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How many CAT tools are too many?
מפרסם התגובה: Konstantin Stäbler

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
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Use as many as you and your clients need Aug 21, 2014

I use three -

* Wordfast Classic because I have used it for 10+ years and at this point I have legacy TMs I still need to use (plus sometimes I just want to do a straightforward translation in Word)
* Trados Studio 2011 for some clients
* MemoQ 2013 for other clients

I really like MemoQ best these days, so if the client doesn't have a preference, I set up a project in that. Using the LiveDocs function on one single project this summer pretty much paid for
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I use three -

* Wordfast Classic because I have used it for 10+ years and at this point I have legacy TMs I still need to use (plus sometimes I just want to do a straightforward translation in Word)
* Trados Studio 2011 for some clients
* MemoQ 2013 for other clients

I really like MemoQ best these days, so if the client doesn't have a preference, I set up a project in that. Using the LiveDocs function on one single project this summer pretty much paid for the program a couple of times over. It's the one I find easiest to use, and it still takes care of stuff like complex formatting. Honestly, I would dump Trados if I could because I don't find it intuitive or easy to use, but I have a basic proficiency now, so I keep it for certain clients.

The bottom line is that you should use as many CAT tools as you find useful, productive, and profitable.

PS I'd like to add that my specialty is business/financial. When you've searched through the umpteenth file for one small paragraph the client wants to re-use from the previous year's translation enough times, you very quickly figure out that CAT tools are extremely helpful - unless you do work with absolutely no consistent terminology or repetition whatsoever. I was gently encouraged by a client to use a CAT in about 2002, and I am still grateful for that advice.

[Edited at 2014-08-21 23:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-08-21 23:14 GMT]
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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
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Hi Daina, Aug 21, 2014

By the way, you can quite easily convert those legacy Wordfast TMs to TMXs, so you can then import them into memoQ, or any other CAT tool for that matter. One easy way to do it is with Xbench.

Michael


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
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One is too many Aug 23, 2014

Eric Zink wrote:
I am baffled when translators maintain that they get along fine without a CAT tool -- and not merely because so many agencies/clients expect translators to be able to use them.


In the last three years I can probably count on one hand the number of clients who have specifically requested a CAT tool, perhaps it's just rarer in my language pair? I don't know. Even of those few who have, an even smaller number were unprepared to proceed because I don't use them, mostly they just said "oh ok, I'll just send it to you in a word file then".

Not to mention that the vast majority of files that land in my inbox are PDFs, dead ones at that, and are often only partially OCR-able/editable (if at all). And then there's handwritten documents... (somewhat rarer but not all that infrequent).

I guess the fact that it's almost inconceivable for some translators to imagine translation without a CAT tool is a testament to the CAT tools' marketing departments.


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
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There again... Aug 23, 2014

Ty Kendall wrote:

I guess the fact that it's almost inconceivable for some translators to imagine translation without a CAT tool is a testament to the CAT tools' marketing departments.



Not entirely, Ty.

I've been earning money from translation on and off for forty years and I can assure you that CAT tools, which I have been using for a couple of decades, make it possible to offer levels of consistency that are frankly unachievable without them.

On the other hand, the quality that CATs consistently ensure is no better than the translator and reviewer's input. If what goes into a CAT is rubbish, then rubbish is what will come out.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
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Consistency Aug 23, 2014

Giles Watson wrote:
CAT tools...make it possible to offer levels of consistency that are frankly unachievable without them.


The consistency argument is one of the stronger arguments I've heard for CAT tools (I don't doubt there are others) but until I can use one for the vast majority of my work instead of only a tiny fraction of it I will struggle to justify getting one to myself.

[Edited at 2014-08-23 21:56 GMT]


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
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Apart from consistency... Aug 24, 2014

Ty Kendall wrote:

Giles Watson wrote:
CAT tools...make it possible to offer levels of consistency that are frankly unachievable without them.


The consistency argument is one of the stronger arguments I've heard for CAT tools (I don't doubt there are others) but until I can use one for the vast majority of my work instead of only a tiny fraction of it I will struggle to justify getting one to myself.

[Edited at 2014-08-23 21:56 GMT]


... the other big advantage is having all your past work, glossaries and so on at your finger tips as you translate.

If image PDFs were my bread and butter, I'd probably download a trial version of an OCR program like Abbyy Fine Reader onto an old computer, convert some legacy source PDFs to text, align them with my existing translations (perhaps with Terminotix's free youalign.com site) and use the aligned tmx files as a resource while translating other OCR'd texts in the trial version of whatever CAT took my fancy.

It'd probably take a while to build up decent translation memories but if the OCRing turns out to be reasonably accurate, you could well find that you have a new string to your translation bow.


 
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