Trados, North and South

By Nina Bogdan (SF) and Elena McDonnell and Valérie Chataignier (LA)

In addition to the Trados workshops he conducted in the Bay Area this summer, NCTA president Tuomas Kostiainen took his show on the road: to LA, where he spread the Trados (and NCTA!) gospel to our  Southern California colleagues.

San Francisco

Prior to the Trados Workshop for Beginners held on April 21, 2007, participants were asked to download a trial version of Trados by the class instructor, Tuomas Kostiainen. Egads! Unfamiliar and suspect software on my pristine new laptop—what evils will it perpetrate? Nevertheless, I proceeded to download the software from the SDL Trados website and was relieved when worlds didn’t collide.

Tuomas methodically followed his written class outline, spending a significant portion of the class on “The Very Basics”: arranging the desktop, preparing Word, opening and creating a translation memory and then, voila, starting to translate. Next, we edited the translated text, cleaned up the translated file, and were given tips on what to do if we damaged the segment markers while translating. Finally, we talked about more advanced subjects, such as changing the color scheme, choosing a minimum match value, translation unit setup, and substitution localization.

Trados is a tool that becomes more useful as it is used. The more translations completed and the more information in the translation memory, the more helpful Trados becomes to the translator. NB

Los Angeles

The atmosphere was very casual at our Trados Workshop for Beginners at the La Quinta hotel in LA on May 5th, and Tuomas’s occasional witty jokes made the workshop even more enjoyable. He started with the basic terms that every translator working with Trados needed to know. Then we proceeded to the hands-on part of the class—this was the only workshop that weekend where we were using our laptops, following the teacher’s examples projected on a large screen.

At the end of the day, not only did I feel more technologically advanced and more confident of my work with Trados, but I was also very impressed with how open for questions, and willing to share knowledge our trainer and his assistants were. As Tuomas jokingly mentioned in the very beginning, he does “not work for Trados, and all [he] ever received from SDL was a couple of lousy t-shirts.” However, his passion for translation and technology, and genuine desire to help his fellow translators to make their job easier, more enjoyable while improving quality, are really “beyond the basics.” ED

Having learned the ease of using the Trados Translator’s Workbench at our Trados Workshop for Beginners in San Francisco, I became curious about what other Trados 7.0 features lay beyond segment-based translation memory in Word. So I jetted down to LA for another Trados workshop masterfully presented to our Southern California peers by Tuomas Kostiainen: The Basics and Beyond: TagEditor and Multiterm, held at La Quinta LAX on May 6, 2007.

After an intensive day of instruction, I can highly recommend attending future meetings and seminars at this venue. It provides a comfortable and entertaining setting for “translorial” discourse at a very reasonable rate and takes no more travel time than public transit to SF from the South Bay. Amidst the pulsing waves of incoming tide and brushed by briny breeze, one can learn still more from our colleagues in the vast LA area. VC

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