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Job posting:"...if you don't have TRADOS, please do NOT use any other CAT tool."
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Apr 20, 2010

The full instruction in a job posting I just received reads:

The use of TRADOS is highly preferred, but if you don't have TRADOS, please do NOT use any other CAT tool.


I don't use Trados, but I do use Wordfast, albeit at a very basic level as I'm a technical dunce. Am I missing something here? Can it HARM the translation in any way? Why should an outsourcer forbid us to use a CAT tool?

By the way, both source and target texts were specifed as Word files.

Sheila

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-04-20 11:10 GMT]


 

Marcelina Haftka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:56
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
A solution Apr 20, 2010

You can always use Wordfast and send the clean file to the client - they will never know, if you've done it with or without a CAT tool.
A correctly cleaned filed has no traces of a CAT tool, so there should be no problem.

Maybe someone posting this job did not really know what computer assisted translation looked and looks like...


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:56
French to German
+ ...
Another possibility... Apr 20, 2010

would be to say that, for some actors of this market, the world stops at the threshold of their officesicon_frown.gif. So much for flexibility. Not a very generous point of view, I agree - but given the insight I had in some work methods, I would not be surprised if it were confirmed.

[Edited at 2010-04-20 11:38 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
There can be compatibility problems... Apr 20, 2010

depending on the format and type of file requested... many translators can just about use one CAT tool, let alone being able to deliver compatible files...icon_wink.gif

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:56
German to English
Client specification Apr 20, 2010

One large automaker not only provides specifications for the products they buy from suppliers, but also specifies the type of packaging the vendors must use to to ship the products.

To put it quite simply, it's a customer specification, just like requesting files in CATIA format, images as bitmaps, or using a customer-supplied database format. Most end users have a reason for their specification, and as suppliers, we meet the spec or we don't take the job.

I recently edited a job that had been translated using a "TagEditor-compatible" tool. Indeed, the document opened OK in TagEditor, but from the placement of the tags it was apparent that this compatibility only extended to the general file format. The tags were placed in random order, and there were missing/extra tags in many of the segments. TagEditor would have issued a warning message for each of these segments (and there were plenty!). I would have sent the document back to the translator, but the deadline was short.

Clients (or agencies) want a document that they can easily integrate into their existing work flow. There are plenty of translators willing and able to meet the client's specification exactly. Thus there is no competitive advantage to offering a product translated with a tool that is "compatible with" (fill in the blank ... Trados, Transit, DVX, etc.).

This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to use the specific tool to perform the translation, but you absolutely must make sure that your final document is 100% compatible, which usually entails running it through the specified tool (as Mr. Lossner calls it, a "round trip").


 

Kitty Maerz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:56
English to German
+ ...
Confidentiality? Apr 20, 2010

Could it be that the job poster is concerned about confidentiality?

There are CAT-tools (e.g. Google Translate) which do pose some concerns as far as confidentiality is concerned. The same is probably true for some of the proprietary CAT-environments recently introduced by various agencies. Possibly, the job poster felt it would be easier to ban ALL CAT tools other than Trados instead of listing separately the ones that could pose a problem (and perhaps missing some).


 

Rebekka Groß (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
English to German
maybe they want the unclean TTX files Apr 20, 2010

All but one of my clients require that I deliver unclean files. I don't know Wordfast but could you, for example, deliver TTX files if you used another CAT tool? (I never use Word + Workbench these days, Tag Editor is more reliable in preserving formatting etc.)

[Edited at 2010-04-20 13:07 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Comments and replies Apr 20, 2010

Thanks for all the comments, though I would draw your attention to the file type specified in this job:
Sheila Wilson wrote:
By the way, both source and target texts were specifed as Word files.


@Marcelina:
A correctly cleaned filed has no traces of a CAT tool

That's what I thought, Marcelina. I didn't want the job anyway otherwise I might have been tempted to "cheat", but I was interested to know if there were any good reasons.

@Kitty:
Could it be that the job poster is concerned about confidentiality?

I know absolutely nothing about Google Translate etc, but perhaps there might be something in what you say

@Rebekka:
I don't know Wordfast but could you, for example, deliver TTX files if you used another CAT tool?

As I said, they didn't ask for TTX files but I believe (although I'm not 100% sure) that Wordfast can produce them - isn't TTX the "standard" that all the major CAT tools are compatible with?


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:56
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Ask the outsourcer Apr 20, 2010

Hi Sheila,

There are some plausible explanations above - but why don't you ask the outsourcer? Only he/she has the answer.

Kind regards,
Attila


 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
To avoid compatibility problems... Apr 20, 2010

I think it is nonsense that an agency forces a certain workflow on you. As long as compatibility is possible, you should be able to do as you please. However, you should know what you are doing, and if you are "technical dunce" as you say, you might want to dig into some backgrounds to fill that knowledge gap.

It is true, the Wordfast segmentation differs slightly from Trados and compatibility problems may arise. To avoid those, you might want to get hold of an old Trados 2007 demo (or find a helpful colleague with a Trados licence to perform this step for you) and pre-segment the file, so you have the genuine Trados segmentation the client wants.

TTX is a different story again. There are also means and ways for this, but once again: know what you are doing!


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Apr 20, 2010

Kevin Fulton wrote:


To put it quite simply, it's a customer specification ... and as suppliers, we meet the spec or we don't take the job.


Clients (or agencies) want a document that they can easily integrate into their existing work flow.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to use the specific tool to perform the translation, but you absolutely must make sure that your final document is 100% compatible, which usually entails running it through the specified tool


On the face of it, "Use Trados or nothing" seems dumb, but there could be a good reason for it.

[Edited at 2010-04-20 15:40 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Wolfgang Apr 20, 2010

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:
if you are "technical dunce" as you say, you might want to dig into some backgrounds to fill that knowledge gap.

It is true, the Wordfast segmentation differs slightly from Trados and compatibility problems may arise.


I don't think I'll gain much from digging into backgrounds as I most likely won't understand what I find, so I think I'll accept defeat and stay well away from that sort of problem.

As I said before, I didn't want this job anyway! I just wondered if there could be a justifiable reason - you've just justified it!icon_smile.gif


 

René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:56
Czech to German
+ ...
Quite no CAT tool segments right automatically. Apr 21, 2010

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:

It is true, the Wordfast segmentation differs slightly from Trados and compatibility problems may arise.


Dear Wolfgang,

If you draw our attention to the segmentation, it is also very important to point out that only in very rare cases with automatic segmentation we get translation units that make sense. At least in my source languages every abbreviation containing a dot at the end is the end of automatically set segments. If an agency forces us to use automatically presegmented source texts and thus unresizable segments, they are causing us translators a very bad headache, because parts of sentences will appear in different segments.

And why did they introduce such a bad business practise? Yes, for sure, you know it too: To squeeze out more CAT matches and discounts from a single translator and between different translators! Automatic garbage segmentation will at least be the same between different translators and in different jobs.

How can an agency, that does not understand the source language, force the translator to use a certain segmentation?

I am sure that if the translator succeeds to convince the PM, that it should be the translator who sets the segmentation, they will not insist on the use of one certain CAT tool that much anymore, because they will start to get that they won’t squeeze out as much as they dreamed of anyway.

Have a nice day!

René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de

Please note that English is neither my target language nor one of my source languages.


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:56
English to Czech
+ ...
Depends on tool and translator's competence Apr 21, 2010

If the tool is truly compatible with TTX (e.g. MemoQ, DVX or Transit) and the translator technically competent enough, the agency will never know he/she used a mixed workflow to translate the TTX. If you use Studio to translate TTX files, you are using a mixed workflow anyway, aren't you?

On the other hand, the client should know in advance that you intend to use a Trados-compatible tool: that's a matter of being fair towards your clients.

Another problem is, that many PMs are lacking technical knowledge themselves and this is often the only reason why they require one specific CAT tool (be it Trados or anything else).

@Kitty: Google Translate is a machine translation tool, not a CAT tool; please don't mix them up.

[Upraveno: 2010-04-21 07:31 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 14:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Ask for higher rates without CAT Apr 21, 2010

If they really don't want you to use a CAT they must be ready to pay you more, because you will spend more time. Probably they quickly agree to let you use your Wordfast. There is no difference between a Word-file cleaned up after Wordfast and a Word-file translated by writing over.

Regards
Heinrich


 
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