Does it make sense working with more than 1 CAT tool?
Thread poster: MikeTrans
MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
Jul 8, 2011

Dear colleagues,

does anyone of you work with more than 1 CAT tool and could you then kindly explain me the advantages and drawbacks of such a workflow?
While I do understand that it's a big deal for an outsourcer to own more than 1 tool, I'd like to know if there are reasonable scenarios that would apply for a *translator* to work with more CAT tools. I also want to leave aside the financial expenses to buy more tools.

I'm especially interested in the following CAT combinations:

- Trados Studio Freelance (Professional) + Déjà Vu;

- Studio + MemoQ.

Is it possible and does it make sense to migrate a working project from 1 tool to the other? If so, how do you handle the formatting?

Thanks very much for any responses and comments!
Greets,
Mike

[Edited at 2011-07-08 12:15 GMT]


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:41
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Direction? Jul 8, 2011

You have given the combinations, but not the directions... That is, do you receive work in Studio and want to do it in DVX/MemoQ?

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IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
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Local time: 20:41
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I have several... Jul 8, 2011

... but that's only because I work with several vendors with different workflows and formats. I regularly use TagEditor, SDLX, Trados 2007, STAR TransitNXT and Across, and will probably start using Idiom, Catalyst and Passolo shortly.

Given the choice I use Trados 2009 Freelance for translations, since it's the CAT tool I know best and I have a license.

I tend to learn the tool that the client uses, provided that the license costs can be justified. Some clients have provided me with the necessary tools so I don't need to buy a license of my own.

I've been working pretty much full-time with projects, so I've had little time to experiment with Wordfast and other popular tools. My advice to those who are new to CAT tools and can choose freely is to buy a tool and learn it well, rather than getting several different tools for different documents.


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
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Yes Jul 8, 2011

Hi,

Although I don't know about your specific examples (I would imagine that Studio and MemoQ would serve similar purposes, maybe one of them better than the other) I do think it makes sense to have more than one CAT tool, for different uses.

I have Trados (Freelance 2007 and Studio 2009) but I also own MetaTexis for when I want to work within Word, which in my case is very often. It's close to impossible to work with Trados + Word, but MetaTexis works does it beautifully.

IMHO, it depends on the kind of jobs you want to do.



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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:41
English to Russian
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there are some advantages Jul 8, 2011

One agency needs a text to be translated with Trados.
Another one needs a text to be translated with Transit XV


Name this ¨synergy¨


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:41
Member (2004)
English to Polish
CAT hopping Jul 8, 2011

I believe that Mike did not refer to using several CATs for several different clients (which is obvious), but rather using two tools on the same project - a practice colloquially referred to as "CAT hopping".

I do not have Studio (yet?), as none of my clients demand it, but I often use Trados 2007 to prepare files for translation in MemoQ (and possibly check the final file for errors). Even with the conversion etc. it is faster than translating in TagEditor.

As for Studio, you can edit the files (sdlxliff) in MQ, but, as I understand, you might lose some information (concerning the segments, not the content itself), therefore it is not really recommended. I do not think Studio allows export to a "neutral" file format for translation.

I am sure full sdlxliff support will be introduced to MQ sooner or later (when it is in more demand).


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 20:41
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Italian to German
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TOPIC STARTER
First, thanks very much... Jul 8, 2011

... all of you for your comments. I still must elaborate on your responses to come back later.
The fact is, I will be able in the future to work with more tools if necessary and want to find out if this makes sense. I also have the choice to do so which makes it an important difference, also the possibility of fulfilling the client's request (in using a CAT) is of course a big advantage.

Probably the best I could do is to focus on the Tool that best works for me, in which I feel most comfortable. I know well about the differences in handling the tools above, but I wonder, for example, how do one organize its databases and how to handle formatting differences between 2 tools.

I also have in mind that the "CAT hopping" could just apply to me, that is making a basic workflow much more complicate that it should be... I will keep this aspect in mind.

As said, I must elaborate on your interesting posts and will come back with more pertinent questions.

In the meantime, thank you very much!
Mike


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:41
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Swedish to English
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Wild generalisation Jul 8, 2011

Lucia Colombino wrote:
It's close to impossible to work with Trados + Word

For you, perhaps, but the majority of Trados users manage.
Do you have any evidence for your wild generalisation?


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Formats, tags and other beasts... Jul 9, 2011

Hi,

I'd like to describe in more details the scenarios I can imagine to have some relevant effect on working with more tools.
I've been using *separately* the most important CAT tools in the past to find out that the 3 mentioned above do all fit my needs. They are very different in the handling in some aspects, and they all excel in some details and do well in all major important operations (except database handling, see below).

There are times when I stop working and ask about the handling of my workflows, get indepth about the numerous features of a CAT tool and most importantly: I try to identify steps in my
work not directly translation-related, but too time-consuming, and I make some effort to reduce (or eliminate) these.
One thing I've noticed is that I spend 1/4-1/3 of my translation time to deal with formatting. I realize of course that as long as you must deliver your work, dealing with formats is
essential. The document world is not made of plain text making it so easier for the translator and would make my initial question superfluous.

Currently I work with 2 main tools, Studio and MemoQ. I use MemoQ together with Dragon Naturally Speaking (a voice-over system) for texts not requiring much formatting and I use mostly Trados when I have to type or when it comes to complex documents where the powerful QA, and tag display (in order not to make errors) helps me a lot. This is of course a personal choice, someone may work better in other tools as well.

Up to now I didn't have too much difficulties to synchronize my databases in this scenario because I also use an excellent TM (TMX) manager to help me, also in order to compile a TM
catalogue, so I know exactly what my databases contain, which ones are up-to-date etc. The data transfer is somwhat delicate but it works.
I must say that I'm very unsatisfied with the way Trados or MemoQ handle databases (the so called Maintenance): No RegEx, no SQL, etc.., but I don't want to start here a futile discussion
about which tool (or other tools) are best. I'm only interested to know if such "discrepancies" should make me work with more tools or not and if this is adviceable.

I'm currently trying out Déjà Vu X2. I already had the chance to work with this tool in the past, also it excels in database management as for allowing SQL operations and offering
alternatives to TMX. Still I'm not entirely satisfied with DB managment, but it's the best I've found up to now (in a CAT tool). The same applies for Termbases.

You will ask now: Why am I so terribly concerned about databases?
We are just back to the formatting issues, their handling in the translation and their storage in the databases. And here, my friends, it's a complete chaos to say it the polite way... I will only mention TMX inconsistencies, tags in databases not compatible with other tools etc.
If I could seamlessly transfer my databases with all tags working in other CAT tools, I would spend much less time to 'fiddle' around.
Yesterday I was pointed to TTX and adviced to save my work in this format to ensure compatibility with Trados. This format is still most used and required by agencies.

Still I have the chance that my clients do not require specific CAT tools, but I found out that aligning my translations in TTX is the best way to also transfer the tags and formatting in my databases. It's much faster than doing it again manually in the CAT tool. Maybe I'm totally wrong, because not necessary, or there are better alternatives?

My conclusion as for now is: If it makes sense at all working in different Tools, then get all your tags and codes in your Translation Memory first, otherwise you must deal twice or more times to re-format sentences that could be otherwise 100% matches.

I'm sure there are other aspects to consider when working with more than 1 CAT tool, and I'm happy for any suggestion, but maybe someone comes forward to say all this makes no sense at all? I'd be very happy to read his comments!
Also, thanks very much to comment this post.

Best regards,
Mike


[Edited at 2011-07-09 22:36 GMT]


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MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 20:41
Member (2005)
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Trados > MemoQ; DVX > Word > Trados Jul 9, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:

(...)
I often use Trados 2007 to prepare files for translation in MemoQ (and possibly check the final file for errors). Even with the conversion etc. it is faster than translating in TagEditor.

As for Studio, you can edit the files (sdlxliff) in MQ, but, as I understand, you might lose some information (concerning the segments, not the content itself), therefore it is not really recommended. I do not think Studio allows export to a "neutral" file format for translation.

I am sure full sdlxliff support will be introduced to MQ sooner or later (when it is in more demand).


Hi Jabberwock,
thanks for replying in my discussion. Could you tell me if you encounter any problems transfering (a TM, a TTX ?) from Trados 2007 to MemoQ? I will however check this route, also the possibilities with Studio > DVX or Studio > MemoQ.
I can imagine a scenario where I could use the "External View" of DVX which is a tabled Word file, use my voice-over system, and then import to Studio. A "crazy" flow, but everything shortening up my work also means more cash and more clients to serve.
On the other hand, my tests yesterday show that Studio handles very well TM entries with formats to replace in your translation by *keeping* the format in the case of fuzzy or exact matches, so my "hopping" may just be ridiculous.

Note: Voices are that there could be some serious flaws in using DNS even together with MemoQ & DVX, which I'm not surprised: DNS is designed for a VBA (Word) environement. Too bad.
A major reason why I cannot do everything in Studio is:
- A desaster of DB management (the so-called Maintenance: filters not working, buggy navigation)
- Not compatible with DNS (not a SDL-made problem)
- Fuzzy matching sometimes very questionable (or not showing at all); good luck for T2011!

Thank you,
Mike

[Edited at 2011-07-10 15:08 GMT]


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