Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Is TRADOS really as useful as it appears to be?
Thread poster: JOHN PENNEY
JOHN PENNEY  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:10
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Nov 29, 2010

I am bombarded with ads for TRADOS. A soi-disant translator told me the other say that she switches off her head and lets TRADOS do the work for her!!! Can anyone explain to me in layman´s language what this CAT tool actually does, whether it is easy to use and whether it speeds up accurate translating? Is it, in short, worth the considerable financial outlay?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Witold Chocholski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:10
Member (2007)
English to Polish
+ ...
It is useful... for me at least Nov 29, 2010

Tons of opinions and reviews and complaints have already been written. Some people need Trados, some don't. It's that simple.

In my subject areas it is very useful and I can't imagine working without Trados Studio now. It has a lot of limitations, but you can overcome them. Why it has those limitations for this price, that's a separate question.

Generally, this tool is necessary for me and I really like it. Yes, I do

Get a free 30 day trial and check for yourself. It's not a difficult piece of software. No opinions will be as helpful as your own experience. You will decide whether to use it or not.

Best wishes
W


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 08:10
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
It all depends Nov 29, 2010

Hi JOHN,

JOHN PENNEY wrote:

A soi-disant translator told me the other say that she switches off her head and lets TRADOS do the work for her!!!


I can see here only two possible options:

1) You didn't understand her.
2) She said total misleading BS.

TRADO$ as well as all other TM CAT tools don't do anything for us. They can only help us to translate. For one type of a text TM CAT tools are useful for another type their usefulness is next to zero. It all depends.

BTW, I don't like TRADO$ and prefer to work with Deja Vu.

NK


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:10
French to German
+ ...
Translator or... CAT operator? Nov 29, 2010

JOHN PENNEY wrote:

I am bombarded with ads for TRADOS. A soi-disant translator told me the other say that she switches off her head and lets TRADOS do the work for her!!! (.../...)


I will leave the comments as per the usefulness of any CAT tool to users who are accustomed to it.

But statements such as the one made by this "translator" are the best way to reinforce the idea that translators are (or want to be?) mere CAT operators or button pushers.

This is not exactly what translators need.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 08:10
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
Learning curve Nov 29, 2010

Witold Chocholski wrote:

It's not a difficult piece of software.


I can't agree with you Witold:

I spent several weeks trying to master Trado$ but I'm still quite weak with this program...

With Deja Vu my experience is absolutely different: after two days of reading their manual I could work with that software.

NK


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:10
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
In layman's language Nov 29, 2010

JOHN PENNEY wrote:
Can anyone explain to me in layman´s language what this CAT tool actually does, whether it is easy to use and whether it speeds up accurate translating? Is it, in short, worth the considerable financial outlay?

When translating, have you ever had the feeling that you have already translated the word/phrase/sentence in front of you? A feeling of déjà vu? And wondered how exactly you translated it last time? You would like to use the same or similar word/phrase/sentence, but you cannot remember where it was.

That is what CAT tools aim to do – to show you the same or similar examples from all your previous translations. Whether this is useful or not depends very much on the type of material. If it is very different, you are likely to find very few matches. But if you have previously translated similar documents (legal, financial, medical, business etc) there is a good chance of finding matches.

This has two big advantages – increases the consistency of terminology, and saves you time and effort. It's like a builder using an electric drill rather than a small hand-operated drill -- definitely improves productivity.

There are a number of other advantages. There are also some disadvantages – the learning curve is quite long and steep, despite what your soi-disant translator says.

As you will see from comments, most people who adopt a CAT tool find it financially well worthwhile, once you are over the initial hurdles.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hit me please Nov 29, 2010

This is a big industry but my experience over the past few years has been the following: low-paying and fuzzy-focussed agencies insist on Trados, while good-paying agencies and direct clients couldn't care if you use Trados or not. From this perspective, buying Trados has always seemed rather masochistic - like buying a large stick so that someone can hit you with it.


When needed, I use Wordfast.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ivan Rocha, CT
Canada
English to Portuguese
+ ...
... Nov 29, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

This is a big industry but my experience over the past few years has been the following: low-paying and fuzzy-focussed agencies insist on Trados, while good-paying agencies and direct clients couldn't care if you use Trados or not. From this perspective, buying Trados has always seemed rather masochistic - like buying a large stick so that someone can hit you with it.


When needed, I use Wordfast.


And a very expensive stick at that!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some answers Nov 29, 2010

JOHN PENNEY wrote:
I am bombarded with ads for TRADOS. A soi-disant translator told me the other say that she switches off her head and lets TRADOS do the work for her!!! Can anyone explain to me in layman´s language what this CAT tool actually does, whether it is easy to use and whether it speeds up accurate translating? Is it, in short, worth the considerable financial outlay?

First what you have to take off your mind is the duality CAT tool=Trados. There is a host of excellent and successful tools out there which are not Trados and which are creating technological advancement for our profession.

Very often in life, what you are offered continuously is not the best or the most cost-effective option. CAT tools are no exception, so I strongly recommend to look proactively for the tool that suits you best in workflow, usability, and price. I would say that if you have never used a CAT tool, there are simpler options that will offer a better service in your case.

Now, let me give you my opinion about your questions.

1. What does a CAT tool actually do.
Basically what a CAT tool does is to store your translations in a database (a "translation memory") you can reuse in future translations, thus speeding up your work and improving your consistency. Most products also have some form of terminology management tool which lets you create term databases ("termbases") that allow you to quickly pinpoint and apply the right terms for each of your jobs. You feed these termbases with your glossaries and can add terms on the fly (with different levels of difficulty depending on the product).

Many products (like MemoQ, Deja Vu, and only recently also Trados) show you the text in a segment-by-segment, grid format (in a spreadsheet, if that is any clearer) that helps you concentrate in the translation and not in the format. In some cases, they use markers ("tags") to indicate where a format (a bold, a change of font, an underline, whatever...) begins and ends. CAT tools strive to help you deal with these formats and tags in the easiest possible way, although not all of them manage to reduce the complexity of the job (a job that is complex by nature in many file formats).

2. Whether it is easy to use and whether it speeds up accurate translating?
All CAT tool developers claim that their tool is very easy to use. My suggestion is that you visit Proz.com's Technical fora and make your own decisions as to how easy to use and seamless each of the tools is, based on the number of issues detected and raised by the users of each tool.

No CAT tool will make a better translator of you. If you are clumsy handling numbers and mechanicals, you will keep messing them, although a good tool can help you reduce your mistakes, if adequately configured. If you are clumsy handling terminology, a CAT tool will not make you more attentive to detail, but can help you make sure you use the right terms, if adequately configured and prepared. If you just mistranslate the meanings, a CAT tool will create no improvement.

3. Is it, in short, worth the considerable financial outlay?
This is a decision you have to make for yourself. There is a long list of factors here, the main ones being whether your work has any degree or repetition, whether you work on a limited number of industries or are a generalist translator, and whether you are computer-savvy or not. If you are not sure about whether a tool is worth the investment, download a trial version and see for yourself.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
JH Trads  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:10
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
healthy skepticism Nov 29, 2010

[quote]John Rawlins wrote:

This is a big industry but my experience over the past few years has been the following: low-paying and fuzzy-focussed agencies insist on Trados, while good-paying agencies and direct clients couldn't care if you use Trados or not. From this perspective, buying Trados has always seemed rather masochistic - like buying a large stick so that someone can hit you with it.

---------------------------------------------------

I share your point of view. The disadvantages of CAT tools have been repeatedly explained in many threads by brilliant colleagues. Those who assert or imply that it is wrong or not viable to do without these tools could use more caution. The massive volume of threads in this forum about problems with these tools and constant requests for technical support speak for themselves. So many hours are lost tinkering with software instead of focusing on terminology problems and solving complex and genuine translation issues.


[Edited at 2010-11-29 18:42 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-11-29 18:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-11-29 19:47 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
By default Nov 29, 2010

JOHN PENNEY wrote:
A soi-disant translator told me the other say that she switches off her head and lets TRADOS do the work for her!!!

May I add that, if she meant this and was not trying to look interesting, maybe there is not much in that head to switch off and it is switched off by default.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Solving genuine business issues Nov 29, 2010

Hugo wrote:
So many hours are lost tinkering with software instead of thinking about solving complex genuine translation issues.

Indeed. And in so many cases we owe this to CAT tool manufacturers who don't care much about all the trouble as long as they manage to sell their tool to agencies and hence impose it to translators.

However, if you are minimally knowledgeable about how to use a computer and choose the right tool (one that does not let you down when you need it), CAT tools are not at all incompatible with solving genuine translation issues and can also give a nice boost to your business.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

AndersonT  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2010)
German to English
Simple point.... Nov 29, 2010

When you do your first parts catalog that consists of never-ending lines of

Door lock mount, left, painted
Door lock mount, left, unpainted
Door lock mount, right, painted
Door lock mount, right, unpainted
Door lock mount screw 1, left, galvanized
Door lock mount screw 2, left, galvanized
Door lock mount screw 3, left, galvanized
Door lock mount screw 1, right, galvanized
Door lock mount screw 2, right, galvanized
Door lock mount screw 3, right, galvanized

and so on and so forth for another 1238 pages you'll be very happy to have a good CAT Tool

One of the main problems I see with TRADOS is the damn steep learning curve. Again and again I meet colleagues stating oh if TRADOS only did this, or that, just to have me tell them that it actually does that.

So imho it's really like, TRADOS is NOT MADE to be user-friendly but once you get the hang of it, it can pay for itself in one customer order.

On the other hand of course, for most literary translations it's close to useless. Everything written in essay-style, same thing. TRADOS is most useful for repetitive text or text containing lots and lots of repetitive terms you actually have to research.

Hate it or love it tho, one thing is sure, it certainly is a setback in your ability to compete on the market if you don't have it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:10
French to German
+ ...
Obviously,... Nov 29, 2010

AndersonT wrote:
Hate it or love it tho, one thing is sure, it certainly is a setback in your ability to compete on the market if you don't have it.

Obviously, it depends on the market on which one sells their services.

The kind of catalogue lists you give as an example are rarely to be found on the part of the market for which I work, although I did one or two huge repetitive translations (which, as you can imagine, I abhor).

This being said, and with all the possibilities offered today as per compatibility as well as per capability, I don't see a point in favouring one specific CAT tool over the other just because agencies "demand" it.

PS: as it appears from previous posts in this thread, I daresay that many colleagues can also do without the fantastic rate of USD 0.05 for new words, which seems to be becoming somewhat normative in some parts of the Trados market.

[Modifié le 2010-11-29 20:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with John and Laurent... Nov 29, 2010

...and especially with John's comment re the masochism of investing precious money and time in a tool that--both literally and figuratively--devalues the work that we do, and that evidently (ahem!) falls far short of perfect in its functionality.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Is TRADOS really as useful as it appears to be?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search