekend, and speed seemed okay. However when I tried to do it on a Monday, it took soooo disparagingly long for my words to cross the Atlantic, that after 44 years spent translating without one single late delivery, I got their job finished almost two hours late (very tight deadline). Fortunately, I left their reviewer with a very easy task, so it was still delivered to the end-client long before the actual deadline.

So, if you'll be working online, check the connection at different hours and days, as your mileage may vary.


For the record, that Florida-based client had done it before with Trados, but she said that she'd never do it again after having used MemoQ.


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Kieran Sheehan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:37
Member (2008)
German to English
Might be worth trying MemoQ Cloud version Oct 7

To begin with I should mention that MemoQ is my preferred CAT tool, even though I have licenses for both SDL Studio and Star Transit. I recently did a large project which involved all the features you are looking for. However I did it using conventional tools, swapping TMs and TBs back and forth manually and not in realtime etc., and the whole process proved to be very frustrating. As a result I looked around for an alternative solution and tried out MemoQ Cloud Server on a trial basis. Altough the trial was only for one month I did get the impression that it would be a viable and relatively low-cost solution (pricing is around EUR 200 per month) for such projects, provided you had several such large projects to handle each year to make it worthwhile. I would therefore also be interested in hearing from any small teams or small agencies that are actively using this solution.

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