How do you eat an elephant? Well, of course we don’t really want to eat an elephant, we love elephants! But if we did want to eat something that large we’d do it in bite sized chunks! This is something that is particularly relevant when working with large resources such as translation memories or terminology that is freely available from a number of places on the internet. I’ve addressed this before in various articles… these two are particularly relevant to the topic I’m addressing today:
Ever since the release of Studio 2009 we have had the concept of Language Resource Templates, and ever since the release of Studio 2009 I’d risk a bet that most users don’t know what they’re for or how to use them. To be fair this is hardly a surprise since their use is actually quite limited out of the box and access to the goodies inside is pretty hard to get at. It’s been something I used to see users complain about a long time ago but for some years now I rarely see them mentioned anymore. This article, I hope, might change that.
There are three things that have stood out for me this year. The first is how much support SDL have provided to their users to make sure they are able to work successfully with their investment. The second is how little many users are aware of this, and the third is just how many users have used Trados for a decade or more and were not aware of what a support & maintenance contract can bring you. This last one has been the biggest surprise to me as I’ve spoken to people who thought a support contract was more than the cost of the software; to people who thought it was support only and to people who didn’t know SDL provided any support at all! So, one of my resolutions for 2019 will be to try and make sure that all our users are more aware of how to get help, even if they don’t want to purchase a support & maintenance contract. So, I’ll cover these things:
- Support & Maintenance Contract
- SDL Community
- The Customer Experience Team
- The SDL AppStore Team
- The SDL Marketing Team
- Customer Experience Program
When I write these articles I always start with thinking about the image at the top. I do this for two reasons, the first is because it usually helps me think of some bizarre introduction (like this!) that helps me start writing, and the second is because every now and again I like to play around with Gimp which is the free image software I occassionally use. It’s always nice to spend a little time doing something frivolous because it’s good thinking time without being distracted by the job! I don’t really know how to use this software at all, but it’s fun seeing what turns out… and I confess I often use a combination of powerpoint and Gimp simply because some things are just easier in powerpoint! Eventually I might actually learn how to use it properly… I’ll keep practicing anyway.
Studio 2019 has arrived and it brings with it some nice features on the surface, and some important improvements under the hood… but it also brings with it a lot more upgrades than just Studio, and I don’t just mean MultiTerm! The SDL AppStore is one of the unique benefits you get when you work on the SDL technology stack and there are hundreds of apps available that can provide additional resources, custom filetypes, file converters, productivity enhancements, manuals, etc. When you upgrade your version of Studio you are also going to have to upgrade your apps. Many of the apps are maintained by the SDL Community team and these have all been upgraded ready for use in Studio 2019, but the majority have been created and maintained by others. I’ve written this article to explain what you need to look out for as a user of SDL Trados Studio or MultiTerm, and also as a reference guide for the developers who might have missed the important information that was sent out to help them with the process. Continue reading “Upgrading apps in the SDLAppstore…”
It could be said that translators come into the industry for the love of language, and the creative nature of the work, writing beautiful translations that at least do justice to the original texts. It might even be true for many… but let’s face it, very few people can afford to do this for a full career without thinking about the money! So it’s all the more surprising to me that translation vendors don’t provide a mechanism for dealing with the money in their toolsets. Sure, you can have an analysis that can be used as the basis of a quote or an invoice, but you don’t see anywhere that deals with the money! The larger Translation Management Systems have features for doing this, or they integrate with larger Enterprise systems for accounting and project management, but what about the translators? How do they manage their business?
Well… there are applications on the SDL AppStore that can help with this in some ways. For example:
- SDL InQuote – an interesting, sometimes problematic application, that can allow you to create quotes and invoices based on the analysis files in your Studio projects
- Post-Edit Compare – a wonderful application that in addition to carrying out a post-edit analysis of the work you are doing can put a value to it based on your rates. But it doesn’t create quotes or invoices.
- Qualitivity – another wonderful application that in addition to tracking just about everything you do in Studio can put a value to it based on the post-edit analysis or on a time basis. But it doesn’t create quotes or invoices either.
There’s always been the occasional question appearing on the forums about data protection, particularly in relation to the use of machine translation, but as of the 25th May 2018 this topic has a more serious implication for anyone dealing with data in Europe. I’ve no intention of making this post about the GDPR regulations which come into force in May 2016 and now apply, you’ll have plenty of informed resources for this and probably plenty of opinion in less informed places too, but just in case you don’t know where to find reliable information on this here’s a few places to get you started:
With the exception of working under specific requirements from your client, Europe has (as far as I’m aware) set out the only legal requirements for dealing with personal data. They are comprehensive however and deciphering what this means for you as a translator, project manager or client in the translation supply chain is going to lead to many discussions around what you do, and don’t have to do, in order to ensure compliance. I do have faith in an excellent publication from SDL on this subject since I’m aware of the work that gone into it, so you can do worse than to look at this for a good understanding of what the new regulations mean for you.
I’m pretty sure that when we started to build the new Customer Experience Team in Cluj last year that there was nothing in the job description about being competitive… but wow, they are!!! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t competitive, because I know I am, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had these kinds of feelings that keep me up at night.
To some extent I think the training requirements at SDL are the perfect fuel for this type of environment and I haven’t made up my mind yet whether it’s healthy or not. But in their roles the team speak with customers through the online chat, in the community, via email… basically anywhere anyone comes in with a question because they don’t have a support contract or an account manager to ask and they didn’t know about the SDL Community which is of course the best place to go for help. To be able to answer the variety of technical questions we see, all the team have either completed or are working through the various SDL Certifications available at a rate of knots and are learning more about the sort of problems faced by translators and project managers just by having to help people every day. They are doing a fantastic job!
In the years that the SDL AppStore has been around I get asked one question on a fairly regular basis… “How can I find out about new apps or updates to existing apps?”. A very reasonable question of course and one that has not been addressed particularly well, albeit there have been ways to keep yourself informed. The ultimate solution we all want to see is the AppStore embedded into SDL Trados Studio, but as that isn’t going to happen for a while here’s a couple of ways you can still keep yourself aware of the updates. The first is via twitter and this has been around for a while; the second is using an RSS feed which is brand new as of today!
Using stylesheets to enhance the translators experience when working with XML files can be very helpful and sometimes essential. It allows you to pull details from the XML and display them in a preview pane so that the translator has more context around the translatable text. It can also provide a mechanism for displaying text that you don’t want extracted from the XML for translation at all. This is nothing new of course and localisation engineers and experienced translators have been doing this for years. In fact I’ve even written about this in the past providing a simple example of how it’s done and some reading resources for anyone who would like to learn how. So why am I bringing this up again?