One of the major areas of improvement in the new 2011 version is its improved compatibility with translators/editors/agencies that don’t use Trados Studio. One of my favorite topics during the past two years has been the methods to overcome the various (in)compatibility issues between Studio 2009 and Trados 2007. With the new 2011 version, everything will be much easier, and excuses like “I can’t use Studio because my clients don’t use it” or “I can’t use Studio because my clients need uncleaned Word files” don’t have any merit anymore.
So, how is it done? For a background, you might want to take a look at my earlier articles about this topic in reference to Studio 2009. The first one is here and the second one here. All the options I mention in the first one, such as sending the monolingual translated file and a matching translation memory in TMX format, or using TagEditor files, are all still valid options. The main difference is that if your client really needs an uncleaned Word file you can provide that directly from Studio 2011. With Studio 2009, you had 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 TM from Studio). I covered these two options in the above mentioned second article. However, in Studio 2011, you can open a presegmented bilingual Word file directly in Studio and after translating the file save it in the same format. The translated file would look exactly like it was done in Trados 2007. Note, however, that the file has to be completely presegmented in Trados Workbench first before opening it in Studio.
As I had mentioned before, the SDL blog has a good explanation on how bilingual Word files can be used in the new Studio 2011. You can find the article here. It also shows some other nifty new features, such as quick TM upgrade and new display filters.
I have been using Studio 2011 (beta and RC) for almost two months now and have translated a few bilingual Word files with it. Generally speaking, the process has worked very well and my client got their “old-fashioned” Word file while I was able to use multiple TMs, Auto Suggestion and all the other helpful Studio features. I have encountered some issues with formatting and tags but hopefully those will be fixed in the final release. There are also some unrelated Studio settings that can interfere with the conversion process, but again, I will wait for the final release before commenting on those and show how to avoid the problems.
Another thing that improves compatibility with non-Studio users, is the SDL XLIFF Converter tool that became available last fall. It’s now part of the Studio 2011 package and includes some new settings. Unfortunately, it’s still a separate application and cannot be used from within Studio. However, what’s new is that it gets installed automatically during Studio 2011 installation (together with some other OpenExchange apps) which saves you the installation hassle.
By the way, if you are interested in the other Studio 2011 improvements, you can find more info in the online Help and the SDL Trados Studio 2011 Release Notes. There’s also a Sneak Peek at Studio 2011 webinar on September 21.