Archive for March, 2010

Trados vs. SDLX vs. ?

For the longest time I assumed that I was the only translator out there who preferred SDLX over Trados. I assumed that I just needed to get to know it better, that I needed some training and more practise, and that it would be all wonderful and magical.

So I took a course. Nothing. No light bulb.

I assumed that maybe I had only touched the basics and that maybe I just didn’t “get” it. But then today I stumbled across this blog (granted, the post is a few months old) and it all became clear: It wasn’t me!

To be fair, I have only ever used SDLX and Trados. I tried Wordfast once, couldn’t figure it out, cast it aside. I haven’t given any other CAT tool the benefit of the doubt as I always assumed Trados was the market leader and that it is arguably the preferred tool of most agencies.

So why do I prefer SDLX?

1) The original text is on the left, the translation is on the right. I can easily scroll up and down to refer to other sections, and I can easily read every one of them if and when I want to. I find Trados very challenging to read once you close a segment – all these tags get in the way, and the original and the translation are essentially on the same line. Granted, the formatting in SDLX can be a bit messy, too, especially if the original was not perfectly formatted beforehand. And proof-reading a text is a whole different ball game. But still.

2) Multiterm vs. Termbase. Multiterm in a separate window and matching terms not even showing up when I have the relevant segment open? What’s all that about? I want suggestions right while I’m translating! Thank you SDLX! Even if creating a Termbase is not as user friendly as I would like.

3) I want my Translation Memory to show me suggestions in the same window – not in some separate popup window that I always have to have in focus. No time for that – I might have dictionaries or other browser windows open that I need to refer to.

So what exactly is all the fuss about? Or is there even a fuss about Trados? I get the part about project management, and I have happily used Synergy to manage some of my projects. I find it quite alright. But once you finalize a project, there is no going back to it – and that is definitely not in my interest as I may indeed need to re-open it (not saying that I ever closed a project and then, panic-stricken, realized that I had to make last minute changes. Just sayin’).

Conclusion? I will keep using SDLX unless someone tells me otherwise. It’s simple, effective, and it works!

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