Working with Non-Studio Clients – Part 1

I often hear from translators that they don’t use Studio because their clients don’t have it. That can certainly be problematic but it doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t use Studio when working with non-Studio clients. I wanted to briefly review the options here because I’ve recently met several translators who seem to be unaware of how they can use Studio in situations like these. Also, the new SDL XLIFF Converter offers us an additional solution to this problem.

So here are the options for the different scenarios where the client does not use Studio:

1. Client wants back the translated target file and the TM

No problem. Translate the file in Studio and create the target file. To create the TM, requires several steps and a fair amount of clicking but it’s easy and quick after you have done it a few times: 1) Create a new TM in Studio, 2) Import the translated, finalized SDLXLIFF file to the new TM, and 3) Export the TM in TMX format. Send the translated file and the exported TMX memory file to the client.

2. Client wants back a bilingual TagEditor file

No problem. You can open TagEditor (TTX) files directly in Studio and then save your translation as a TTX file after the translation is done. If the client didn’t send you the source file in TTX format, open it in TagEditor and save it as a bilingual TTX file, and then open the TTX file in Studio. You can also save the translation in the original file format (such as Excel or PowerPoint) if you have the original file available. There’s usually no need to send the TM to the client because they can create it from the translated TTX file. More details about working with TTX files can be found here (online Help) and in the TTX Compatibility Guide for SDL Trados Studio 2009 Users white paper by SDL.

By the way, all the above also applies to SDLX ITD files.

3. Client wants back an “uncleaned” bilingual Word file

This can be a problem because Studio can not create bilingual Word files, as we all should know by now. Hopefully, this will change in future but for now we don’t have that option.

a. Uncleaned file not needed after all

Ask the client first whether they really need the uncleaned file and wouldn’t be happy with just the translated file and the TM. I’ve actually started asking this, and some clients have said that it’s OK, they don’t actually need it. If so, problem solved and proceed with scenario 1 above.

b. Maybe a TagEditor file would be OK

Your client might also be OK with a TagEditor file. Again, problem solved — just create a TTX file in TagEditor and translate that in Studio (scenario 2 above).

c. Creating a bilingual Word file with SDLXLIFF Converter

If the client needs the uncleaned Word file for editing/review purposes, for example to provide editor feedback (tracked changes) to the translator, maybe they are willing to use the bilingual Word table that you can create with the new SDLXLIFF Converter. The editor can mark the changes to the bilingual table using track changes and comments functions in Word, and you can then easily accept or reject the changes in Word, update your SDLXLIFF file by importing the updated Word table to Studio, and then create the final target translation and TM for the client. More info about SDLXLIFF Converter can be found in this posting.

d. Client absolutely and definitely needs/wants the uncleaned Word file

Even if you have tried to convince your client to accept one of the above solutions, they might still see the uncleaned Word file as the only acceptable file format for them, and can certainly have valid reasons for that. So, what to do? You have two options: 1) Give up and translate the file in Word using Trados Workbench, or 2) Translate the file first in Studio and then again with Workbench utilizing the project/file-specific TM from Studio. The latter option is not actually as crazy as it may sound at first. It really depends on how much more you prefer Studio and benefit from translating in Studio compared to Workbench, but it also depends on the file in question. If everything goes well, the retranslation goes very quickly and more or less automatically since every segment should be a 100% match. However, there are certain things that can slow down the retranslation, such as formatting and segmentation rule differences. Anyhow, that’s a good topic by itself, and I will talk more about it next time.

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4 Responses to “Working with Non-Studio Clients – Part 1”

  1. Frieda Ruppaner-Lind Says:

    Thanks for this great article, Tuomas!
    I just purchased Studio 2009 as my my last software purchase in 2010.
    Frieda Ruppaner-Lind

  2. Matthew Says:

    This blog is a great source of information, Tuomas. I bought Studio when it first came out, and fall into the category you mention above – those who don’t use it because their clients don’t. This has inspired me to make the switch for all my projects.

    Thanks for making this information available – why can’t SDL provide this information is such a succinct and objective manner?!

    • Tuomas Says:

      Thanks Matthew. I very rarely use Trados 2007 anymore, and usually only for Word files that require translation of a few sentences here and there in a partially translated or otherwise “mixed” document that would be too cumbersome to process in Studio. And sometimes also as an extra concordance search tool when I need quick access to a specific TM.
      Part 2 of the article is coming…


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