Alexandra, First of all, I wanted to confirm the excellent advice you got from Ann Zdunczyk, Diane Gaskill and others. I have worked for a LSP (Language Services Provider, or Translation Vendor) for nearly 10 years and with FrameMaker for nearly 20 years; about 80% of our clients use FrameMaker for documentation.
Yes, translating Word projects do tend to cost more for many of the reasons listed earlier (embedded graphics being replaced, etc.) Word files are prone to crash when file size exceeds 1 meg and section breaks are extremely troublesome with auto numbering and other formatting. We have actually assisted some customers in migrating from Word to FrameMaker in order to reduce their translation costs. (This is appropriate for customers who have technical document content that resembles a FrameMaker project in complexity and volume.) TRADOS uses a form of RTF file format, so technically Word files do not have to be converted to be translated via TRADOS. However, this does not make Word files less expensive to translate. In pre-processing for translation, FrameMaker files must be saved to MIF, and then S_Tagger converts the MIF to a customized form of RTF required by Trados. Special RTF character tags are used to label text as fixed-tags, movable-tags, do-not-translate text, or regular to-be-translated text. The pre-processing engineering steps required for FrameMaker files do not adversely affect the project budget. All of our customers send us binary FrameMaker files. It is less expensive to have your LSP do the "save as MIF" for you, rather than take up the extra server space (and FTP bandwidth) with large MIF files. Graphics are always externally referenced, and a relative pathname to the graphics directory can help reduce project time. There is some publishing time required by the LSP on post-translated files. Structured FrameMaker saved as XML has several advantages over basic FrameMaker, in translation post-processing and publishing, which I will cover in my presentation "Optimizing FrameMaker for Localization (translation)" at the upcoming FrameMaker 2006 Chautauqua. Several people who responded to your questions mentioned that LSPs will charge you for translating "every word" even if there is up-to-date translation memory. Though this is technically true, be aware that previously translated text (an "exact match" in Trados) will be charged at a much lower rate than a "fuzzy match" or un-translated text. Your LSP can use special tools to compare your latest FrameMaker content with the previous version and get an accurate word count on how much content has changed. I also wanted to affirm what someone else said: you "own" the translation memory that your LSP creates or updates. You can request it at any time if you decide to try out a different vendor. Correctly updated Translation Memory (TM) is often a problem with less-expensive vendors. TM is becoming more portable due to new standards like TMX. I have occasionally observed clients trying out "cheaper" translation vendors; if they are using FrameMaker, they nearly always come back to us. Cheaper per-word rates do not make up for poor translation quality, lack of TM management and lost document integrity in your FrameMaker files. Maxwell Hoffmann Manager of Consulting & Training Solutions ENLASO Corporation T: 805 494 9571 * F: 805 435 1920 E: mhoffmann at translate.com ENLASO Corporation provides quality enterprise language solutions and exceeds client expectations through continuing research, development, and implementation of effective localization processes and technologies. Visit: www.translate.com for more information or to subscribe to our complimentary localization newsletter. ================================= Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 12:12:13 -0400 From: "Alexandra Duffy" <adu...@nemetschek.net> Subject: Translation questions To: <framers at lists.frameusers.com> Message-ID: <D95492FBBB38E9479AE33C0FC06AC0FC681568 at EXCHANGE.nemetschek.net> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Hello, We recently translated our documentation set (two manuals, about 1,600 pages) into Spanish. This wasn't a very smooth process, but it was accomplished by sending our .mif files to the translator, who uses TRADOS. The translator was selected based on the lowest bid. The translator did create the database files that are used for facilitating future translation; however, once we got the files back from them, there were so many errors and changes required that we question the usefulness of the database files. Our Spanish FrameMaker files are now significantly different from the files that they gave to us. [snip] If you are still using unstructured FrameMaker and translating your text through several versions, I would like to know: * What your companies do to mark text that has changed? How do you move the translation up to the next version? * Can't translators take the latest mif files from you and use TRADOS to identify what has changed? * What if the database from the translator is out-of-date? Can't they build a new one based on new files? * Is there really a difference in this process (re:TRADOS) if we used Word? I think we're making this way harder than it needs to be and would appreciate your input. Please, can you CC: aduffy at nemetschek.net, as I am on the digest. Thanks, Alexandra Duffy Senior Technical Writer Nemetschek NA