Trados 2007 or Studio 2009?

The new generation of Trados, SDL Trados Studio 2009, has been around for some time. I have been using both tools on a daily basis and acquired some good insight into the processes connected with the Studio that differ from Trados 2007 experience. Has the time already come for Trados 2007 users to buy a new version, or the “old” version is still good enough?As we all know well, freelance translators generally have two types of clients. The first group comprises agencies of all sorts, while the other one are direct clients (“end-consumers” of our work). If you are a lucky one, you have well and on-time paying direct clients. As for agencies, the situation is simple – they request the CAT tool to be used…no arguing is allowed. But how about clients that just give you a source text and do not care what kind of CAT tool you use for translation, if any?

The split of my client base is about 70:30 (agencies prevail). For those 30% of clients, I was using SDL Trados 2007 exclusively. Until recently… Well-established habits require a great deal of effort to change, even if the benefits are obvious. People feel lazy, because the things have worked well until now, so why to change?

In the past, I tried SDLX for several projects, but have never developed a “passion” for this tool. It is not bad, but I especially disliked the format painting method and it also did not provide all necessary functions. I have started using the new Studio 2009 for several clients a few months ago, and after some run-in period (when I struggled a bit), I developed a kind of understanding and liking for the tool. Despite this, when I receive a project from any of my direct clients, the first thing I do is double-clicking the Translator’s Workbench icon.

I understand that we should go ahead and start using new technologies. On the other hand, I feel that the new version of Trados has not brought me anything that I should consider a revolutionary development as SDL advertises. It is nice to have everything in a single window, from the TM search results window, translation editor, through to project statistics data (Studio), but, among others, I like the freedom of organizing the data as I prefer (in Studio, we have a fixed folder structure, and so on).

For those who are not required to use the Studio 2009 by their customers, I would recommend waiting with the investment and continue using SDL Trados 2007. The benefits of the new software are not great enough to substantiate corresponding investment. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you will have to purchase the Studio sooner or later, because agencies are slowly switching to the Studio. So, start saving money…

What is your viewpoint? Do you have anything that would substantiate the investment into the new software, even if it is not required by your clients? Share your ideas…

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