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: http://translationmusings.com/2009/06/26/trados-just-keeps-drivin-em-away/. 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!

  1. Testing avatar image

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  3. Surely with the release of Trados Studio 2009 your comment that SLDX is more practical because the translation is on the right, the source on the left is no longer relevant, as it basically follows the same concept. Hard to figure out, yes, but also incredibly powerful. It is certainly the market reader for a reason. On the contrary, the fact that they continue to do everything wrong (their software is buggy and hard to figure out, the pricing adventurous to say the least) AND still are the market leaders shows that it is just the better software than its competitors.

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