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General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:48
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Paula Feb 22, 2011

Paula Borges wrote:
But we're not sticking to the point - it almost sounds as if you're trying to convince me to buy THIS specific tool, as if I'm not allowed to choose any other?


No, I'm not. I was trying to understand your attitude towards Trados, explain why many companies insist on using Trados, and why many people, including me, are not bothered by that at all. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll find great clients on Proz who will be more flexible in that regard.


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:48
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Complicated Feb 22, 2011

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:

Paula Borges wrote:
But we're not sticking to the point - it almost sounds as if you're trying to convince me to buy THIS specific tool, as if I'm not allowed to choose any other?


No, I'm not. I was trying to understand your attitude towards Trados, explain why many companies insist on using Trados, and why many people, including me, are not bothered by that at all. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll find great clients on Proz who will be more flexible in that regard.


To me it seems like a complicated, overpriced tool that has too many bugs. I get everything I need from Wordfast, most of my clients feel the same way. I simply do not have time to waste dealing with bugs and problems, its not rare to see me translating something that has to be online within a couple of hours.

But when I told you about those agency/vendor practices I was more concerned about other issues that do not directly involve me. I'm not sure about other places, but trying to get someone to buy a product without disclosing the fact that you are doing it for profit is not an acceptable marketing practice in Brazil. I'm also concerned about students and newcomers who are led to believe there's only tool available to work with.

As for the argument - "the more tools I have, the more clients I'll get" - it makes sense if you're a big company, but it ignores the limitation imposed by time. I can't get more and more clients because I'm one person and I have to struggle to keep my current clients happy, so I don't see how buying more than one expensive tool is supposed to be a good business strategy.

We can't simply operate like agencies taking in more and more work - unless you wanna give up sleeping?

Time is crucial, so learning new tools instead of mastering one seems counterproductive, unless you have a lot of spare time.


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to Simone Feb 22, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:

I have followed this thread right from the start. And as far as I can tell, there are many people in here who do not feel they are under pressure from software or CATs. Otherwise, you wouldn't have 9 pages of discussion and people asking you what you are trying to prove/achieve. And as I said, the pressure is not on me. Not from the CATs - which is what you are trying to boycott.



First, no one has been talking about pressure from software or CATs. What we have been talking about is pressure from the market to purchase certain CATs.

Secondly, the purpose of the proposed strike is not to boycott CATs (as such or for an indefinite period of time), but to refuse to use certain unreasonably expensive CATs for a certain determinate period of time (one day, specifically, for a starter at least). The goal is to see some sort of changes on the market, examples of which I have mentioned in previous posts (shifts to alternative tools/solutions, lowered prices, development of solutions to convert between different file types, etc).

Thirdly, most of the people objecting here seems to be persons who either (i) already have acquired one of the popularly required expensive CAT tools and therefore no longer feel a need to do that or (ii) happen to work in areas or with clients where acquiring such tools is not a major issue.

Fourthly, I cannot recall anyone asking "what you are trying to prove/achieve".
Perhaps because it should be very clear by now: a temporary/punctual strike against using unreasonably expensive CAT tools, the aim being to get some sort of shift on the market towards less expensive tools (whether in terms of a change to alternative tools, lower prices or other solutions).



Yes, I did. And I assume it costs a couple of millions.



You assume a lot.

I assume you get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work) and then you continuously keep on working on the product to improve it (debugging, new features etc.)

This is the time I assume it would take me, at least.

I.e. we're talking about approx. USD 90,000 per year for development alone, possibly adding a little for occasional assistance/consultancy from other developers on specialized matters. (That, of course, excludes other related business costs: web site development and maintenance, product documentation, marketing, sales, support etc.)



So, you're calling for a strike against overpriced CATs but you have no idea how much it actually costs to make them? Interesting...



And you are defending the high prices without having an idea either...

As for me, I think I have a quite fair understanding of how much the process costs in terms of work and organization.



Hmm.. what do you think a software provider put under pressure by clients on strike would do?

Thomas Johansson wrote:
I don't know. Do you?


Yup, see my last post.



I only saw a lot of questions in that post, and no real statement. You really think they would outsource to students?

More importantly, the relevant suggestion that a strike should give software providers, specifically, is not to lower their prices so much that they end up in economic pressure, only that they lower their prices to reasonable levels, and such levels must of course still enable them to function properly.





Seriously, why don't you (we) focus our dispersed power on self-proclaimed premium language agencies that deliver shitty quality and do nothing but harm to the translation industry as a whole?


Thomas Johansson wrote:
That seems like another issue. Why don't you post a separate thread about it.


It is not another issue. It's the core of the whole problem. If all agencies would have reasonable price calculations, would deliver the quality they promise to deliver, would make sure that the reputation of the translation industry is not put at risk by hiring unskilled non-natives whose translated manuals are good for nothing but a laugh, etc. etc. etc. - then you wouldn't be offered low rates in the first place. You could afford to buy Trados if you had to. Or you could simply say no.



No, it is not the core of the problem discussed here. This thread is not about being "offered low rates in the first place" or not being able to "afford to buy Trados if you had to". It never has been. The thread is about the unreasonably high prices of certain CAT tools that we're pressured to use - or better, what we should do about all that -, it has nothing to do with what rates we are being offered or whether or not we can afford the CAT tools.

(Likewise, I add - since the issue has been raised a few times through this discussion - the thread has nothing to do with whether or not buying certain CAT tools is a good investment or is wise from a business point of view etc.)



Again: it's not the software that's putting pressure on you. It's the agency. The software is nothing but a lifeless bunch of lines of code.



Good, that's pretty much one aspect of what I've been saying all the time. The market puts pressure on us. They do so in various ways. One way they do that is by pressuring our rates. Another is by pressuring us to get expensive tools that often are not even necessary for the job.






Why don't you (we) begin to make it clear to agencies that we won't be put into a corner again and again, that we will decide what's good for our business, that we need to make a living as well?



Thomas Johansson wrote:
Now, isn't that exactly one aspect of what this issue is all about? I thought so at least.

You said quite the opposite in your very previous quote. So, what now? Are agencies another issue or are they what this issue is all about?


The issue is about expensive CAT tools that the market, in various ways, requires us to purchase. And there is a combination of factors at stake here:
- An overall pressure from the market (agencies/end clients etc) on translators to acquire certain CAT tools.
- The fact that those CAT tools have unreasonable high prices.
- What we decide do to about that.

[Edited at 2011-02-22 21:28 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-22 21:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-22 21:32 GMT]


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not freeware Feb 22, 2011

Mykhailo Voloshko wrote:

Would you like a free license for an expensive CAT-tool?



The suggestion here is NOT that CAT tools should be free, only that the prices be held at reasonable levels.


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
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TOPIC STARTER
to Åsa Feb 22, 2011

Åsa Campbell wrote:

I have chosen to invest in several CAT tools as I believe they make me more competitive and improve my productivity... I run a business and need to invest in it or eventually loose out to the competition.

What kind of CAT tool I choose is based on market demands... It is however a fact that Trados is very often required, which is why I invested in it.



(The highlighting in bold was inserted by me, Thomas)

Thank you, Åsa. I rest my case. You've just described the way the market "pressures" us - or makes us need, or however you put it - to purchase certain CAT tools, in order to remain floating or be successful in our business.

Now, the question is whether those CAT tools are reasonably priced and, if not, what we should do about the situation.

[Edited at 2011-02-22 21:41 GMT]


 

Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 05:48
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
free Feb 22, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

Mykhailo Voloshko wrote:

Would you like a free license for an expensive CAT-tool?



The suggestion here is NOT that CAT tools should be free, only that the prices be held at reasonable levels.


I just wanted to widen the topic. More and more translators are approached with the offer to use a "premium" CAT license for free while working on the project. But such offers come with limitations I described above. It's not the possible future, it's the present day reality.

How will we fight against such free licenses?

It seems to be a topic for a separate discussion. As to expensive CAT-tools, I hold by my opinion expressed in the first reply to the topic raised.


 

Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Obviously Feb 22, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

I assume you get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work) and then you continuously keep on working on the product to improve it (debugging, new features etc.)

This is the time I assume it would take me, at least.


Well, in this case, the conclusion should be obvious to you.
Why don't you create this tool then and sell it for the current going rate of CATs? You'd be rich so quickly, wouldn't you?


Seriously, I give you a real number for an existing software based on the exact code found in this software, and you claim you can come up with a much more complicated CAT tool for a fifth of the price?

That leaves me speechless.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:48
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
"reasonable" Feb 22, 2011

Thomas, I'm getting really tired of reading the word "reasonable" every other line in your posts.

What is "reasoble" or not is a subjective judgement, but you keep on banding it out as if it were something you can measure with a yardstick (a yardstick only you seem to have, BTW).

Especially when coupled with you startling estimate that creating a CAT tool is a one-person job for one year.

From what you write, I assume you know how to program, but have you
... See more
Thomas, I'm getting really tired of reading the word "reasonable" every other line in your posts.

What is "reasoble" or not is a subjective judgement, but you keep on banding it out as if it were something you can measure with a yardstick (a yardstick only you seem to have, BTW).

Especially when coupled with you startling estimate that creating a CAT tool is a one-person job for one year.

From what you write, I assume you know how to program, but have you ever worked in a software company? I have, for nine years. What you assume is a one-person full- or even part-time job for one year, in reality requires scores (or more) of programmers, software architexts, project managers, technical writers etc.

The cost of developing and supporting even a medium size application like Trados is many times what you estimate. Not to mention the other people you need to pay when you develop software commercially: support personnel, administrative staff, managers, offices, etc.
Collapse


 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:48
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Supply and demand Feb 22, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

Åsa Campbell wrote:

I have chosen to invest in several CAT tools as I believe they make me more competitive and improve my productivity... I run a business and need to invest in it or eventually loose out to the competition.

What kind of CAT tool I choose is based on market demands... It is however a fact that Trados is very often required, which is why I invested in it.



Thank you, Åsa. I rest my case. You've just described the way the market "pressures" us - or makes us need, or however you put it - to purchase certain CAT tools, in order to remain floating or be successful in our business.

Now, the question is whether those CAT tools are reasonably priced and, if not, what we should do about the situation.


What you call pressure, Thomas, is nothing but the rules of supply and demand of the free market, just as Åsa said. There is a supply of CAT tools because there is a demand for them, from companies, agencies and translators. There is also a demand for specific higher priced CAT tools, largely because they can supply what high-end customers such as corporations and larger agencies demand (which lower-end tools often cannot do or not at the same level because the development of such functionality is very costly) and, in the case of Trados, partly probably also because Trados used to be the only game in town. But SDL has also realized that there is much more competition now; that's why they revamped Trados to the current Studio version to include functions some of the other CAT tools already had for quite a while.

Translators are service providers. As such, we have to respond to the demands of the market and try to provide whatever kind of service it is "the market" demands - in quotes because there is not one single uniform market, but different market areas with different demands. Some market areas simply demand "translation", so anybody offering the service "translation" can be a supplier. Some market areas demand "translation with CAT tools X", addressing only translators that are actually able to supply that specific service. So, if you want to be able to compete in that market area, where Trados or whatever other tool is in demand, you'd better invest in that tool (- or provide the same results with one of the Trados-compatible tools as you don't even have to buy Trados itself in most cases, but have choices as other tools can produce Trados-compatible results. So there really isn't any pressure to buy Trados.)

If the market area you mainly target does not make any such demands, you obviously don't have to supply what they don't demand. Each translator has the choice of specialization and services they want or don't want to provide. If you choose IT and technical areas, then you have to be prepared for having to meet more specific demands more frequently as the clients in that area - because of the usually high volumes and large number of target languages - tend to be the best educated in regard to software tools that can help them save time and money. If you concentrate on legal stuff, there is probably a good chance that the end clients have never heard of CAT tools in general and Trados in particular. But there is no pressure from anybody on you to buy a specific tool; it's your choice. (Paula's example of unscrupulous people trying to scam translators into buying Trados is a completely different situation and has nothing to do with the pricing structure of Trados or SDL itself. It is probably just another manifestation of supply and demand - because Trados is in high demand and is not the cheapest, they figure they can make a quick buck by offering that particular software.)

And if you think a short term boycott of some translators (let's say you even get 1000 translators to join you and your boycott lasts even an entire month instead of the one day you suggested) would cause any reaction from any of the SDL bosses (not to mention "to end up in economic pressure"), than you, pardon me, are rather naive. SDL said it themselves in one of the presentations: Their main target are large, international corporations and large, international translation agencies. That's where they make their money, not from the individual translators. And as long as they can sell their product to large companies and agencies - guess what - these companies and agencies will continue to require their translators to use that very same tool so that they can realize their ROI. And if you as translator cannot provide the service in demand - you're out, particularly as there is an ample supply of translators who can.

If you really want to change something in this chain, your only chance would be to approach agencies and end clients and try to convince them to use a different tool. And I'm pretty sure the larger CAT tool vendors are doing exactly that and have most likely much more convincing arguments. And even if you could convince them that they'd be better off with another tool: One of the agencies I work for (requiring Trados for their projects) actually investigated other tools, but decided a) not to switch although they were really impressed by another tool and b) not to upgrade to Studio. Not because they want to maximize their earning, but because they actually care about their translators and didn't want to force them all buy a new CAT tool or an upgrade that would make older versions obsolete.

BTW, your estimate of software developing costs is way off! You won't get a fully marketable software with just one developer in one year. There are many different aspects of codes to develop, different software modules, GUI, product management and QA. I used to work for a small software company and we had something like 15 engineers alone working on code. And with what right do you exclude other related costs such as marketing, support, documentation, management, sales, HR, etc. etc.? There's also office space, computers and other expensive equipment. This all is part of a marketable product, and the price of that product has to cover all of those costs not just the salary of the engineers. Also, SDL does not just produce one single product version but several different ones with different functionalities for different target groups. Then there is ongoing research and new development, following a development roadmap that probably covers already the next couple of years. We're definitely talking many millions here, not just $90.000.



[Edited at 2011-02-22 23:41 GMT]


 

Anna Smith
Switzerland
Local time: 04:48
Member (2010)
English to Swedish
I´ll be happy to pay for good CAT-tools Feb 22, 2011

I don´t mind paying, if the CAT-tool is good!
If you get more clients thanks to the CAT-tool, it´s soon going to pay for itself anyway.

Btw, I prefer MemoQ, and I think it´s well worth the money.


 

Ivan Rocha, CT
Canada
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Market Feb 22, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

Thomas, I'm getting really tired of reading the word "reasonable" every other line in your posts.

What is "reasoble" or not is a subjective judgement, but you keep on banding it out as if it were something you can measure with a yardstick (a yardstick only you seem to have, BTW).

Especially when coupled with you startling estimate that creating a CAT tool is a one-person job for one year.

From what you write, I assume you know how to program, but have you ever worked in a software company? I have, for nine years. What you assume is a one-person full- or even part-time job for one year, in reality requires scores (or more) of programmers, software architexts, project managers, technical writers etc.

The cost of developing and supporting even a medium size application like Trados is many times what you estimate. Not to mention the other people you need to pay when you develop software commercially: support personnel, administrative staff, managers, offices, etc.




I could not agree more.

Besides, to assume that there are ideal, fair prices for products or services set in a platonic world is just plain naive. Commerce is NOT supposed to be fair, and whoever fails to understand this fact is doomed to be left behind.


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
prices Feb 22, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

Thomas, I'm getting really tired of reading the word "reasonable" every other line in your posts.



And I am getting equally tired of having to write it in each sentence, believe me. I do so, however, for the sake of clarity; I noticed it was necessary.



What is "reasoble" or not is a subjective judgement, but you keep on banding it out as if it were something you can measure with a yardstick (a yardstick only you seem to have, BTW).



Each one of us has a different opinion of what he or she considers reasonable, yes, and in that sense it is something "subjective".

But the point is that we can enlighten our sense of what is reasonable on, for instance, facts, publicly available information, personal experience, reflection, discussion etc. In that sense, what we consider "reasonable" may also become quite relevant to our opinion of how much a product (or type of product) should cost and at what price we should be willing to acquire such a product.

But more important, beyond our opinions of what is reasonable, we really don't have a lot more to go on in terms of our attitudes to specific types of products. Our (most enlightened possible) notion of what is reasonable is all we've got to go on.

The alternative is to do what you and others seem to suggest:
Ok, you say I need product X and they say it costs Y, so I guess that is fine and I just pay.
If you have no more resistance than that, anyone can just rip you off anyway they like, constantly.



Especially when coupled with you startling estimate that creating a CAT tool is a one-person job for one year.



Notice that I was talking about a (1) marketable and (2) basic CAT tool. And I added that it was going to be developed along the years, once released on the market.
To get at a full-fledged CAT tool, like TRADOS, you'd need more time, of course.

(By "marketable", I mean a product that is good and stable enough to be plausibly put out on the market, possibly commercially or at least as freeware to start with.)

I also believe that a CAT tool that has had about one year on the market in this way (i.e. about 2 years of development altogether) probably should be sufficient for MOST translation needs.



The cost of developing and supporting even a medium size application like Trados is many times what you estimate.



Again, I was talking about a marketable basic product, and the yearly costs of developing such a product.

Of course, after several years of development, the total costs would have accumulated and end up at a much higher total amount (X years times USD 90,000, if you like, assuming a one-person team).

I have spent a little bit of time to try to figure out what the design of a good CAT tool could be like, and I arrive at the conclusion that the design really cannot be that complicated from a programming point of view. (Yes, I do have some experience of programming and, no, I have never worked in a programming team at a business.)

It may be true that something like TRADOS or Deja Vu etc. has cost gigantic sums of money to develop in total, through the years, but I maintain that the yearly cost of development is probably not that high.

Also, from point of view of pricing, I assume that what is important is not the total cost of development of a product, but rather something like the yearly (or monthly or periodical...) costs of developing it (plus maintaining the business at large). I.e. the revenues during a certain period (e.g. a year) must at least match the expenses during that same period, and that this determines a minimum basis for product prices.

Also, I maintain that even if a certain CAT tool would require enormous sums of money (or revenues) every year to cover development and other business needs, we and the market at large probably really don't need to use such a tool anyway for most translation needs, and that it therefore is motivated to put pressure on the market to move away from such expensive tools.

[Edited at 2011-02-22 23:06 GMT]


 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:48
Swedish to English
+ ...
You need to change career Feb 22, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:


I assume you get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work) and then you continuously keep on working on the product to improve it (debugging, new features etc.)

This is the time I assume it would take me, at least.

I.e. we're talking about approx. USD 90,000 per year for development alone, possibly adding a little for occasional assistance/consultancy from other developers on specialized matters. (That, of course, excludes other related business costs: web site development and maintenance, product documentation, marketing, sales, support etc.)


My in-house multilingual company, neither agency nor in any way directly involved with the translation industry, employs about 900 staff. However, the company does develop and constantly updates a number of applications. Last time I checked, approx. 40% of our staff were in IT development.

If you're able to "get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work)" I suggest you stop translating and contact our HR department.

Regards,
Madeleine
(not a T....s user)

Edited as I am unable to type my own name...


[Edited at 2011-02-22 23:36 GMT]


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to Heike Feb 22, 2011

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

What you call pressure, Thomas, is nothing but the rules of supply and demand of the free market, just as Åsa said. There is a supply of CAT tools because there is a demand for them, from companies, agencies and translators. There is also a demand for specific higher priced CAT tools, largely because they can supply what high-end customers such as corporations and larger agencies demand (which lower-end tools often cannot do or not at the same level because the development of such functionality is very costly) and, in the case of Trados, partly probably also because Trados used to be the only game in town. But SDL has also realized that there is much more competition now; that's why they revamped Trados to the current Studio version to include functions some of the other CAT tools already had for quite a while.

Translators are service providers. As such, we have to respond to the demands of the market and try to provide whatever kind of service it is "the market" demands - in quotes because there is not one single uniform market, but different market areas with different demands. Some market areas simply demand "translation", so anybody offering the service "translation" can be a supplier. Some market areas demand "translation with CAT tools X", addressing only translators that are actually able to supply that specific service. So, if you want to be able to compete in that market area, where Trados or whatever other tool is in demand, you'd better invest in that tool (- or provide the same results with one of the Trados-compatible tools as you don't even have to buy Trados itself in most cases, but have choices as other tools can produce Trados-compatible results. So there really isn't any pressure to buy Trados.)

If the market area you mainly target does not make any such demands, you obviously don't have to supply what they don't demand. Each translator has the choice of specialization and services they want or don't want to provide. If you choose IT and technical areas, then you have to be prepared for having to meet more specific demands more frequently as the clients in that area - because of the usually high volumes and large number of target languages - tend to be the best educated in regard to software tools that can help them save time and money. If you concentrate on legal stuff, there is probably a good chance that the end clients have never heard of CAT tools in general and Trados in particular.



Heike, you describe the market, and while you do so, you are also describing different ways in which the market puts demands (or "pressures" or whatever you call it) on translators.

You simply cannot hold this vision of the market and at the same time hold that "there is no pressure from anybody on you to buy a specific tool", because you are describing that very pressure in each other sentence.



And if you think a short term boycott of some translators (let's say you even get 1000 translators to join you and your boycott lasts even an entire month instead of the one day you suggested) would cause any reaction from any of the SDL bosses (not to mention "to end up in economic pressure"), than you, pardon me, are rather naive.



Again, and I am getting tired of having to point this out, the purpose is not just to make certain CAT tool vendors lower their prices. The purpose is to have an impact (however insignificant) on the market as a whole. Whether that in the end involves the market moving away to less expensive tools or the vendors lowering their prices.



SDL said it themselves in one of the presentations: Their main target are large, international corporations and large, international translation agencies. That's where they make their money, not from the individual translators. And as long as they can sell their product to large companies and agencies - guess what - these companies and agencies will continue to require their translators to use that very same tool so that they can realize their ROI.



Even more reason to make that strike, then. Will agencies and companies buy SDL if they become aware that translators are reluctant to use SDL's tools?



If you really want to change something in this chain, your only chance would be to approach agencies and end clients and try to convince them to use a different tool.



Yes, and that's exactly what this strike is about. We're sending a message to agencies that unreasonably expensive CAT tools are not ok.



And even if you could convince them that they'd be better off with another tool: One of the agencies I work for (requiring Trados for their projects) actually investigated other tools, but decided a) not to switch although they were really impressed by another tool and b) not to upgrade to Studio. Not because they want to maximize their earning, but because they actually care about their translators and didn't want to force them all buy a new CAT tool or an upgrade that would make older versions obsolete.



Good, that shows that agencies are likely to pay attention to our needs. But you need to give the process some time. Nothing is going to change from one day to the next just because of a strike. But it is a start.



BTW, your estimate of software developing costs is way off! You won't get a fully marketable software with just one developer in one year.



Not that sells at 800 euro, but certainly that will find its users. To get a bigger product, you need to spend much more time. TRADOS carries several years, I understand. I assume (purely guessing) that it started out pretty much in the way I describe.



And with what right do you exclude other related costs such as marketing, support, documentation, management, sales, HR, etc. etc.? There's also office space, computers and other expensive equipment... Then there is ongoing research and new development...



I did not exclude those costs. The issue was development costs so that is why I focused on development costs. I was getting at the other costs you mention in a parenthesis, if you look carefully.

Anyway, as for total yearly costs, are we discussing TRADOS specifically or just hypothetically any sufficiently advanced CAT tool? As for TRADOS, I have no idea of the size of their team and how much it costs to maintain each year, including office space, equipment etc.

[Edited at 2011-02-22 23:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-22 23:45 GMT]


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to Madeleine Feb 22, 2011

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Thomas Johansson wrote:

I assume you get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work) and then you continuously keep on working on the product to improve it (debugging, new features etc.)

This is the time I assume it would take me, at least.

I.e. we're talking about approx. USD 90,000 per year for development alone, possibly adding a little for occasional assistance/consultancy from other developers on specialized matters. (That, of course, excludes other related business costs: web site development and maintenance, product documentation, marketing, sales, support etc.)



My in-house multilingual company, neither agency nor in any way directly involved with the translation industry, employs about 900 staff. However, the company does develop and constantly updates a number of applications. Last time I checked, approx. 40% of our staff were in IT development.

If you're able to "get a marketable basic CAT tool from about 12 months of work (1 dedicated developer, fulltime or as principal freetime activity combined with part-time work)" I suggest you stop translating and contact our HR department.



Is your company putting out one single, (barely) marketable, basic CAT tool? I suppose not.

I was talking about such a product, not the range of products developed and marketed by your particular company.


 
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