Can anyone please explain what Passolo is in plain English?
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Mar 24, 2010

Hi folks

I know I am stupid, but I feel duped. Along with the free 30-day trial version of Trados Studio 2009 comes a red icon that says SDL Passolo 2009.

I've read half the ´Getting started´ manual and lost patience. It sounds to me like something I need about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.icon_biggrin.gif
The good news is that it's free so far, and the really BAD news is that now my Multiterm 2007 has disappeared and my computer asked me to reinstall it. It took me and my guru several days to get it to work last time, and in fact every time I have updated Trados. He solves the problem faster than the folks on the so-called hot line...

SDL Passolo is a localization tool for text resource translation and software localization. In this context, the text components of a software that are displayed on screen for the user are
designated as text resources.

To me this is sheer gobbledegook. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned text translation? The rest sounds like the kind of thing I leave well alone, and let the agency's DTP folk deal with.

These include the menu structure with menus, commands, and access keys; the dialogs with buttons, check boxes, and other control elements; as well as the “string table” in which strings are dynamically linked during “execution” (including, for example, error messages and tool tips).

Even more ominous. I've never had anything like that in my texts before.
Well, yes, error messages...
I simply don't want to know!

I get the impression that nobody else understands Passolo either, because everything about it on the Net starts with the same ominous words.
It is brilliant, but just like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. Nobody dares to admit they can't see what it is good for!

I do not feel like setting up a project as instructed unless I know what I am aiming at. I have worked my way through enough Trados tutorials to know I learn very little from them.

Luckily, I am planning to attend a workshop with a colleague who can get results from Trados. He has guided me through the earlier versions... But until then, I would love to know whether I am the only person who is totally confused by a whole lot of features I am never going to use?

Does anyone else really use them?


Local time: 21:48
English to German
... Mar 24, 2010

If you've never translated (or more correctly localized) a piece of software before and don't plan to do so anytime soon, just forget Passolo. It's only used in software localization.


Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
better to use only if agencies ask you to Mar 24, 2010

Hello Christine,

I suggest that you only use it when any clients requires so. I have used it for both translation and proofreading. Agencies like it depending on projects. Apparently some projects to go live on the Internet are best translated with Passolo.

It is easy to use, very much as SDLX, and works in two vertical columns. The best advantage compared to Trados is that the repetitions are not shown. So, when you translate something that will be repeated further down, that will be translated for you and you don't even see the segment. It might have a glossary embedded on it if clients prepare it so.

I don't think you will need this software if you have directly clients that use mainly MS tools. As far as I know this is mostly for projects to go live on the Internet.

Also, this makes life easier for agencies that can split translation amongst several translator and then get it back seamlessly (using the famous translation bundles).

Hope this helps you a bit.

Kind regards,


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Thanks to both! Mar 24, 2010

Thanks for your quick and uderstandable answers!

This does sound like a program I can ignore, as the agencies I do most for know about my limited IT abilities...

Meanwhile, thanks to help from another colleague, I have got my Multiterm 2007 back. I can live without it, but it is one of my triumphs, and I have to admit that when the technology works, it is brilliant.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to explain - I love all the helpful people on this site!


[Edited at 2010-03-24 12:11 GMT]


Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Member (2004)
English to Polish
It's for programs Mar 24, 2010

Passolo is used for computer programs. They tend to have various bits of text in them, like those "File", "Edit" and "Help" menus. Some folks in other countries like to see them in their own language. Then the translator (or localizer) starts Passolo and changes "File" to e.g. "Plik". That's about it...

It iss not very intuitive, but it is not really difficult either. It's about on par with other localization packages. But if you do not deal with software localization, you do not need it.  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
English to Arabic
+ ...
It is for software lozalization Mar 24, 2010

As Jabberwock mentioned, it is for localization of software applications and is not considered as a substitution for SDL Trados or any other translation memory application. For instance, regular TM applications cannot localize .exe files. However, Passolo does where you can localize Notepad.exe for instance (or any other application) as Passolo enables you to browse through all menus and strings to localize it to target language.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Thanks again! Mar 24, 2010

I am beginning to understand... and understanding breeds respect!

So even though I am unlikely to use the program myself, it is good to know what others can do with it.

And of course, if a file I am given to translate is full of codes, I take care not to disturb them...



Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Download the same program twice Apr 1, 2010

Christine Andersen,

to get a view on what Passolo does, try to find out some simple freeware or shareware that has some language options.

Download it twice, once for each language, open both on your desktop, and you will see the same program with commands / messages / etc. in different languages.

That's what Passolo did / does. And that some translator received some $$$ for that work.

Hope that next turn to earn money is yours! (or mine).

[Editada em 2010-04-01 01:16 GMT]


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Can anyone please explain what Passolo is in plain English?

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