ATA 2011 Conference Presentation: Working with non-Trados Studio Clients/Translators

I promised last week at the ATA conference in Boston that I will post a summary of my presentation here. You can download the slides with some additional notes by clicking the image on the left. The presentation will also be available through the ATA eConference.

However, here’s a brief summary for those in a hurry:

I reviewed various incompatibility scenarios from translator (and LSP) point of view and offered solutions so that Studio-users can utilize the benefits of Studio even if their clients/translators still use Trados 2007. I have covered these methods and scenarios in various articles on this blog during the past year or so. The list below includes links to those articles for more details.

Five ways to be compatible with Trados 2007 project flow

1. Deliver translated file and matching TM

2. Translate as a TagEditor (TTX) file in Studio

3. Bilingual Word table with SDL XLIFF Converter

4. Translate as a bilingual “uncleaned” Trados Workbench file in Studio
– possible in Studio 2011

5. Translate first in Studio and then retranslate in Trados Workbench using the same TM

In addition, I also talked about how to translate documents in Studio when only parts of a document need to be translated, such as with DéjàVu export tables.

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ATA Webinar about Converting and Translating PDF Files

I will be teaching a one-hour webinar on September 22, titled Working with PDF Files–Part 2: Converting and Translating PDF Files. It’s not meant to be a Trados Studio webinar but it will discuss the main problems in translating PDF files in general. You can find more about the content and registration following the above link.

Upgrading, Importing and Exporting Translation Memories in Trados Studio 2009

Another issue that seems to create some confusion among Studio users are the various ways that other file formats can be used to create TM content in Studio. I had prepared an additional handout on this for last Sunday’s workshops in Boulder, so I thought to share it here as well. By the way, just to brag a little, both workshops were sold out and the participants seemed to be very happy with Studio. I have also noticed a clear increase in training requests by individual translators and translation companies. So it looks like the migration is picking up some speed…

Anyhow, here’s the info about upgrading TMs and importing files to existing TMs. You can also download the actual handout (incl. the pretty picture) from here in PDF format (new version, updated on May 18).

Upgrading, Importing and Exporting Translation Memories in Trados Studio 2009

In addition to the normal interactive translation, Trados Studio memory content can be created from existing translation memories and from certain bilingual files. The method used (upgrading a TM or importing) depends on the source file and whether a new or existing Studio TM will be used.

1. Translation memories as the source

Source tool File type Command in Studio
Trados 2007SDLX TMW, TXT, TMXMDB, TMX Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation Memories
Other CAT tools TMX Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: File > Import
Trados Studio SDLTM Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation MemoriesWith the upgrade function you can merge several SDLTM memories (and other compatible file types) into one or several new Studio TMs.
In addition, an individual TM can be easily copied (and renamed) outside Studio (in Windows Explorer) to create a new matching TM.

2. Bilingual documents as the source

Source tool File type Command in Studio
Trados StudioTrados 2007SDLX SDLXLIFFTTX (TagEditor)ITD TM view: File > Import

NOTE: Content imported from bilingual documents will also include Context Match data, so it’s advantageous to use them as the source.

3. Exporting Studio memories

Studio memories can be exported only as TMX files (TM view: File > Export).

4. Summary (compatible file types for each method)

Upgrade: TMW, MDB, TMX, TXT, SDLTM

Import: TMX, SDLXLIFF, TTX, ITD

Copying outside Studio (Windows Explorer): SDLTM

Export: TMX

Translation Memory Fields – What, Where, Why And How?

Sure, I promised earlier to write the second part of the Working with Non-Studio Clients article, and it’s coming, but meanwhile I thought to share with you this handout that I had prepared for my workshops a few months ago. It basically reviews the various functions for TM fields and how these fields can be used in Studio. Having all this complex info in one place, makes it easier to comprehend.

One could argue that TM fields are not as important in Studio as they were in Trados 2007 where they made it possible to have multiple translations for the same source segment if the TM field values were different. This was very useful because you were able to use only one TM at a time. (You can find more information about using TM fields in Trados 2007 from here.) Since Studio allows multiple TM’s, it’s not as important anymore for that purpose. However, as you can see from the handout, there are still many good reasons to use TM fields in Studio, particularly for TM management. And since the functional problems in the feature were fixed in SP3 and it now works much better, I don’t really see a reason why not to use it.

TM fields are somewhat more complicated to set up and use compared to how they worked in Trados 2007 but with a little practice they can eventually become almost an automatic part of your translation process. I do have to say though that I don’t like the cumbersome way that the preset list-type field values are selected from the list but I guess I just have to get used to it. In any case, you can download the handout from here.

Trados Studio 2009 – Migrate or Not to Migrate

My presentation last week at the ATA conference was well received and I got a lot of positive feedback and had interesting discussions with many Trados users afterwards. I wanted to summarize the main points of the presentation here for those of you who weren’t there. You can download the presentation slides from here. The presentation will also be available through the ATA eConference.

First of all, Trados Studio offers several very good new features that make translation work faster and more efficient, such as the possibility to use multiple TMs, AutoSuggest feature, improved interface with MultiTerm, display filtering, Context Match concept, almost tag-free editing environment, real-time word counter, wider selection of supported file formats, SDL Exchange program and easier project management. These are all features that in my opinion make it worth upgrading to Studio in most cases.

However, there are also some downsides that one should take into consideration when deciding whether to migrate or not. These are mainly compatibility-related issues, such as the lack of support for bilingual (uncleaned) Word files and the extra work one needs to import/export TMs between Studio and Trados Workbench, particularly if one needs to use both versions regularly. Other downsides include the learning curve, the restrictions on using TMs of different language variants in the same project, inability to edit source segments and the lack of (functioning) Finnish spell checker.

Based on the user survey (154 responses) I did, the most common reason why Trados users haven’t started using Studio yet is that their clients haven’t asked them. I find that a strange reason – you don’t need to wait for your clients (or anyone else for that matter) to tell you to start using a new, more efficient tool. How about showing some of your own initiative? I would say that the only situation where Studio doesn’t work that well is if you need to deliver uncleaned Word files to most of your clients. Sometimes I translate projects like these first in Studio and then retranslate them in Word using the same TM content, because that allows me to utilize all those Studio features I mentioned above, but I do admit that this is not always the most practical way of doing it. However, before giving up Studio because of the Word file issue, check that your client really needs those uncleaned files and wouldn’t be happy with just the translated monolingual file and TM. The upcoming SDLX Converter application (I wrote more about it in my earlier posting) will definitely be helpful in some of these scenarios where one needs to work with non-Studio users but it does not completely eliminate the need for a filter that would allow us to convert SDXLIFF files to the traditional “uncleaned” Word format and back. Hopefully, both of these options will be available soon.

If you have already upgraded but are still hesitant about using Studio, learn more about its features and start using it. Investing in learning to use it efficiently will pay itself back quickly. If you haven’t upgraded yet, find out more about Studio from other users (users that are using the latest Service Packs), SDL webinars, videos, tutorials, and testing the trial version. If you like it, review the potential incompatibility issues to see how well Studio would fit into your project flow situations and if any changes are needed. With all that information, you should be able to make a good and educated decision about whether or not to migrate to Studio now