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The Devil You Know

At last month’s ATA conference in Orlando, many attending translators were wandering the exhibition hall checking out translation memory software in the hope of finding the product to replace Trados. The promise of translation memory interchangeability seemed to make this quest almost possible.

Naomi de Moraes has a post on the website of the ATA Language Technology Division about Wordfast. Most interesting is a user report, referenced in the comments to Naomi’s post, cautioning about claims of memory compatibility. Anybody thinking about switching from Trados to another tool and not telling their clients since the memories are supposedly compatible should read this report.

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One Response to “The Devil You Know”

  1. Mr. Chama’s user report needs to be taken with a big grain of salt in many respects. While the actual data presented is quite plausible (based on my own experience) given his approaches, those approaches are by no means the optimal ones for tool interoperability. In particular, his approach to doing TTX files in non-Trados environments is simply bone-headed and does not reflect the integrated approach typically used by translators who prefer to use other environments for the primary translation work. Where SDL Trados is used as a pre-processing and possibly a post-processing QA tool, there are no difficulties or incompatibilities.
    Migration of TM data via TMX or other formats is indeed a rather lossy pain in the neck. The cleanest way I have found to migrate the data from Trados is to load the uncleaned files into the other environment (DVX for example) and feed the data to the TM from there.
    The segmentation argument is often misleading, because the structure of many source documents leads to lousy segmentation with SDL Trados defaults, and in many cases a translator will make manual corrections. In such cases (lots of line breaks after periods come to mind) you will not see 100% of your document matched from the TM. Only by robotic processing of the default segmentation will this occur. So I presegment in SDL Trados, leave the default segmentation mess for the lazy ones who insist on keeping bad default segmentation, and I import the lot into DVX where I restructure the segments as I see fit. The exported result is a Trados uncleaned file with that original default segmentation.

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