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Trados just keeps drivin’ ‘em away June 26, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Tech tips, Tools.
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Trados used to be the 800-pound gorilla in the translation industry. They did a good job, and their customers were loyal. Due to a series of missteps and bad judgment I have a feeling that won’t be the case for much longer.

The original title of this post was going to be “Trados Studio 2009, you can kiss my…” but I didn’t want to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities. SDL Trados released Studio 2009 a little while ago, and it was a mess. Let me just tell you – there were and are a lot of angry translators out there. Sure, translators enjoy complaining about Trados (always have, always will), but this time it’s different.

The first inkling many of us blog readers had that there was trouble ahead was Translation Tribulations’ post SDL Trados Studio 2009 BOHICA. Now the product is out, and he is uncannily correct in his prediction – BOHICA! Many of the translators who bought the product are regretting their decision and want to switch back to their old version – but then you are out the money. It really isn’t worth trying to contact Trados Support since they are unresponsive – probably because they have been deluged by complaints.

The reasons for the freelance backlash are two-fold: functionality (or lack thereof) and licenses. Studio 2009 has placed more importance on project management than on translation – which is the reason Trados was developed in the first place. Your lone wolf translator does not need project management functions. Susanne III pointed out that as a beta tester she informed SDL Trados several times that this new version was developed without considering the needs of the freelance translator who would actually be using the product. For example, apparently Studio 2009 doesn’t allow uncleaned files.

The main reason for the ATA’s German Language Division list boycott discussion was the realization that SDL Trados appeared to have gotten too big for its britches and was no longer going to allow freelancers to use the product on more than one computer with the simple freelance version – and forcing them to sign a letter confirming they will not be getting a second license in the future. I for one work on my home computer, but use a laptop when I’m traveling or out of the office. This one-license policy would not allow me to install Trados on my laptop. And heaven forbid you should buy a new computer and want to install your existing Trados license on your new computer. Nope, sorry, you’re out of luck without signing your life away. The only other alternative is to buy a multi-license version, which is something like €435 ($600). I don’t know about you, but $600 a year (if the license is only good for a year) is a lot of money for most freelance translators.

Installing the new product can apparently be a total nightmare due to licensing questions. There are reports that it has taken some colleagues three to four days to get their systems back in working order (nevermind the lost wages). One very well-respected colleague on TW_Users reported he was giving up trying to install the product “[a]fter hours reading information, returning licenses, installing, uninstalling and reinstalling software, rebooting, swearing in several languages, I give up. Honestly, there is a limit to everything—including my recklessness—and all I achieved is to have my old Trados back working—for a limited time, now, of course.” He published an article on his adventures in this month’s Accurapid Journal.

According to the SDL Trados website, “When upgrading to SDL Trados Studio 2009, you will need to de-activate your previous software license. Also note that SDL Trados 2007 Suite is included as part of SDL Trados Studio 2009. It will be fully functional until 30/06/2010. It is possible to install both products in parallel. If you would like to retain your previous license, you could consider purchasing a full new license.” Imagine that – spend lots of money on a piece of software that is only good for one year, because newer products now come with expiration dates. No thanks. SDL Trados soon changed their tune and allowed two licenses to work at the same time to quell the uprising.

Paul Filkin, Client Services Director at SDL Trados, wrote to the TW_Users group and tried to explain the theory behind SDL Trados’ decision:

On the “now” old SDL Trados 2007 Suite and earlier you purchase a single activation.  In case you had problems, such as Hurricane Isobel, or someone stole your laptop when you nipped into MacDonalds [sic], or you simply forgot to return it before you rebuilt your machine, we actually allowed for two additional activations before your activation was prevented.  The reason we put a limit on this is obvious because we have to be able to prevent misuse of the activation utility which some less honest people would take advantage of.

It is often the case that some users seem to rebuild their machines more than others, and sometimes forget to return their license everytime they do it.  This is quite easy, I have done it myself.  But we still have to draw the line somewhere.  When this happens you are asked to jump through a few hoops to verify your entitlement to our satisfaction and I think this is perfectly acceptable.

On the new SDL Trados Studio 2009 software we have taken a different approach.  You can now purchase additional activation codes for the Freelance software for a small amount so that you can legally run the different versions on your laptop and your desktop at the same time and have them both activated at all times.

This will not prevent the McDonalds scenario from being a problem, and you will still have to jump through a few hoops if you lose the ability to return your license and need Support to reactivate it for you.  But it will give you the ability to have more flexibility in how  you work.

Again, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many companies that assume from the get-go that their loyal customers are constantly trying to pull one over on them. OK, maybe Microsoft, but there are indeed a lot of pirated copies of their software floating around. I don’t know a single translator working with a pirated copy of a TEnT (translation environment tool).

Now one of the GLD members, who has had a service contract with them for many years now, reports that upgrading to Studio 2009 is a prerequisite for having a support contract anymore. They will not be offering any support – not even paid support – if you aren’t willing to upgrade to Studio 2009.

It has become apparent to most translators that Trados is no longer interested in the lowly freelance translator. They want to sell their product to agencies. But the best product in the world won’t be any use to agencies if their freelancers are still working with the old versions or have switched to another TEnT altogether.

Hey, Trados, you might want to send your employees to a class on how to provide good customer service. Instead of always blaming the customer (who, incidentally, is paying your salary by buying your product) why don’t you try to find a solution that satisfies everyone. If Trados had just decided “”Please note that this new version of Trados can run side-by-side with previous versions of Trados.” I don’t think there would have been this much uproar.

I for one am sticking with my current version (Trados 2007 Freelance) for now, because it doesn’t have an expiration date and still works fine. I’ve been with Trados since Version 2.x and have taught other translators how to use Trados in seminars and in the translation grad courses at Kent State University over the years. I was definitely a loyal customer and even a fan. Not anymore. If the time comes that I need to upgrade to something else (because I have bought a new computer or something) I will be switching to a competitor. I hear Wordfast and MemoQ are good products…

If anyone else is considering switching to a new TEnT, you might want to check out Jost Zetzsche’s site, Translators Training. You can “access video-based tutorials for all the major translation technology and localization tools and much more for only Euro 34.99 a year.” That’s a heck of a lot cheaper than shelling out several hundred dollars for a tool that you decide you don’t like.

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Comments»

1. Ippe - June 26, 2009

Ciao,
after reading all your post a doubt arises… maybe you’re talking about the Agency version (http://www.lspzone.com/en/shop/upgrade.asp) and not about the freelance one (http://www.translationzone.com/en/shop/shop_upgrades.asp)?

Just a single difference: in LSP Zone the upgrade price is indicated as €715, whereas in Translation Zone it’s €155 and the Freelance product is indicated as “SDL Trados Studio 2009 Freelance Plus”.

I noticed because I wrote an angered post about SDL’s pricing policy back in April (http://ippe.blogspot.com/2009/04/trados-2009.html) and only later I found out about the price differences.

I didn’t understand if there are differences about “expiration dates”, though :-/

2. jillsommer - June 26, 2009

It’s possible, and thank you for pointing that out. That is another beef I have with Trados – it’s hard to figure out their pricing. It seems everyone is always quoted different prices…

3. Kirti Vashee - June 26, 2009

I was at Lotus when they released 123 with copy protection and limitations on how often you could install it in a time when nobody else did that. Customers hated and protested loudly and vociferously.

Lancaster was perhaps a low level manager at Lotus at the time and I guess did not learn the lesson that Lotus eventually learned as he seems determined to follow in those footsteps. Customers respond to value and Microsoft eventually demolished 123’s 85%+ market share position by introducing Office and easy transfer to Excel.

I hope that your article circulates widely as it clearly articulates how unfriendly SDL commercial practices are in an age where open source, Google and Wikipedia rule.

I originally thought it was just an archaic practice but after reading your blog saw that it was completely customer hostile and a pain in the ass at least.

I would recommend MemoQ – The management has integrity and is interested in an ongoing dialogue with their customers.

4. Anamaria Argandona - June 26, 2009

Hi Jill,
Like you, I have used Trados since the early days. I got a new computer in May and figured that if I used the pre-order offer, and got an SDL Trados 2007 Suite Freelance Patch, the transition to the new computer, and possibly Trados Studio 2009 would be easier. No such luck… Now, Tag Editor occasionally does not work.

Also, I got an email from SDL last week with the subject: “Your copy of the newly launched SDL Trados Studio 2009 is now in your account!” However, when I go in there, nothing is available for downloading. Not even a demo or a trial version. There is no support either. After 2 webinars on the subject, I’m still lost. After reading the comments in translation blogs, etc. I find the prospect of suddenly finding yourself with no license awfully scary.

5. Craig - June 26, 2009

Intrigued by your comment, I went to the Trados website and found this (highlighted in red — they are apparently reacting to the kind of criticism you voice above):

“Everybody who upgrades to SDL Trados Studio 2009 will also receive a permanent license of SDL Trados 2007 Suite. Both products can be installed in parallel. Please be aware you will need to de-activate your previous software license before receiving your new licenses. If you would like to continue working with versions older than SDL Trados 2007 Suite, please consider purchasing a full new license.”

I’m not sure if that addresses your concerns, but I certainly have not been delighted with a number of recent changes, and a number of things remain unaddressed. For instance, you can no longer (as of Trados 2007) save a file with an open translation segment. I used to leave segments open all the time so that I go back to where I left off immediately simply by closing a segment when I opened the new file — there was never a computer glitch with this. Now, I have to spend anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds looking for the part where I stopped; Shift + F5 does not seem to work in every document. Another pet fees is that the Windows and Workbench cannot be adjusted; you cannot make the Multiterm window within Workbench smaller, for instance.

And of course, as users of other translation memory software will tell you, you cannot connect to since you have just opened with the previous one you just closed if you realize you would like to connect those two sentences.

6. So_you_think_you_can_dance-SDL - June 26, 2009

Enough is enough, SDL has now officially started ripping people off. If they are not concerned about their competitors, they should consider the Google Translator’s Kit as a threat, it is a free tool that gives a freelancer most of the basic functions (plus a few advanced other features) as well as optional access to a huge pool of existing translation memories.

Most of my clients have already started using TMX for memories and a translation environment is no longer a sacred thing. It won’t be long when open source tools will show up.

On the server side, SDL did a great job by acquiring Idiom, but so did Welocalize by open sourcing their GlobalSight product. SDL must wake up before it loses its loyal customers, you are not Microsoft and even Microsoft has rivals.

On the note about dishonest people using your software illegally, SDL – you are probably encouraging them to do so with your ridiculous pricing and with your awfully tied up licensing mechanisms. With all due respect with old school translators, the new translators have grown up with internet and cyber space and most of them can work around your licensing obstacles, take a look at a torrent site. Your shareholders and and directors who are greedy for every penny from a freelancer’s pocket has an equal share in the illegal distribution of your software.

In order to make a come back, SDL needs to balance the cost/volume ratio and people will be happy purchase SDL software legally or avoid switching to its competitors.

jillsommer - June 26, 2009

I am very averse to the idea of using the Google Translator’s Kit or other online TM services, because I have signed confidentiality agreements with many of my clients and this would breach them. The idea of my work going into some global TM that everyone can use isn’t exactly a solution either…

7. Craig - June 26, 2009

Just a quick follow-up — I wanted to make sure I still have the e-mail so that I can prove the wording is correct if Trados tries to come after me…

Nearly a year ago, I installed Parallels on my Mac and gave my Windows environment a test drive there. The long and short of it is that I did not migrate to Windows on a Mac, but I did realize in the process that Trados did not find to simultaneously running installations of Workbench when one of them was on Parallels.

A dutiful servant, I reported this to Trados and suggested that they look into it. Here is the response that I got from Mr. Filkin — Paul, if you are reading this, it is from your e-mail of July 23, 2008 at 5:50 PM:

“1. Most users would not do this as they are less sophisticated than you.
2. Even if they did and were successfully able to make this work as you have it would be breaking the EULA
3. They still wouldn’t get all the functionality of the Professional Version so not of real interest to Agencies
4. Agencies are less likely to knowingly break the EULA”

I was flabbergasted by items number one and four, but mostly by item 4. I suppose Paul considered me an agency, and perhaps I am in the meantime. Whatever. My point is that I had been hearing freelance translators complain for quite a long time that the company does not care about freelancers, so when I read that response, I felt there was truly something to the sentiment.

Finally, all of the work I do with my colleagues is shared on uncleaned documents to facilitate proofreading, which we do on screen. If the new version of the software does not allow me to save uncleaned files as you describe above, I will either have to switch software entirely (looks like everyone else on the team has Wordfast or DejaVu already, so only I would need to switch) or switch my workflow in entirely.

Incidentally, I have not gotten Wordfast to work properly on recent versions of Microsoft office, and it does not run at all on the latest version for Macs, where macros have been removed entirely.

8. Kevin Lossner - June 26, 2009

With SDL Trados you really do have to ask how much abuse is enough. The new technology in its current state is simply not commercially viable. “Full stop” as our British friends say. “Period” for me. The clear contempt that the company shows not only for its freelance users but also for many agency clients makes SDL Trados more than deserving of oblivion. I talk to a lot of agency owners here in Germany, and I don’t remember the last time one was actually *happy* with Trados. And that was before the current clusterfuck.

There are great alternatives out there, folks. TEnT tools that are more “Trados-compatible” than Trados itself. Like M & E said, “you have nothing to lose but your chains”! My current best recommendation is Kilgray’s MemoQ (www.kilgray.com) – super, super support and a good product getting better all the time; Atril’s Déjà Vu X has always been a solid favorite of mine, though support and development are not what they used to be. But these aren’t the only choices. Jill’s suggestion to check out Jost’s Translators’ Training site is excellent advice. Jost offers a lot of high quality information with the useful points standing clearly out from the “noise”. I get an excellent return on my investment for everything he offers.

9. Jan - June 27, 2009

I do not understand the anger. First of all – no one forces you to update. If you are happy with the 2007 version: fine. Then just don’t update. And if you think you need all the new features: Well, then consider if it’s worth spending 155 Euro for the update. And if you think it’s worth: Well, then why not pay for it?
Sorry, but my phone bill is about 100 Euros per month. 155 Euro for the update to a completely new product offering a real step forward and not jsut some new file format filters here and a bug fix there like in the past sounds like excellent cost effectiveness to me and a fair price.

After a few weeks with 2009 now, I’m quite happy with it. Sure, 2009 is something completely different. But once you get used to the new philosophy and features it’s great. Also I cannot follow your statement “Studio 2009 has placed more importance on project management than on translation”. What project management? I do not really see any project management there. Actually not more that we already know from Synergy. The real step forwards are actually in technology (based in free and open standards like SQL for the databases and XLIFF for the intermediate file formats). And from the translation perspective: I’m making intensive use if the new AutoSuggest and AutoPropagate features. Only this boost my productivity “enourmous” (I don’t want to give percents here, but tend to say that on some projects I finnish translation in half the time now). What I also like very much: Now you can finally edit TMs really easy in a two column view. Just go to the TM editor, list the units, type in and change, move through the TUs simply with arrow keys and so on. Very easy, very comfortable. Much better than in the old workbench. The XML, HTML and DOC live preview is also really cool and makes it much more easy to see results in the final document.

Regarding “apparently Studio 2009 doesn’t allow uncleaned files”: The original file format (XML, Doc, Mif etc.) is always converted to XLIFF. XLIFF is standard with wide support and also supported by virtually all other TM Systems. You can even open the XLIFF file in older TRADOS versions if necessary (but without preprocessing the XLIFF-XML first it is not comfortable). In the XLIFF file the translation units consist of source and target as described in the XLIFF standard (see there). That also means, you can simply send out your SLD-XLIFF file at any time to any other colleague with 2009 or a TMS tool with support for that. It doesn’t even matter if in the file only a sentence is translated or a complete sentence. You can even delete the complete project and all files and only keep the XLIFF file and So, this seems to be definitively wrong information (or I have misunderstood you).

Of course, the PDF filter is, only a Marketing buzz (thanks Kevin for pointing out!). I can only beg that end clients and agencies understand this. I have tested it and it is actually more more less worthless and gives only good results if the PDF is of really good and clean quality, text ist encoded correctly in the PDF and if the translation will be not longer than the source. As the combination of this is as unrealistic as world peace: Forget about the PDF “Support”.

Regarding the update: Maybe I missed the information about a 2010 deadline. Where is this information from? The online store clearly states: “Everybody who upgrades to SDL Trados Studio 2009 will also receive a permanent license of SDL Trados 2007 Suite. Both products can be installed in parallel.” – Maybe this was changed after the protests. Anyway, you get a *permanent* license for 2007 and 2009! That is, you can run two full versions in parallel and as long as you like. So, what would you might want more? Usually any upgrade for any software I know always also implies, that the license for older version expires and get’s replaced with the license for the new version. That’s everywhere for payed software this way. Anyway SDL offers us now, to run completely legal both the old and the new version in parallel. I don’t have any reason to complain about this any longer.

However, personally I think 2009 is worth the update. And 155 EUR really does not seem overprized to me.

Thanks,
Jan

jillsommer - June 27, 2009

Yes, this was changed in response to the protests.

10. Laszlo Pisti - June 27, 2009

Nice blog… or rant… but unfortunatley out of date and factually incorrect. The ability of anyone to write things that thousands of people can read and believe, is more dangerous than the business practices of sdl (and others – MemoQ who I always thought to be above all this nonsense are also using dubious tactics to take advantage of the mess sdl made of their new product release) and is one of the downsides of the internet age.

Licenses are not time limited, licensing problems seem to have been resolved, the product looks to have many great features for anyone who takes the time to rtfm and not expect it to behave in exactly the same way as older versions. I think it is a great product and expect it wil improve considerably in time. Maybe just wait for th first service pack if you’re really not sure…

It’s a brave step to completely rewrite a product and offer such a significant change, particularly when you have such an establish product.

I for one will be glad when all these types of blogs and posts in the forums stop and we can start learning about the product properly without such ill informed and irrational emotion.

jillsommer - June 30, 2009

They aren’t time limited now, but they were at first: http://www.globalwatchtower.com/2009/06/10/trados-studio-2009/ And I do believe I mentioned that SDL Trados changed the policy in response to all the complaints. If there is anything else that is “out of date and factually incorrect” please let me know.

Laszlo Pisti - July 1, 2009

ok – but your post was dated 26 June. If you want to quote things that are already weeks old you should refer to them in the past tense… but then that would not be nearly so interesting as the truth would it? Here’s a quick run through in my opinion.

“Many of the translators who bought the product are regretting their decision and want to switch back to their old version – but then you are out the money.”

Where did this “fact” come from and how many is “many”. This is more like pure hype to support your post.

” It really isn’t worth trying to contact Trados Support since they are unresponsive – probably because they have been deluged by complaints.”

Absolute rubbish. I have read on tw_users and the like of many complaints from people who don’t seem to know how to contact support and have posted the most bizarre problems. Often these are countered by people who have simply followed the instructions and have received fast and able support.

“Studio 2009 has placed more importance on project management than on translation”

More nonsense, have you even used this product? The features for a translator are all there to see (granted there are a few bugs that need to be solved but I have seen posts from translators on ProZ and TW_Users who say they are already more productive despite the few bugs) and you don’t need to use any of the Project Management features if you don’t want to.

“For example, apparently Studio 2009 doesn’t allow uncleaned files.”

Qualify please..! I don’t believe it allows uncleaned bilingual doc files. If you need to work with these you have to use SDL Trados 2007. Personally I really can’t see the point of these anyway. I have only ever been asked to provide these as the basis of a review. There are plenty of other ways to do that.

“…… and was no longer going to allow freelancers to use the product on more than one computer with the simple freelance version” – and forcing them to sign a letter confirming they will not be getting a second license in the future. I for one work on my home computer, but use a laptop when I’m traveling or out of the office. This one-license policy would not allow me to install Trados on my laptop. And heaven forbid you should buy a new computer and want to install your existing Trados license on your new computer. Nope, sorry, you’re out of luck without signing your life away. The only other alternative is to buy a multi-license version, which is something like €435 ($600). I don’t know about you, but $600 a year (if the license is only good for a year) is a lot of money for most freelance translators.”

More rubbish. The old version never allowed this in the EULA anyway. The new policy seems to be that users get an additional license now as part of the deal, but in the future they can buy an extra license for a few euros. And what license is only available for a year?… oh yes, you are still talking about something that changed weeks ago. It’s permanent already. I never heard of the “forcing people to sign a letter” issue. Is this really true? On the basis of your credibility I find this one hard to believe, but I can’t comment unfortunately.

“Also note that SDL Trados 2007 Suite is included as part of SDL Trados Studio 2009. It will be fully functional until 30/06/2010.”

Wrong… also out of date, this is permanent.

“SDL Trados soon changed their tune and allowed two licenses to work at the same time to quell the uprising.”

Getting even more confused now…. you could always work with two licenses at the same time couldn’t you? I did hear of a crippling mechanism designed to stop two freelance products at the same time in older versions, and that has been changed with the new version to allow this. What are you referring to here?

“If Trados had just decided “”Please note that this new version of Trados can run side-by-side with previous versions of Trados.” I don’t think there would have been this much uproar.”

It could. No change here.

I think if you want to be thought of as a reliable source of information you should not write things like this so long after the event. Too many people read this and get completely the wrong idea because it is such poor advice. You don’t even have the professionalism to amend what you have written to reflect the truth now. This is why I dislike these blogs and forums so much. How does the average user make an informed decision with so much misinformation being posted by people who don’t really know, but can sit quite happily behind their keyboard playing the great know it all without having to take any responsibility for what they write?

Beats me.

11. Edward Chmura - June 29, 2009

I believe the 155 EUR upgrade price expires tomorrow (June 30).

12. MT - June 30, 2009

Wordfast Pro is pretty sucky, too, speaking of disastrous upgrades…

I stopped using Trados in 2002 and have never looked back. I have been using MetaTexis since then, which is Trados-compatible, and at only about $150 for a full version it’s a great bargain and much cheaper than Wordfast Classic.

There are tons free options out there now, too, but I really like the simple MetaTexis interface, which also has a quick learning curve because it works a lot like Trados.

I STRONGLY recommend people boycott SDL Trados. Speak with your wallets, buy ONLY free or cheaper freelancer-friendly CAT tools.

Laszlo Pisti - July 1, 2009

I strongly recommend people find out for themselves and buy what they need.

13. Tommy Twoshoes - July 1, 2009

RE the use of pirated copies of Trados:
A few years ago I knew of many fellow freelancers in Asia and S. America using pirated versions of Trados 5 & 6. A fully functional version cost about US$40 in Hong Kong at the time. I don’t know if this practice has continued into v.2007 and v.2009.

RE Wordfast Pro being “sucky”:
It’s not an upgrade, it’s a completely new product. They are still developing and supporting Wordfast “Classic,” and if you buy one you get a free license to use the other.

Pro offers a very powerful feature absent in most other translator environments: the ability to link and unlink a very large number of TMs simultaneously, without having to merge & unmerge them. For this reason alone, I use WFPro on some projects despite the clunkiness and beta-release feel.

Laszlo Pisti - July 1, 2009

Interesting post.

“It’s not an upgrade, it’s a completely new product.”
Sounds like SDL Trados Studio 2009

“…a very powerful feature absent in most other translator environments: the ability to link and unlink a very large number of TMs simultaneously, without having to merge & unmerge them.”
Sounds like SDL Trados Studio 2009

14. Evelyna - July 2, 2009

I too have been a user and big fan of Trados since the ’90s, and it used to be my preferred TEnT although I have bought and/or used a few others over the years. I haven’t tried Trados Studio 2009, but what I have seen of the demos completely turns me off.

And I can attest from my personal experience that their technical support has gone completely down the drain in the past few years – and is perfectly non existent for non-paying customers. I have even taken to warning colleagues that the software is rather stable and bug-free, but they’d better know their way around a computer if they plan on getting it because they likely will have to solve their problems on their own.

So sorry, but I can’t honestly recommend Trados any more. Too bad, because it used to be a great product.

15. Elliot Nedas - July 3, 2009

Hi There, sorry if these seems like a plug, but it kind of is. We will be offering our translation tool completely free for translators soon, would any of you be interested in taking part in a test project?

If so please email me at enedas@xml-intl.com

I understand if this post gets removed but I need to reach out to you somehow.

16. jillsommer - July 8, 2009

Some of my comments refer to the Agency version, while some of them refer to the Freelance version. My friend was a beta tester for the Agency version. Here is some clarification.

RE: Uncleaned files – it supports them but cannot create them, it creates a proprietary SDL-XLIFF but not a bilingual Word document that EVERYONE can use or a TTX that everyone with a half way current Trados can use

I originally wrote the post in early June (June 8 to be exact). They have fixed the license expiration issue, but only after translators were so outraged. They could have saved the outrage if they had just not limited licenses in the first place.

RE: Project management – Synergy was optional and most people did not use it. In Studio, the integrated environment is mandatory.

Keep the old version – it is necessary because you cannot import a general TMW with Studio, it has to be with the Suite or you have to take a detour over other formats. Yes, to be able to keep both is nice NOW, but that was only changed after the protest and it was never planned by Trados. And it is not like it is something special to be able to keep the old version, with almost everything else you can still run the old version, for example Windows, several Adobe versions, etc. I myself am still running Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional.

Specifically to Lazlo’s post:
>>”Many of the translators who bought the product are regretting their decision and want to switch back to their old version ­ but then you are out the money.”
>Where did this “fact” come from and how many is “many”. This is more like pure hype to support your post.
Answer: TW_Users, go and count them yourself

>>“Studio 2009 has placed more importance on project management than on translation”
>More nonsense, have you even used this product? The features for a translator are all there to see (granted there are a few bugs that need to be solved but I have seen posts from translators on ProZ and TW_Users who say they are already more productive despite the few bugs) and you don’t need to use any of the Project Management features if you don’t want to.
Answer: Well, the complaint is that you can’t just open a Word document and start translating. AFAIK, you always have to set it up as a project, even if your document is a 5 liner

>>“For example, apparently Studio 2009 doesn’t allow uncleaned files.”
>Qualify please..! I don’t believe it allows uncleaned bilingual doc files. If you need to work with these you have to use SDL Trados 2007. Personally I really can’t see the point of these anyway. I have only ever been asked to provide these as the basis of a review. There are plenty of other ways to do that.
Answer from an in-house PM/translator: That may be the case for you but not for me. I ONLY get uncleaned files from my translators. There are other translation work flows, but a lot of people work that way and now it is not possible anymore. And it is not just for review purposes

RE: having to sign a letter confirming they won’t get a second license. This happened to a friend of mine – before they changed the licensing policies. I assume this is now moot since they changed the policy after all the outrage.

>>“Also note that SDL Trados 2007 Suite is included as part of SDL Trados Studio 2009. It will be fully functional until 30/06/2010.”
>Wrong… also out of date, this is permanent.
Answer: Yeah, it is NOW but was never meant to be Trados policy when they released the product

I do mention in the post that they changed the licensing policy. My beef with Trados is that they had planned all these changes and were forced to change the policy due to all the outrage.

Mr. Pisti, do you by any chance work for Trados? You seem to be their biggest supporter on various translation blogs. I googled you and can’t seem to find any mention of you anywhere other than here. In any event I value the opinions of the Masked Translator and Kevin Lossner who are well-known in the field. This is the last I will say on this subject. I have more important things to do – like translate and proofread.

Laszlo Pisti - July 8, 2009

I’ll have the last word then, but I will give you that they messed the licensing up. It’s more to do with the rest of the things you say that I object to.

“Yes, to be able to keep both is nice NOW, but that was only changed after the protest and it was never planned by Trados.” – You really don’t understand this. The only change was to leave us with a permanent license instead of a temporary one. It was always the plan as far as I can see to have 2007 in use until 2009 didn’t need it.

“creates a proprietary SDL-XLIFF” – you mean the industry standard xliff as set down by OASIS.

“TW_Users, go and count them yourself” – I don’t think you have. I read all the posts and didn’t see that many.

“Well, the complaint is that you can’t just open a Word document and start translating. AFAIK, you always have to set it up as a project” – You can open a file from your desktop without setting up a Project. You can right click from anywhere or you can just open document for translation.

“There are other translation work flows, but a lot of people work that way and now it is not possible anymore. And it is not just for review purposes” – What is it for then? Maybe a closer look would show they are not necessary at all. It is an outdated, problematic file format that has been destined for retirement for a while I think.

Work for Trados? No more than Kevin Lossner works for MemoQ. Masked Translator… who?

17. Piotr Bienkowski - November 26, 2009

> “creates a proprietary SDL-XLIFF” – you mean the industry standard xliff as set down by OASIS.

Have you validated it with XLIFF Checker?

18. Nils Lahrmann - February 11, 2010

Hi guys

I first bought Trados 2.xx some 10 years ago — and switched very quickly to DéjàVu. However, clients asked me to deliver Trados files and so I updated several times until SDL Trados 2007. Every time I spent money for this soft and I swore in all my languages using the very most ugly words I ever could find! SDL Trados 2007 never ever run properly on just one of my 4 machines!

Ok, calm down, Nils! Fortunately I had DéjàVu and since well one year I use the for me even better MemoQ.

More and more I fortunately get rid of Trados, SDLX and yes: even of MSWord which is not running properly either since I installed version 2007 in parallel to version 2003.

There is a parallel of the Trados policy: Across. However, this soft at least is for free for freelancers. Once a client asked me to use Across for regular good jobs. I refused. “Find a way that we can use standard formats and I would be more then pleased to take part in this interesting project — or I have to say no, because I can not work with Across in an efficient way”.

Hey people, we’re getting out of the mess soon I hope. Future will stick to open formats (XLIFF, TMX, TBX…). So for me SDL Trados Studio 2009 (which I never ever would install even if I got paid for it) is good news ;-)

Best regards,
Nils

19. njbeckett - June 6, 2010

How can anyone use Trados 2009? It’s absolute rubbish. Every day it finds a new reason for not being able to convert files back to Word. It can’t convert it’s files into TMX format because there is a key missing from the dictionary and there is no support unless you pay extra. My conventional method is also at least twice as fast – the whole thing is just a joke.

20. Paul Godfrey - November 10, 2010

Firstly well done Jill for saying what needed to be said.

I like many of you have used Trados since Trados 5 but fell foul of the licensing hiatus.

Eventually as you say, this was sorted out but I have since reverted to T2007 as 2009 is so excessively cumbersome to use. Difficult to get easy wordcounts for estimates or check progress. Also none of my agencies use 2009 as they want unclean files.

So I am now looking at alternatives – you say MemoQ is good… and Déja Vu? I’ll try them out – thanks for the tips!

Meanwhile back to 2007 to try to earn some money!

21. joe - September 21, 2012

“I don’t know a single translator working with a pirated copy of a TEnT”

hahahahaha


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