SDL Pricing Riddle
Auteur du fil: Andreas Krabbe

Andreas Krabbe
Chine
Local time: 05:34
chinois vers allemand
+ ...
Nov 4, 2020

Background:
We are a small international service provider based in China. Our team of 3 deals with a yearly translation workload of about 50.000 characters+words (En, De, Zh). So far, we have translated mostly by hand and a little bit with SmartCat. But in order to merge workflows, TMs, TBs etc. we decided to inquire some CAT vendors.

Problem:
We got a demonstration by SDL China. Their first quotation:
38.000¥ (~5.700$) SDL Trados Studio 2021 Professional(Single-U
... See more
Background:
We are a small international service provider based in China. Our team of 3 deals with a yearly translation workload of about 50.000 characters+words (En, De, Zh). So far, we have translated mostly by hand and a little bit with SmartCat. But in order to merge workflows, TMs, TBs etc. we decided to inquire some CAT vendors.

Problem:
We got a demonstration by SDL China. Their first quotation:
38.000¥ (~5.700$) SDL Trados Studio 2021 Professional(Single-User), discounted to 20.000¥ (~3.000$)
45.000¥ (~6.700$) SDL Trados Live Team 12 month term
Total: 65.000¥ (9.700$)

After inquiring about cheaper options, we received a second quotation, this time in USD:
2.8950$ (~19.400¥) SDL Trados Studio 2021 Professional(Single-User), discounted to 2.500$¥ (~16.700¥)
1.800$ (~12.000¥) SDL Trados Live Team Starter - Projects, TM, Terminology, 20 million words, 3 Team Users, 1 Online Editor User - 12-month term
Total: 4.300$ (~28.8000¥)

To put that in perspective: Given a somewhat generous rate of 500¥/1000 characters/words, our yearly costs for outsourcing the whole translation process would amount to ~25.000¥ (3.700$).

Question:
What is your experience with SDL's pricing, especially their cloud-products (Live Team)? In addition: What is your experience with them regarding long-term cooperation and trustworthyness? I ask because I am, honestly, a little bit deterred by their outreach. I have been unable to find any useful information on their website, their downloadable product briefs are useless at best, and communication with their sales department has been as profitable as going to the zoo. My concers are mainly the following two: Given their obvious habit of hiding prices, I am afraid to encounter additional fees after the first purchase. Additionally, given what seems to be a huge difference in the listing price for the desktop verion in China and elsewhere, plus their willingness to just discount about 56% of their initial quotation, I have the impression, they arbitrarily set prices trying to squeeze the customer.

I appreciate any comments you have.
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Pays-Bas
Local time: 22:34
Membre (2006)
anglais vers afrikaans
+ ...
@Andreas Nov 4, 2020

Andreas Krabbe wrote:
What is your experience with SDL's pricing, especially their cloud-products (Live Team)?


I can only speak as a freelance translator using their Freelance (i.e. non-Professional) version. Trados has three sets of prices for the Freelance version, namely an official price listed on the web site, a semi-permanently discounted price (sometimes also listed on their web site) which is about 15-25% cheaper, and an unlisted poor-country price (for countries where the exchange rate makes the product otherwise very expensive) which is about 50% cheaper. In addition, the in-country representatives sometimes have the authority to give additional discounts if they think they see a good opportunity. So, I don't see anything untoward about the prices that they offer.

I am afraid to encounter additional fees after the first purchase.


I have no experience with the products that they are trying to sell you, but for the Freelance version, there are no hidden fees. You have to pay extra if you want "support" and you have to pay an annual fee if you buy any of their subscription-based products, obviously.

The "Starter" version is subscription based (it is also possible to get the Freelance version on a subscription basis). The Starter version meant to be a cheaper option (it's about 20% of the price of the Freelance version) for people who don't want all the features. You can see a quick comparison of the features here:

https://www.sdltrados.com/products/trados-studio/editions-comparison.html

I'm not convinced that you need to buy the Professional version. Can you tell us what the Professional version offers you that the Freelance version would not offer you? Where I'm located (Netherlands), the cost of one Professional version is about the same as three Freelance Plus versions. Why can't you just buy one Freelance version plus two Starter subscriptions (or three Freelance versions)? Is there a limitation on the Freelance version that you can't use it in an office where there are multiple translators?

Added: wait a second... you said:
In order to merge workflows, TMs, TBs etc. ...

...but you can't use TBs with the Starter version of Trados.

Well, you *can* use TBs in the Starter version, but only if they are part of a package. And you can only create packages with a Professional version, so perhaps that is the logic behind the offer to sell you a Professional version plus a few Starter versions. (I'm not sure if translators who use the Starter version can add terms to the TB, but I imagine that that would be something important to you.)


[Edited at 2020-11-04 12:44 GMT]


Reiko Arakawa
Jorge Payan
 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norvège
Local time: 22:34
Membre (2010)
anglais vers Norvégien (Bokmål)
+ ...
Is SDL Studio a must for you? Nov 4, 2020

I have purchased a lisence for the freelane version of Studio through a group by in ProZ, which seems to be about 1/10 the price you have quoted. So the prices you have been quoted, seems much higher than what is my experience.

I believe there are other cheaper CAT tools available than Studio, though, and you may check into that. memoQ, memsource and Wordfast comes to mind. Personally I have a personal lisence for Studio, memoQ and Deja vu, and even the total is only a fraction of t
... See more
I have purchased a lisence for the freelane version of Studio through a group by in ProZ, which seems to be about 1/10 the price you have quoted. So the prices you have been quoted, seems much higher than what is my experience.

I believe there are other cheaper CAT tools available than Studio, though, and you may check into that. memoQ, memsource and Wordfast comes to mind. Personally I have a personal lisence for Studio, memoQ and Deja vu, and even the total is only a fraction of the price you mention, but they are all freelance versions.

With the total volume you are talking about, I get the impression you may want to look at freelance versions as an alternative and look at the professional versions when you are grown a bit.

(I may mention that my yearly turnaround as a freelance translator seems to be more than 10 times your combined outsourcing cost, but then the cost of living seems to be quite higher in Norway than in China.)
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Andreas Krabbe
Chine
Local time: 05:34
chinois vers allemand
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thank you very much for your input! Nov 5, 2020

@ Samuel

Regarding Freelance/Professional Edition:
I understand your reasoning, but indeed: the overall goal is to merge TMs and especially our huge Term Base, so everybody can work with these resources. Another issue is that we often work remotely and use different systems at home/on the road. So what we need + why we decided to inquire SDL (and others) is something like:
1. Either allowing us to work in the cloud completely.
2. Or using some loca
... See more
@ Samuel

Regarding Freelance/Professional Edition:
I understand your reasoning, but indeed: the overall goal is to merge TMs and especially our huge Term Base, so everybody can work with these resources. Another issue is that we often work remotely and use different systems at home/on the road. So what we need + why we decided to inquire SDL (and others) is something like:
1. Either allowing us to work in the cloud completely.
2. Or using some local interface that allows to read+write TMs+TBs remotely.
As for the first, there are many options, of course, some good, some bad, some pricey, some for free.
My preference is with 2, however. SDL is one option we consider, even though I read bad things about laggy performance and clunky UI. Cafetran seems to be very nice, highly customizable and to be working on any system. I just haven't figured out yet how connect 3 different users in an optimal way (self-hosted resources?)

@ Roy
I am happy to read that there's a freelance translator out there able to make a living, congratulations!
You are right, SDL is certainly not a must, and we can take it step by step as we grow. However, I don't like to fool around with this and that, especially since my colleagues are not very seasoned computer users. They know how to turn it on and off, how to use basic office software, browse the internet etc. As we all know, translation software is a bit more complicated and can be overwhelming for first time users. So I'd like to choose one tool, stick with that and slowly train them in its use.
I would like to know what your experience is with memoQ and memsource. I read memoQ has a terrible UI and a lot of standard features are either not working correctly or just messing up the workflow (i.e. QA, interaction with TMs, TBs etc).
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Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norvège
Local time: 22:34
Membre (2010)
anglais vers Norvégien (Bokmål)
+ ...
Not my experience Nov 5, 2020

Andreas Krabbe wrote:
@ Roy
I would like to know what your experience is with memoQ and memsource. I read memoQ has a terrible UI and a lot of standard features are either not working correctly or just messing up the workflow (i.e. QA, interaction with TMs, TBs etc).


I must confess I don't recognise the situation you mention. It seems memoQ works fine for me. One thing I have noticed when receiving projects over the cloud from one client is that the connection is very slow, but I believe that would be because the agency has a rather slow server.

memoQ
UI: I wonder if the description you have read, is comparing memoQ with Studio, because I find Studio has a much worse UI than memoQ. To me memoQ seems much easier to work in as a freelancer, which makes it easier to learn than Studio. Other people may feel differently, though, , and you don't have to relate to as many utilities as you have to in Studio.

Standard features: I wonder what features that are. One feature I like, is that it is much easier to sort the segments according to different criteria than in Studio.

QA function: I find it much better than Studio.

memsource: It seems to me a lightweighter compared to Studio or memoQ, and I prefer memoQ over memsource. I find the QA function lacking compared to memoQ, for instance. But xBench would compensate for that.

(xBench is a third party QA utiltiy that many translators use, regardless of CAT tool.)

I would have liked to recommend my favourite utility, Deja Vu, but the problem with it is that they seem to lack the funding for developing it further. DVX3 was launched quite a few years ago (2015?), and we are still waiting for the next version, i.e. DVX4, even though Atril has announced it was to be launched at couple of years ago. It is the cheapest solution of these, though, since you only pay for each major upgrade and not per year. It is an excellent CAT tool in my oppinion, though the QA function is lagging behind the other utilities, and I much prefer memoQ. xBench is an excellent QA utility, though, which can be used for both Deja Vu, Studio and memsource plus quite a few other CAT tools.


Stepan Konev
Vesa Korhonen
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russie
Local time: 00:34
anglais vers russe
UI Nov 7, 2020

Andreas Krabbe wrote:
I read memoQ has a terrible UI and a lot of standard features are either not working correctly or just messing up the workflow (i.e. QA, interaction with TMs, TBs etc).

In my opinion, the way that memoQ interacts with TMs and TBs must be a standard for other CAT tools.
1. With memoQ, you can use TMs in any direction without creating a copy. It can be updated as you go.
With Trados, you have to create a full reverse copy of your original TM that you cannot update by updating the original TM.
2. With memoQ, you can easily find any segment in your TM by simple scrolling.
With Trados, you have to scroll by pages and even the 'Go to last page' button often fails to bring you to the last page.
3. With memoQ, you can simply type terms in pairs using a tab between them and then just import them into your glossary.
With Trados, you need to know how to use Multiterm or Glossary Converter.
4. With memoQ, you can filter, sort and merge multiple files in any order you want, and export the result both in xliff and docx formats.
With brand-brand new Trados 2021, you can only export a single file as filtered and only as xliff, which makes this feature useless for me.
5. With memoQ, you can use the Bilingual Excel feature even for files with multiple tabs (worksheets) and different source/target colums in each next tab. You can assign source and target columns individually for each tab within a file.
With Trados, you can't.
I can continue this list endlessly...
What regards UI, I totally agree with Roy Oestensen
Roy Oestensen wrote:
UI: I wonder if the description you have read, is comparing memoQ with Studio, because I find Studio has a much worse UI than memoQ. To me memoQ seems much easier to work in as a freelancer, which makes it easier to learn than Studio. Other people may feel differently, though, and you don't have to relate to as many utilities as you have to in Studio.


[Edited at 2020-11-07 12:24 GMT]


 


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