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What is the easiest-to-use tool for large Word documents with tables, figures and text boxes?
Thread poster: BNN Medical Tr.

BNN Medical Tr.
Brazil
Local time: 13:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
partial file? Aug 17, 2017

Right. So your downside should be very limited.


You and Samuel seem to be in disagreement. Do you have any comments about the things he said?

The tools can't export partially. I mean, they can export a partial translation, but they can't export a partial file.


I don't understand. If a file is only partial, it's a corrupted file and it's useless. So the exported file is always whole, data-wise. So, with that out of the way, what did you mean with "they can't export a partial file"? Say my file consists of 6 lines of text:

cat
dog
rabbit
wolf
manatee
mantis shrimp

I translate the first three on MemoQ before I decide that there's not enough time to finish it by the deadline next week because I'm still learning the program (yes, I'm a reeeeeaaallllyyy slow worker). If I export it to a docx file, will it be:

gato
cão
coelho
wolf
manatee
mantis shrimp

Or I just can't export it until I translate the last three, for some reason?


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 23:46
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Problems Aug 17, 2017

BNN Medical Translations wrote:

Seriously now, with a CAT tool, if at any point I have technical troubles that are impeding my progress on a document with a tight schedule, I can just export the work so far to a .docx file and the result will be just like the source document, so that I can continue on Word itself as usual, right? It won't horribly break the formatting or anything if I need to go back to translating on Word in an emergency?

I suspect that the answer to the above is yes, it will break it, or you wouldn't be telling me to test it during quiet times. On the other hand, Maija said that MemoQ at least doesn't.

[Edited at 2017-08-16 16:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-16 16:40 GMT]

Let me tell you a horror story. Last week I was editing a 20-pages report in Word using Track Changes and was about halfway through when Word froze and deleted the saved file on my computer.

In this light a CAT tool is no more risky than if you work in Word itself.


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 17:46
German to English
+ ...
I use MemoQ 2015 Aug 17, 2017

for a year. It can freeze but if you have saved (confirmed) translated segments they cannot be deleted from TM. I have translated very large texts up to 150 pages with multiple tables of various kinds and images and the exported text ALWAYS has had the same tables and images in the same places and never has been broken. I don't know about Trados as I hate this CAT and have uninstalled it from my computer but I think that cheap CAT tools are of no use for this purpose. I have worked with F... See more
for a year. It can freeze but if you have saved (confirmed) translated segments they cannot be deleted from TM. I have translated very large texts up to 150 pages with multiple tables of various kinds and images and the exported text ALWAYS has had the same tables and images in the same places and never has been broken. I don't know about Trados as I hate this CAT and have uninstalled it from my computer but I think that cheap CAT tools are of no use for this purpose. I have worked with Fluency and MateCat, they cripple even small files with tables and images.

[Edited at 2017-08-17 03:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:21 GMT]
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CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 16:46
The talent of the programmer matters Aug 17, 2017

Maija Cirule wrote:

I don't know about Trados as I hate this CAT and have uninstalled it from my computer but I think that cheap CAT tools are of no use for this purpose. I have worked with Fluency and MateCat, they cripple even small files with tables and images.


I've translated thousands of manuals (80 - 290 pages) with heavy formatting and lots of images and of course many tables (specs etc. – it's hard to find a manual without a table ) in CafeTran.

Never had any issues at all. So, I don't think that you can say that reasonably priced (or in your words: cheap) CAT tools do a bad job per se.

It all depends on the talent of the programmer.

Whereas tools like Déjà Vu, memoQ, WFP and Studio depend heavily on third-party components, the author of CafeTran has written almost everything himself (except for a few components like the PDF viewer, the spell checker, the database driver etc. as far as I'm aware of).

This means that he has full control over all components, their stability, interaction and speed.

And this is where CafeTran excels.

CafeTran doesn't crash or throw zillions of red error messages (memoQ) or obscure messages like Studio.

With CafeTran you can focus on your work and in the rare occasions that you have a problem, you can depend on the programmer himself to help you.


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 17:46
German to English
+ ...
Maybe Aug 17, 2017

CafeTran Training wrote:

Maija Cirule wrote:

I don't know about Trados as I hate this CAT and have uninstalled it from my computer but I think that cheap CAT tools are of no use for this purpose. I have worked with Fluency and MateCat, they cripple even small files with tables and images.


I've translated thousands of manuals (80 - 290 pages) with heavy formatting and lots of images and of course many tables (specs etc. – it's hard to find a manual without a table ) in CafeTran.

Never had any issues at all. So, I don't think that you can say that reasonably priced (or in your words: cheap) CAT tools do a bad job per se.

It all depends on the talent of the programmer.

Whereas tools like Déjà Vu, memoQ, WFP and Studio depend heavily on third-party components, the author of CafeTran has written almost everything himself (except for a few components like the PDF viewer, the spell checker, the database driver etc. as far as I'm aware of).

This means that he has full control over all components, their stability, interaction and speed.

And this is where CafeTran excels.

CafeTran doesn't crash or throw zillions of red error messages (memoQ) or obscure messages like Studio.

With CafeTran you can focus on your work and in the rare occasions that you have a problem, you can depend on the programmer himself to help you.

I have not tried CafeTrans in the past and will not try it in the future as there exist trillions of various CAT tools promoted by their authors as the best ones in the world. I found it strange that Cafetrans is offered to Plus package subscribers free of charge but in the package I don't see Trados or MemoQ, or some other good CAT tool. Makes me think that the perfect features of CafeTrans may be an exaggeration for marketing purposes. Of course, I might be completely wrong but I believe that good tools for professional translator/carpenter/butcher etc. cannot be cheap.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Not only software Aug 17, 2017

Any software can only be as good as the hardware platform. Some translation software run on Windows, Mac and Linux (Wordfast, OmegaQ), but most others only on Windows. You should have at least two high-resolution monitors and an up-to-date Windows (7 or higher) system.
I found no problems with SDL Studio after version 2011 when reproduction of Word-formatting is concerned. Google Translate has improved very much the last couple of years.
Formatting problems are inevitable, if the tar
... See more
Any software can only be as good as the hardware platform. Some translation software run on Windows, Mac and Linux (Wordfast, OmegaQ), but most others only on Windows. You should have at least two high-resolution monitors and an up-to-date Windows (7 or higher) system.
I found no problems with SDL Studio after version 2011 when reproduction of Word-formatting is concerned. Google Translate has improved very much the last couple of years.
Formatting problems are inevitable, if the target text is longer than the source (like in EN-DE), so no matter what you use you need to make manual adjustments of tables and text boxes after translation.
Good luck!
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:46
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Developer responsiveness Aug 17, 2017

CafeTran Training wrote:
With CafeTran you can focus on your work and in the rare occasions that you have a problem, you can depend on the programmer himself to help you.

I agree with this sentiment. I had forgotten about this but I did a trial of CafeTran. Ultimately, because my clients only ever requested SDL Trados packages, I went with Studio. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with the functionality of CafeTran, the speed with which new features were added and the great, responsive support of the developer. It was also significantly less expensive than the big three tools.

Having thought about it, if I were using a CAT tool only for myself, and not for dealing with packages sent by agencies, CafeTran would be at or very near the top of my list. And I say that as a Trados user.

With regard to Samuel's comments, it is possible for these things to happen. It once happened to me when a known bug in Studio prevented me from exporting the file. It had to do with a comment I had inserted, and after deleting the comment, I was able to export the file. (In any case, I would have been able to copy and paste if the worst came to the worst.)

I should say that Samuel - going by his posts here on the forum - is a pretty advanced user and seems to get involved in some tricky stuff with a wide variety of file formats. Conversely, I do mostly vanilla Word/Excel/PowerPoint files and I have only ever run into problems exporting that one time [EDIT as far as I can remember].

Overall, I guess my views are similar to those expressed above by Lincoln: you are about as likely to get problems with Word (or Excel) as you are from your CAT tool. I certainly wouldn't let it put me off trying CAT tools.

Regards,
Dan

[Edited at 2017-08-17 09:24 GMT]


 

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 16:46
Thanks for your positive remarks! Aug 17, 2017

Dan Lucas wrote:

Having thought about it, if I were using a CAT tool only for myself, and not for dealing with packages sent by agencies, CafeTran would be at or very near the top of my list. And I say that as a Trados user.



I guess that most of the CafeTran users are using it for Studio packages. I certainly do so. And our findings (as in those of the installed user base) are very good.

CafeTran (no -s needed) creates Studio return packages that have never lead to any problems in my daily work.

The two main points that are missing here:

  • Support for tracked changes (Kilgray show that this is technically possible)
  • Support for Multiterm databases (you have to use Glossary Converter etc.)


Expectations are, that reading of comments in Studio's packages will be supported in the next build.

BTW, Dan, perhaps you should exchange some communication with the quite active Japanese translators at the CafeTran Freshdesk (https://cafetran.freshdesk.com/support/discussions ). It is my understanding that they are quite happy with CafeTran.


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:46
Member (1970)
English
Using SDL Trados Studio Aug 17, 2017

Hi,
I would also recommend you do try the trial version of Studio for your work here. For at least a couple of reasons I think you might find it helpful:

1. Studio has a well defined workflow for pharma/medical translation supporting tracked changes in the editor
2. The Fragment Matching feature should help with your repetitive phrases

Certainly I think you should take a look and try it as you evaluate all the tools mentioned here. The trial is free and if
... See more
Hi,
I would also recommend you do try the trial version of Studio for your work here. For at least a couple of reasons I think you might find it helpful:

1. Studio has a well defined workflow for pharma/medical translation supporting tracked changes in the editor
2. The Fragment Matching feature should help with your repetitive phrases

Certainly I think you should take a look and try it as you evaluate all the tools mentioned here. The trial is free and if you need any help or advice on this tool we have a fairly busy community here as well - SDL Community

Regards

Paul
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BNN Medical Tr.
Brazil
Local time: 13:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Trials Aug 17, 2017

I assume the TM databases of all these programs are compatible between each other, so I can pick up where I left off once the trial of one program finishes and I start the next?

 

Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 17:46
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
About Fluency Aug 17, 2017

Maija Cirule wrote:
I have worked with Fluency and MateCat, they cripple even small files with tables and images.

[Edited at 2017-08-17 03:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:21 GMT]


Regarding Fluency, this might have been the case if you referred to Fluency 2011 or 2013 when there was no "Text-only" processing of the source; which is a thing of the past.

Fluency Now works like a charm with complex PDF (other than scanned ones which you have to OCR) and Microsoft Office files. I have translated technical manuals (mostly in PDF format) and economic analyses (in Word only) consisting of 220+ pages, including text boxes and figures, and have had not problems at all.

PS, the developer changed the supported web browser from IE to Chrome.

@ tech-savvy translators
Does this provide more benefits in your opinion?

Regards,
Georgi


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 17:46
German to English
+ ...
It was Aug 17, 2017

Georgi Kovachev wrote:

Maija Cirule wrote:
I have worked with Fluency and MateCat, they cripple even small files with tables and images.

[Edited at 2017-08-17 03:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-17 04:21 GMT]


Regarding Fluency, this might have been the case if you referred to Fluency 2011 or 2013 when there was no "Text-only" processing of the source; which is a thing of the past.

Fluency Now works like a charm with complex PDF (other than scanned ones which you have to OCR) and Microsoft Office files. I have translated technical manuals (mostly in PDF format) and economic analyses (in Word only) consisting of 220+ pages, including text boxes and figures, and have had not problems at all.

PS, the developer changed the supported web browser from IE to Chrome.

@ tech-savvy translators
Does this provide more benefits in your opinion?

Regards,
Georgi


Fluency 2013 and I gave it up a year ago when I acquired MemoQ. Glad to hear that they have improved their CAT tool.


 

Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 17:46
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
The support for Fluency 2013 Aug 17, 2017

has been discontinued for more than two years now. This software was updated with the release of Fluency Now.

All you have to do is select "Text-only Style" when creating the intermediary file of the CAT tool. You may otherwise face problems with files featuring complex formatting.

Regards,
Georgi


 

Nina Esser
Germany
Local time: 16:46
English to German
Answer to queries Aug 17, 2017

I think two of your queries were overlooked, probably because of the delay with which the posts were published/vetted.
As far as I know (I have used Studio, memoQ and, to a lesser extent (fortunately!), Across) TMs can be exchanged between CAT tools without major problems. This can be done by exporting a TM to tmx format, the TM exchange format. You might get slightly lower match rates with a TM imported from another CAT tool because they all handle formatting slightly differently, so they
... See more
I think two of your queries were overlooked, probably because of the delay with which the posts were published/vetted.
As far as I know (I have used Studio, memoQ and, to a lesser extent (fortunately!), Across) TMs can be exchanged between CAT tools without major problems. This can be done by exporting a TM to tmx format, the TM exchange format. You might get slightly lower match rates with a TM imported from another CAT tool because they all handle formatting slightly differently, so they all use slightly different tags. But you will still be able to leverage previous work.
And when you export an unfinished translation, anything that has not been translated will show in the source language (as in your example).
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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:46
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
More or less Aug 17, 2017

BNN Medical Translations wrote:

I assume the TM databases of all these programs are compatible between each other, so I can pick up where I left off once the trial of one program finishes and I start the next?


They are more or less compatible with each other. Any modern CAT tool can import the TMX file from any other CAT tool. But the (relatively minor) problem is that CAT tools tend not to segment documents in exactly the same way as each other. So when you import a TMX file into another tool, it might not be a perfect match. This is not usually a major problem, because when you pretranslate from the TM, a few mismatched segments will be empty, but you can still find the missing text in the TM and copy it in.

[Edited at 2017-08-17 17:24 GMT]


 
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