jump to navigation

Addendum to Trados just keeps drivin’ ’em away June 29, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Tools.

I ran into Dr. Sue Ellen Wright Saturday night at the Judy Collins concert. We spoke briefly about the new version of Trados. For those of you who do not know her, she is a professor at Kent State University (teaching MultiTerm and other translation courses at the graduate level) as well as one of the top terminologists in the world. Her fields of interest are terminology studies (theory and applications), translation studies, terminology interchange formats, data categories for terminology management, teaching methodologies for localization environments, terminology and computer applications for translators, localization, localization project management, and training terminology and localization trainers. She is also

  • Chair of the Terminology Committee of the American Translators Association
  • Chair of the USA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of ISO TC 37, Terminology (principles and coordination)
  • Convener of TC 37/Sub-Committee 3/WG 1, responsible for preparing ISO FDIS 12620: Terminology—Computer Applications—Data
  • Vice-Chair of TC 37/SC 3, Computer-assisted Terminology
  • Convener of TC 37/Sub-Committee 3/WG 3, which is responsible for preparing ISO FDIS 12200: Terminology—Computer Applications—Machine-Readable Terminology Interchange Format (MARTIF), Part 1: Negotiated Interchange
  • A member of ASTM F15.48, which is responsible for Translation Quality Management

In other words, she really knows her stuff. She has offered consulting services and feedback on MultiTerm to Trados for years. Her comment on the new version was that it was “extremely buggy,” and it took her several days to figure out how to use it. If it took her several days to figure it out, how can we mere mortals be expected to know how to use it? Software should be intuitive and build on existing versions. That isn’t the case here.



1. RobinB - June 29, 2009


You could also point out that Sue Ellen isn’t just a very experienced, unusually wise and incredibly nice person, she’s also extremely fair and always objective in her assessments of translation-related technology. So anything she says should be considered very carefully, as she has no tribal loyalties as far as technology is concerned. And if she says that this new version of SDL Trados is basically banana software (delivered green, ripens at the customer), then that’s most likely going to be the case.

Maybe Alan Melby (BYU) will also deliver his verdict soon, as this will also be extremely influential. At the latest, I presume we’ll get to hear something from him at this year’s ATA conference.

I’ll try to add a comment to your main post on the topic later today, once the temperature drops below 30°C…

2. Jan - June 30, 2009

Laszlo Pisti was answering to your first pamphlet:
“… 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.”
This also applies to this post and Sue Ellen Wright. Let me put it this way: If you need a simple software for editing text, take Microsoft Notepad. You will be able to learn it within a few minutes. Hey, seriously, if you have such a complex software like a complete translation environment with hundreds if not thousands of components: Of course it takes time to learn such a software. To call for intuitivity is always a good thing, but it should be realistic and fair.

Personally I installed Studio and it took me about two or three hours to get a quite complete overiview about the options offered, customizing the workspace to my personal preferences, to migrate an old translation memory, setup my first project and to start my translation. An hour later I had finnished my project and did the handoff to my client. So, that is, four hours total to install, customize and finnish my first translation. But maybe I’m only more into everday practice with this. However, if it took Sue Ellen Wright a few days to get familar with it, I would not really say this is a problem and frankly, I don’t think that many translators will have the same problem.

The bottom line is: Intuitivity is important. For me and most other people I met, people how really work with it everyday now, SDL Trados Studio 2009 is quite intuitive. And it offers an easy way to start. Example wanted? Let’s assume you want to translate a Micorsoft Word doc file. Just right click on the file in Windows explorer and select “open the file for translation” from the SDL Trados Studio 2009 context menu. Can it be any more more intuitive than that?

3. Jan - June 30, 2009

Oh besides, since I have installed Studio, I had only one or two crashes. So, it looks “extremle stable” to me. Just saying it that it was “extremely buggy” sounds like useless bashing without information value to you readers or maybe you just miss to cite her in full context? Maybe she was referring to an early beta version…

4. jillsommer - June 30, 2009

Well Jan, you have your view and I have mine. I’ll be curious to see what others say about it at the ATA conference in November. Until then I am not planning on upgrading. FWIW, my current version of Trados is and has always been stable. It’s been my experience that many of the past complaints have been user errors and not software errors. And since I have taught others how to use it for years I have more than “rtfm.” The fact remains that there are many people out there who have problems learning how to use it despite having read the manual.

5. MT - June 30, 2009

Jan almost sounds like she works for SDL Trados… I’m not sure I’d call two crashes “extremely stable.” Stable by definition means zero crashes.

The whole thing reminds me of the Microsoft Vista fiasco. Rushing out software too soon, not soliciting input from actual future users, bulldozing and bullying the little guy, overcharging (and thereby driving piracy), implementing intrusive antipiracy features (thereby driving more piracy), losing credibility and reputation among your target consumers in the process…these are the things SDL Trados has brought upon itself. Back-tracking to change things now is too little, too late.

Boycott SDL Trados. Freelancers should be using only free or inexpensive CAT tools, and agencies should be making that possible by supporting TMX and other open source format standards.

Laszlo Pisti - July 3, 2009

“Zero crashes”…. guess that rules out just about any software I have ever used of any complexity 😉

“Freelancers should be using only free or inexpensive CAT tools, and agencies should be making that possible by supporting TMX and other open source format standards”…. and we should all be using Linux, open office and giving donations to all the charities providing it….. what planet do you come from?

Jan - July 9, 2009

Well, “MT” (the “Masked Translator” …) claims to be the the “Zorro of the translation blog world” and is “SICK OF TRANSLATING!!!” (June 5). So, …

“MT” requires software producers to give away their software for free, that is, to work for free. It’s his good right to require this, because he has no money to pay for software – because he works for free, too, and does not charge anything for his translation work.

6. jillsommer - July 9, 2009

Haven’t we all been sick of translating at one time or another? It goes away after a day or so… And I think MT was being facetious.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: