Deutsch   |   中文

Strategies comparison

The table below distinguishes four major approaches to file translation. These are translation without CAT support (A), direct translation with CAT support (B), and the two strategies shown in the flowchart on the previous page (C, D). The first three (A–C) are available only with editable files, while strategy D works for all file types, including scans.

Editable files

A Translation without CAT support – the translators simply type the translation into the original file and adjust the formatting, if necessary
B Direct translation with CAT software: the source files are opened in a compatible CAT application and the translators translate the resulting bilingual file. After completion, the target file is created and the formatting adjusted.
C Translation of a MS Word/Excel table containing the extracted text of the source file. After the translators have translated the table, the target language text is pasted back into the original file and the formatting adjusted.

Non-editable files

D Translation of a formatted MS Word file. The original file is converted into DOC and the DOC file then translated with CAT support (see the Conversion page for more information on our conversion service).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Translation without CAT
Direct translation with CAT
Translation of table
Translation of formatted *.DOC
Non-translation workload (preparation, typesetting, etc.) Low Low High High
Requirements for translators Need all DTP applications necessary to edit the files Need compatible CAT software No particular requirements No particular requirements
Exact wordcount and TM leverage No Yes
+ + Simple workflow + Generally highest efficiency + No particular software requirements for translators + No particular software requirements for translators
+ translator sees translatable text in context (e.g. using Trados Workbench)
- - No TM leverage
- Slow translation
- Translators need DTP software
- Text parts not editable in CAT tools can be missed
- File needs to be checked for formatting problems (excess line-breaks,...)
- Translators need to refer to original files for context - Cost of conversion relatively high
Recommendation Makes sense only for very small files Generally best if translators have compatible CAT software Good if translators do not have compatible CAT software Normally used for non-editable files