Judging from the content posted on SDL’s website, it seems that Trados Studio 2009 will be presented during the SDL Trados Roadshow Maidenhead (on April 22nd).
Let’s take a brief look at some of the features:
An unified interface – no more Translation Workbench + TagEditor or Word, everything will be in a single application – SDL Trados Studio. All file filters, project management tasks, and the actual translation work will be done in the same window.
Wow, this could certainly be seen as a “bold” move, considering the vast amount of translators who still use the Word macros + Workbench duo to do the job. Although I welcome this change, I’m not sure how well it will be accepted by freelance translators in general.
A two-column view in the translation editor just like SDLX, Idiom, Déjà Vu or Accross with a stronger orientation toward WYSIWYG mode. The placeables and term hits in the source sentence are presented like in Workbench (blue and red lines) and the upper case words work now as placeables.
The two-column view seems to be the general trend nowadays and Trados is one of the last tools that is adhering to it.
A live preview capability enabling the user to see the changes that are being performed in the translation editor pane.
I have seen this feature in action in MemoQ and I think it is essential for any serious computer-assisted translation tool.
The translation memories will be stored in MS SQLite databases (for the freelance editions of SDL Trados Studio).
I wonder if this will have any effects on speed. So far Trados always shined in terms of access speed to local translation memories and was disappointing (in my opinion) when accessing shared TMs though the internet. Perhaps the migration to an SQL database format will mean not-so-great performance on local access but acceptable access speed for internet access.
The TTX format will be replaced by XLIFF and XLIFF will be the actual translation format from now on. You can still open TTX files created in previous versions. The new projects in the XLIFF format however will be no longer compatible with the previous Trados versions. The TM exchange format TMX will continue to be supported.
This is the single best piece of news in the whole package and it will mean (hopefully, unless SDL have screwed up the XLIFF format by creating their own flavor) much better interoperability between different translation environment tools (TEnTs). Ideally, translators will be able to use the tool they prefer and deliver files that can be read by Trados (or any other tool that properly supports XLIFF).
The termbase exchange standard TBX (more info here) will now be supported.
Same as above, although not as big a deal as XLIFF.
Real-time quality assurance features will be supported, which means that the errors will be displayed as you translate.
Hmm, sounds like one of the options I’ll turn off immediately.
The AutoSuggest feature will interactively suggest terms as you type, drawing terms from the content within the translation memory. The freelance version of SDL Trados Studio will not be able to build the AutoSuggest dictionaries but will be able to use externally created ones. When you begin typing the translation text a little drop-down menu appears under the cursor suggesting possible word choices.
I’m not so sure about this one, either. If properly implemented, it might be useful.
The PerfectMatch feature (i.e. in-context matching) will be now available in the freelance edition but it will leverage the matches from the existing translation memory, not from the previously translated files.
This is another feature I love in MemoQ and which has been introduced in Trados. Although my impression is that several translators do not know what “in-context matching” really is, I think it’s a feature that can largely improve the reliability of 100% matches, which, if inserted blindly, can create serious problems. To think that some agencies refuse to pay for 100% matches and are happy enough to insert them automatically!