The Pros and Cons of Using Phrase at Leipzig University
Dr. Edgar Bohm, a translation technology lecturer at the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Translatology of Leipzig University, used Phrase TMS in his courses over the summer semester. We spoke with him and he gave us a little more insight into his experiences.
Dr. Bohm was initially introduced to Phrase TMS through a former student who started a translation agency and has been using Phrase TMS as the foundation of his business. Later, Dr. Bohm received a message from Phrase TMS saying that there was a program tailored to universities that could be used to train his students:
“I answered the email and was surprised how fast I got a response. Licenses were no issue at all and they would be free of charge as long as we used them for seminar purposes only—which was exactly what I intended to do.”
I wanted to make all course participants project managers, as that would allow them to see the full chain of tasks required to produce a translation. With Phrase, we found a solution that allows exactly that.
Finding a unique solution
Dr. Bohm’s plan for implementing the platform into his courses required the development of a specific solution in order to give the students the full experience. He wanted all participants of the courses to use the platform in a project manager role in order to display the full chain of tasks associated with the production of a translation.
After a little brainstorming, we were able to find a solution that allowed the implementation to occur, while still maintaining a reasonable level of user accounts. With this solution, Dr. Bohm was able to set up the license for Leipzig University and proceed with organizing the course, and use Phrase TMS as an educational tool:
“We created a project with a text and a translation memory we had prepared using a competitor’s tool in an earlier session. We did the analysis and prepared a cost estimate for our fictitious client. We then translated the text that I had prepared so that we could do some useful translation work on the one hand and use the imported translation memory on the other. Everything went very well; more than 20 course participants were very attentive and there were only a few questions. We managed to translate the text in time. We proceeded to quality assurance and then exported the text,” he explains.
Dr. Bohm also asked his students to share their own findings about Phrase TMS. This is the feedback he received:
- It is easy to operate
- It is more user-friendly than all of the alternatives students have seen so far
- All components of the project are visible on one screen
- Machine translation does not cost extra
- It is not required to install any program or program suite
- Analysis is simple
- Many different file types can be translated
- No costly updates or upgrades
- The tool can be used on any computer or mobile device with internet connection
- Everything resides in the cloud
The students also shared some concerns they had regarding the Phrase TMS platform, which are not to be swept under the rug. They address real fears associated with cloud technology and these fears are fairly common amongst CAT users. These fears were:
- Security of the cloud
- Pricing on monthly basis that could lead to significant spending in the long run
We understand the basis of these fears and we saw this as an opportunity to clear them up for Dr. Bohm’s students. Here were our explanations:
The pricing is different from the model used most commonly by desktop-based tool providers. The issue with desktop tools is that you not only pay a considerable amount of money when purchasing them at the beginning, you also pay for the upgrades each year. The online support often costs extra as well.
With Phrase TMS, the upfront costs are minimal and all the upgrades, updates and online support are free of charge. Furthermore, you can cancel or renew your subscription at any time so if you don’t work in Phrase TMS for a month then you don’t have to pay for that month. On top of that, the 1+ Freelancers license, which costs 20 EUR a month, can be shared by a team of translators.
If you take all of this into consideration, Phrase TMS is actually a cheaper option than the desktop-based solutions.
Security of the cloud
With numerous concerns about the security of a cloud-based solution, we felt we should clear things up. When a client uploads a project to the cloud in Phrase TMS, it stays in his or her hands through the entire process—the owner of the data only shares access to files stored in his private cloud. You always know where your data is and you can be certain that others are not able to use it wrongfully.
With a desktop-based CAT tool, the data owner must send links or files, which the owner has no control over, and these links have to pass through email clients that are often significantly less secure than the cloud storage.
As an example, if the owner sends the project to a translator and the translator decides to share the data with his colleagues, the data owner has no way of finding out. On top of that, the files move from one device to another, thus greatly increasing the risk of the data being leaked or stolen. Your data is more secure in the cloud.
Enhancing the training further
Going forward, Dr. Bohm plans to continue to develop his courses using Phrase TMS as a tool for his students:
“We will try to follow the complete chain of tasks, starting with accepting a translation assignment (in the cloud) and finishing with a completed translation being sent together with the invoice to the client (from the cloud) and doing all the necessary steps in between.”
We wish Dr. Bohm and his students all the best while exploring the possibilities of translation technology and look forward to hearing how we can continue to help prepare future translation professionals.