Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20] >
General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:06
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Generally Feb 25, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

Jabberwock wrote:
Seriously, though, it depends on the workflow itself. For example, a small agency catering mostly for local clients (e.g. doing mostly marketing or legal texts) can easily manage all their translations in TMX


I think this is the thing I don't get -- where does the compulsion to "manage all their translations in TMX" come from? Won't the majority of clients just have a Word document (or even a document not in electronic format at all) that they need translated into Word form and not care in the slightest about the intervening process?


I ask myself the same question.

But some clients are being 'educated' about how much money they can save if they request the use of 'x' or 'y'.

Or maybe there is a delusional hope that one day nothing will have to be translated again.

I understand why this is important, just think that sometimes it borders on obsession.


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 22:06
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
reasonable CAT tools Feb 25, 2011

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

In your list of acceptable CAT tools, you list numerous highly specialized tools (only PO files, only Word files), a term extraction tool (Similis), some tools that require the end client to prepare the files for the translator, some lite tools that are crippled versions of their "big brothers" and have only limited use, etc. I think from your long list, only OmegaT and Across come actually close to "regular" CAT tools.



The list is based entirely on tools mentioned on proz.com and other places as, or in the context of, CAT tools. The main objective of the list is just to list the prices of all such tools.



Your argument "if that price works fine for that vendor, then it should also work fine for other vendors" has a slight logical flaw in that you assume all tools above your "reasonable maximum price level" are indeed equal (or equivalent) to the CAT tool at that price level.



I do not assume that.



If that were true, then I would support your argument wholeheartedly. But what if the tools above your price level offer a slew of other features not included in the tool with "a reasonable set of features"? How would these vendors generate the additional money necessary to develop these additional features?



The way to generate revenues is to sell products (or services). As long as they can sell their product and generate revenes, they can keep their development going and develop their products.



Or are you implying that any additional features beyond your "reasonable set" are superfluous?



What if we could define as reasonable set of features as a set of features that is sufficient for most kinds of translation jobs? In that case, CAT tools providing addition features over and above those features would not be necessarily superfluous in an absolute sense, but they would be superfluous for most kinds of translation jobs.



Sorry, need to run, cannot finish my comments right now.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apples and oranges, anyone? Feb 25, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

(The reason I choose to compare with these two types of software is that I just happen to have acquired them myself and know them.)


Thomas, do you realize how silly your comparison really is? Especially when you start by explaining that you chose those two types of software just because you have recently acquired them yourself.

It blindingly obvious, by now, that you have no idea what developing commercial software really involves.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thomas has already said in a previous post he is against "unreasonably high" rates for translators Feb 25, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:

Thomas Johansson wrote:
As clearly stated, the definitions of Ok and not OK in this particular context (i.e. the pragmatic purposes of the strike) are based entirely on prices and have nothing to do with usability.

Of course, this tool may be very much ok from point of usability - just like many of the free and cheaper tools - but that has not been a criterion for the present division.


Let's boycott all translators with rates higher then - uh, I'm just throwing out a number here for the sake of this discussion - $0.10.

After all, there are quite a few translators who deliver decent quality for $0.05/word. So, that must suffice, obviously. It doesn't really matter that translations for more than $0.10 may be more useable to some clients than the cheaper and free ones.. That is no criterion here.


Ouch.


Thomas has already stated he is against "unreasonably high" rates for translators too.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Because your whole argument is flawed Feb 25, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

So why are CAT tools so much more expensive then?



Your whole line of reasoning is fatally flawed.

You base everything on your assumptions about how much time is needed to develop the tools, what functionalities they should have, how many people are required to develop the tools, what functionality are required by translation companies, what functionalities are necessary for translators, and so on.

Assumptions out of thin air.

Just out of curiosity: how much have you used professional translation tools? (personally, I've being using several different CAT tools for over seventeen years, now).

Have you measured the increase in productivity afforded by using a CAT tool compared to not using it? The difference in productivity using a CAT tool on a "Version 1" of a document as against a "Version 2". The difference in productivity between using MS-Word-based CAT tools (e.g. Trados Workbench + MS Word, or Wordfast + MS Word) and tools that separate translation from formatting (e.g., SDLX, now SDL Studio 2009, DV, etc.?).

When the (large) software company for which I used to work decided to adopt CAT tools, we went through a lengthy stage of comparing the various tools then present on the market, to find the one best fitted to our needs. When we adopted our tools (and when we switched to new ones), we measured productivity before and after.

We also developed several tools internally, to satisfy certain specific needs.

Your estimates about the cost of developing CAT tools are several orders of magnitude off. And you do not seem to realize the differences in productivity that are offered by different CAT tools. For example, why do you think that free CAT tools have such a small market share, when they cost nothing? There are many cash-strapped small translation companies that could use them and save money -- if they don't it is probably because they believe that using those tools would actually be less profitable for them than paying for a more feature-rich tool.







[Edited at 2011-02-25 16:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-25 20:22 GMT]


 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:06
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
The world according to Thomas Feb 25, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:
Once the basic CAT tool has been launched on the market, it will continue to be developed gradually, which will result in features such as these.

How, then, should adding these features affect our expectations regarding the price of a CAT tool? I'd say they shouldn't affect our expectations much at all.

A few observations here:

* The costs for this development process (labor, education, etc.) is covered by the ongoing sale of the product (at, as per above, USD 100-150).
* The business has to continue developing the CAT tool in this way, if it wants to be able to continue to sell its CAT tool in competition with alternative CAT tools.
* The business might of course desire to, and even attempt to, raise the price of the tool, but essentially there should normally be no fundamental economic need for the business to do so (unless, of course, there have been extraordinary investments not covered by ongoing sales).
* If competition and the free market works fine in a situation like this, the price should therefore end up at about this level (USD 100-150).

So, along these lines of reasoning, a reasonable price of an advanced CAT tool, i.e. a CAT tool that has been out on the market for a few years should be at most about USD 100-150 (assuming that the market functions well, with competition etc.).


...(unless, of course, there have been extraordinary investments not covered by ongoing sales)
In other words, if a company has made extraordinary investments not covered by ongoing sales you are OK with them raising their prices?

Trados started out in the 80'. The development of their product was rather expensive, resulting in a tool that was way too expensive for individual translators. (Computers were also much more expensive than today and most translators did their work manually.) The original target group was large corporations with high translation volumes such as manuals and software. Well, we all know how prices for computers and software have come down dramatically since then, making both computers and software (including high-end CAT tools) affordable for individual translators.

But let's assume your plan would have been in place since the 80'. Trados has been keeping up the development and continued to make extraordinary investments in the company's growth and further development of the tool. That's a good 25 years of continued development and investments (Trados claims an investment of over 100 millions in R&D in total, and I have no problem believing this number) and thus 25 years of - even according to your plan - allowed price increases. So wouldn't they have arrived at their current price even according to your plan?

What about a relatively new vendor, Kilgray:
http://kilgray.com/company
The company was established in 2004 by three Hungarian language technologists. Kilgray spent the first four years working on the technology and made its large-scale debut in 2009.

For four years, they didn't generate any revenue. They invested in development in order to have a chance competing against Trados ("large-scale debut"). Thus, they already had to make quite extraordinary investments before they even sold their first copy. How do you recover your initial investment? By pricing your product in a way fits into the current market landscape, ie. not too expensive so you have a chance to sell your new product, but not too cheap so you can survive, recover your investments, continue development and expand.


Thomas Johansson wrote:
The way to generate revenues is to sell products (or services). As long as they can sell their product and generate revenes, they can keep their development going and develop their products.


If competition and the free market works fine in a situation like this, the price should therefore end up at about this level (USD 100-150).


Let's assume your plan would actually work and the price of all CAT tools would remain more or less the same because the development of new features would not make any additional resources necessary. So, now all CAT tools cost around $100-150.

But the tools would be at different development stages, depending when the first version of each tool was actually introduced. One tool would have been continuously developed for 25 years, another one only for 2. Why would anybody in their sound mind spend $100-150 for a tool with much less features than another tool at the same price? Everybody would go for the tool with the most features, if they needed them at that very moment or not. If all cars were priced approximately equal, you'd go for a nice luxury car with tons of features and not for a car with bare functionality, right? Since nobody would buy the new programs, they would not generate revenue and their vendors would not survive, forget about developing additional features. Only those programs with the most features would continue to exist and make money. In your hypothetical world, we would end up exactly where we were a number of years ago: Trados as the oldest CAT tool having an absolute monopoly without any competition worth mentioning.

OK, let's assume the new vendors are actually able right from the start to sell the same amount of copies of their program as the older - and therefore higher developed - programs, and that old and new vendors would generate approximately the same revenue. However, since the prices of the tools in your "utopia" would stay pretty much the same, the vendors' revenue would stay the same as well, year after year. The younger companies could not expand and hire more people to speed up the development and catch up with the older tools.* They'd never ever have a chance to develop into competitors of the older vendors and eventually die out because nobody would be interested in their products. There would be no real competition in your world.

*Unless they make extraordinary investments, which would require them to increase their price. So they would end up being more expensive, but initially still less developed than the older tools. As soon as one company started to make extraordinary investments, the other companies would have to follow suit in order not to lose their current ranking in the market. Prices of all tools would rise, and every company would invest as much as possible into their product.

In order for you plan to work (ie. new vendors having a chance of survival), all CAT tools would have to start development at the same time. Unless they develop in different areas and focus on completely different target groups, they would all offer the same basic features. But since they are "not allowed" to raise their prices, what would be the incentive for anybody even starting a business in such a regulated, uniform market? There wouldn't be any need for yet another tool. And if they are allowed to raise their prices because of "extraordinary investments not covered by revenue", we end up with exactly the situation we have now (see * above).











[Edited at 2011-02-25 08:05 GMT]


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:06
English to Czech
+ ...
Totally agree Feb 25, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
Thomas, do you realize how silly your comparison really is? Especially when you start by explaining that you chose those two types of software just because you have recently acquired them yourself.


I couldn't agree more. Comparing an extended version of Notepad to a complex database system is nothing else than mixing apples with pears.

As regards the CAT tools prices, there are numerous aspects to consider, many of which were already mentioned by other posters. Perhaps one more argument: How much does an hour of software development cost in the UK and how much does it cost in Hungary or Spain? How much does the operation of business premises cost in the UK and how much in Hungary or Spain (including the purchase/rental price, electricity, telecommunications etc.)?

[Upraveno: 2011-02-25 09:48 GMT]

[Upraveno: 2011-02-25 10:48 GMT]


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:06
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Basically, yes Feb 25, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

  • The complexity of the GUI of a basic CAT tool is comparable to the complexity of the GUI of a text editor or download manager.
  • The complexity of the functionality associated with a basic CAT tool is comparable to the complexity of the functionality of a text editor or download manager.


    To explain this, I need to point out that the functionality of a basic CAT tool (as defined above) is actually not very complicated:

    (A) Handling translation memories and glossaries is fundamentally just a matter of managing simple text files (opening, closing, searching them, reading them, writing to files, copying files, etc). This is really not very complicated and there are quite standardized procedures for these things.


  • Yes, it gets better every day... From simply ridiculous it gets to really bizarre!

    Yes, Thomas, a truck offers basically the same set of features as a bicycle. It's only bigger and faster, but does it justify the price difference?

    I always thought that writing a software which manages a database which may easily contain a million of segments and pull up relevant results in real time is a bit more complicated that "opening, searching and closing the files". But what do I know...

    As to what Heike said:

    There are tools which were developed in the other direction: from the ground up. Wordfast is a good example of such a tool - it started as a simple set of macros, developed by one person and costing a fraction of the Trados price. Today it has made the "non-OK" list...

    The question is: did Yves turn evil (and greedy) over the years and crossed the line? "Hey, my tool now does the same as the leading tools! Let's jack up the prices and milk the suckers!"

    Or is it (unbelievable, I know) that developing the same set of features actually costs about the same and has to be recovered by increasing the price?

    Incidentally, no matter if it is the "evil" or "justified" scenario in case of a particular tool, people are actually still buying the software. That is, are paying much more than they did before. Personally, I've never heard of anyone being "forced" to use Wordfast, so I assume they are doing that of their own free will. So maybe the added functionality is worth that much to them?


     

    Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
    Czech Republic
    Local time: 05:06
    English to Czech
    + ...
    I was! Feb 25, 2011

    Jabberwock wrote:
    Personally, I've never heard of anyone being "forced" to use Wordfast, so I assume they are doing that of their own free will. So maybe the added functionality is worth that much to them?


    I remember I once was: about two years ago, WF Pro was a must for one small job.


     

    Philippe Papillier
    France
    Local time: 05:06
    English to French
    + ...
    I'm with you and against all which look like S Trados D SDLX L TM.... Feb 25, 2011

    Here is my standard answer to agencies who claim Trados (desolate in French) :

    (just a small remark : should we better organize a strike against Trados or against agencies who ask for Trados utilisation ???)

    PP

    Madame, Monsieur,

    Désolé, je n'utilise pas d'outils d'assistance (d'automatisation ?) à la traduction.

    Car, avec l'expérience de WordFast que j'ai utilisé un peu plus d'une année,
    je me suis rendu compte que la
    ... See more
    Here is my standard answer to agencies who claim Trados (desolate in French) :

    (just a small remark : should we better organize a strike against Trados or against agencies who ask for Trados utilisation ???)

    PP

    Madame, Monsieur,

    Désolé, je n'utilise pas d'outils d'assistance (d'automatisation ?) à la traduction.

    Car, avec l'expérience de WordFast que j'ai utilisé un peu plus d'une année,
    je me suis rendu compte que la qualité de mes traductions ne dépendaient
    pas seulement de mes compétences ou de mon expérience, mais aussi des mots
    et phrases traduits avec plus ou moins de 'bonheur' par d'autres et enregistrés
    dans des bases de données !!!

    J'ai donc décidé de ne plus utiliser de CATs et rester un traducteur responsable
    de ses travaux !!
    Et me consacrer à des clients qui privilégient la qualité de la traduction
    (Compagnies aériennes, offices de tourisme, constructeurs automobiles européens)
    plutôt qu'aux agences à 0,02 $ / mot.
    Rien d'étonnant lorsque l'on parcourt le mode d'emploi d'un jouet chinois ou
    d'un équipement indien .....

    Mais je reste à votre disposition pour tout nouveau projet.

    Cordialement.

    Ph. Papillier

    PS : Juste quelques mots au sujet de SDL - Trados.

    Lorsque l'on connait :

    1) le coût de Trados dans sa version freelance
    - environ 800 euros la version SP3 2009,
    - plusieurs centaines d'euros pour les upgrades de 2006 ou 2007 vers 2009,

    2) le peu d'avantages que lui apporte ce logiciel si l'on tient compte de
    - la diversité des domaines traités et
    - la variété de ses clients
    (caractéristiques des traducteurs freelance, par opposition aux sociétés
    qui recherchent un même style, une cohérence et un moindre coût pour
    tous leurs travaux de traduction),

    3) la "quadrature" financière liée à son utilisation :
    - un tarif de traduction plus élevé nécessaire à l'amortissement du logiciel,
    et donc moins compétitif et
    - des facturations moins élevées car réduction exigée pour les répétitions,
    et enfin

    4) une qualité inférieure des traductions (voir ci-dessus),

    on ne peut que s'interroger sur les motifs de la généralisation de cet outil sur
    le marché des traducteurs freelance .....
    Collapse


     

    Philippe Papillier
    France
    Local time: 05:06
    English to French
    + ...
    Let's go against all which look like CAT's Feb 25, 2011

    Hello,

    Pour ma part, je refuse depuis plusieurs années d'utiliser tous ces outils CAT, formes modernes d'esclavagisme (agences = marchands d'esclaves) et de standardisation par le bas (ainsi va la mondialisation) .....

    Résistons et vive les traducteurs libres ......

    PP

    PS : à tous ceux qui ont acheté Trados : avez-vous pensé à la rentabilité (ROI) de l'outil et tout ce que vous auriez pu faire avec l'argent dépensé (voyages, vacances ...) ?


     

    Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
    Czech Republic
    Local time: 05:06
    English to Czech
    + ...
    Hmmm Feb 25, 2011

    Ph. Papillier Ph. Papillier wrote:

    Here is my standard answer to agencies who claim Trados (desolate in French) :

    (just a small remark : should we better organize a strike against Trados or against agencies who ask for Trados utilisation ???)


    As much as I don't really understand the original call for strike against "expensive" CAT tools, I am even more at a loss about why narrow this strike to Trados.

    But all in all, I already got used to people complaining about ANY market leader.


     

    Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
    Czech Republic
    Local time: 05:06
    English to Czech
    + ...
    Oh, sure I did Feb 25, 2011

    Ph. Papillier Ph. Papillier wrote:
    PS : à tous ceux qui ont acheté Trados : avez-vous pensé à la rentabilité (ROI) de l'outil et tout ce que vous auriez pu faire avec l'argent dépensé (voyages, vacances ...) ?


    But I prefer future-proof investments to throwing my money out of the window. One copy of Trados at € 450 costs about the same as one week's holiday.

    So, what do you suggest? Throwing our computers out of the window too and get back to pen and paper?

    [Upraveno: 2011-02-25 11:37 GMT]


     

    Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
    France
    Local time: 05:06
    French to German
    + ...
    Return on investment Feb 25, 2011

    My ROI for Trados 2007 was at least 10 times the price of the software (754 € inclusive PSMA at that time). And although I have not upgraded to Studio 2009, I still use this programme for clients who really need it because they are "locked in".

    Furthermore, I don't own even one single CAT tool which was not at least amortised and which didn't bring me back more than the initial investment.

    And - like everybody else, I hope! - I don't feel forced to accept projects fo
    ... See more
    My ROI for Trados 2007 was at least 10 times the price of the software (754 € inclusive PSMA at that time). And although I have not upgraded to Studio 2009, I still use this programme for clients who really need it because they are "locked in".

    Furthermore, I don't own even one single CAT tool which was not at least amortised and which didn't bring me back more than the initial investment.

    And - like everybody else, I hope! - I don't feel forced to accept projects for which the rate is too low or projects that come with hair-rising requests (or bad to execrable TM's for that matter).

    [Edited at 2011-02-25 11:47 GMT]
    Collapse


     

    Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
    Germany
    Local time: 05:06
    English to German
    + ...
    In memoriam
    Horses for courses Feb 25, 2011

    Neil Coffey wrote:
    Won't the majority of clients just have a Word document (or even a document not in electronic format at all) that they need translated into Word form and not care in the slightest about the intervening process?


    Word documents currently account for less than 20% of my workload and I am absolutely prepared to pay real money for tools that allow me to process Framemaker/InDesign/Robohelp/DocToHelp/XML and any other more complex formats.


     
    Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20] >


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


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

    General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools

    Advanced search







    SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
    The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

    SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

    More info »
    SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
    The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

    SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

    More info »



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