Tuesday, 28 January 2014

SDL Trados Studio 2014 - How badly do we want it?

          
      SDL’s products are certainly no stranger to anyone who’s even remotely connected with the translation industry. Something that is plainly obvious is that it was with the launch of Trados 2007 that the industry started producing immense turnaround volumes within severely short deadlines - much shorter than they ever were before the advent of Trados 2007. While there were obviously Trados versions before this one, to our mind it was 2007 that marked the real start to the era of segmented translations. Now, while successfully avoiding the expression “next generation”, SDL is on the verge of launching their newest and beefiest product - SDL Trados Studio 2014. We have taken the liberty of using our resources and knowledge to take a highly interesting look at what is awaited from the new software package and also to work out just how badly we might actually need it. 
        Something that has taken a great deal more time than it should have is document aligning, known in Trados as WinAlign, which is finally being integrated into the newest version of SDL Trados Studio. What WinAlign does at its most basic level is to help to create parallel texts and translation memories as a final product from documents that have not been translated in any bilingual file form. This function is a personal favourite, mostly due to the fact that there still exists a small percentage of people in the pool of translatorswho do not consider any CAT tool to be a must-have. WinAlign has helped us to maintain our extensive translation memories in a format that has constantly been updated and systemised. There was probably a very good reason for holding back for so long with WinAlign, but are we happy that it has finally arrived? How could we not be!

        
        What Microsoft already started way back in 2007, SDL has now implemented in the form of intuitive “User Interface” groups in order to increase the user experience. This might be a personal view, but neither myself nor any of my fellow project managers find it to be exceptionally helpful. From discussions with other colleagues, and enquiries for their views on the matter, we have concluded that while it might help to integrate SDL Studio 2014 into everyday active use faster than with the previous two versions, those people who will be using this system on a daily basis would still prefer the old-fashioned, systemised way of accessing things.
         The final step that we’re discussing in our first blog is the video tutorial function that was introduced in SDL’s final product. When it comes to its use by project managers, we find this to be something that is extremely helpful. Prior to this, it was mostly us who were doing all the tutoring. It’s nice to know that we finally have some help. In addition, we consider this to be another step towards a faster transition into the next version because, as we may well know, translators and project managers still have no problem when it comes to working with the previous three versions of the product. The video tutorial feature is a great way for new users to ease themselves into using software that is generally considered to have revolutionised the translation industry. We’d like to offer Trados a hearty thanks for this welcome addition.
       Apart from the three features that we’ve pointed out here, the new software packs in a whole lot more, such as document preview, instant terminology list creation, and more intuitive translation memory usage. Overall, it will feel just the same as the good old Studio versions; however the new software package delivers a good many new items to the table that were very much in demand. Despite the fact that the newly-marketed features are on a par with the general level of expectancy, it would also not be impossible to ship them out with the previous version as well. That aside, we are very much looking forward to the release of the new version and we hope that the video tutorials will be utilised in order to introduce the software to an even greater number of people in the ever-expanding pool of translators. 

Author Didzis Grauss
Project Manager/Baltic Media Ltd