Trados is one of the most popular translation
software tools with more than 170,000 users worldwide (as per company website). It has been in existence since 25 years having been founded by Trados GmbH in 1984 as a language service provider. The founder company was acquired by SDL International in 2005. The latest version of Trados software is SDL Trados Studio 2009 SP1.
The SDL Trados Studio 2009 is a set of software suite with 3 main components:
- A module that can translate files, create and manage translation memories
- A terminology tool called MultiTerm that stores approved terminology and used by Translator’s Workbench
- A Translator’s Workbench that provides the basic platform to manage translation projects, a Tag Editor and SDLX. There are also specialized tools for translating graphical user interfaces and aligning source documents with already created translations
Translation Memory (TM) is an important component of the software suite that can speed up translation work. It allows reuse of previously translated content for future projects. The content is stored in TM. There are modules to ensure quality assurance by improving consistency. They can identify potential punctuation, terminology and inconsistency errors.
Translation of graphical user interface projects is made easier by the visual localization software module, SDL Passolo Essential. Another important feature of SDL Trados is its built in project management tool. It aids in managing translation
projects by managing languages, files and project deadlines.
The terminology management tool MultiTerm ensures terminology accuracy by making the correct term available during translation. The latest SP1 has the following improvements from the previous version:
- More than 100 reliability and legacy file format related bugs have been resolved
- The suite can now handle larger files and memory usage speedily
- Latest operating systems like Windows Vista, Windows 7 etc can be used with the software suite
- The software localization tool Passlo Essential can now be launched from the Studio 2009 itself
Apart from the above SDL Trados Studio 2009 SP1 has new RevelX TM engine has added features like Context Match and multiple TM lookup. It also has predictive text functionality, real time preview, and fast application of text formatting, tags, variables and placeables. The suite can handle files in large no. of formats like Adobe FrameMaker, InDesign, TTX, ITD, Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, OpenOffice, QuarkXPress, PageMaker, Interleaf, HTML, SGML, and SVG.
SDL uses open standards in its software development methodology. It enables easier sharing of files, translation
memories and term bases between other tools that also support XLIFF (a file format for translation), TMX (for translation memories) and TBX (for terminology databases). In short, Trados with its large user base has an edge over other commercially available translation tools because of constant user feedback and incorporation of the same newer versions.