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Looking for THE simplest way for older people to still be able to use a CAT tool.
Thread poster: Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:28
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Oct 21, 2010

Interestingly, there is actually a forum here on Proz called "translators4kids" but I think my topic might apply equally (in different ways of course) to older people who find using computers hard. In fact, I propose we create a new forum for older people. Not sure what we would call it, so as to not offend anyone, or make it sound dumb. Anyway, please think about it.

Here is my question:

There are many translators out there, a lot of them of the older generation, who are constantly hearing that they should "use a tool". They try. They fail. They try again. They fail. And so they end up giving up, and possibly also hating the very idea of using a CAT tool.

I am trying to find the absolute easiest way for these people to use a CAT tool on a daily basis.

Ideally, it would be something with some kind of LogMeIn-type system, through which another person could assist them online, and help them with things like maintaining good terminology databases, TMs, and perhaps even help them keep track of their files and folders.

Remember: the target group is people who can just about use Word, and email, but have a hard time understanding things like "uncleaned" files, QA, and ... MultiTerm;) They generally translate straight inside of Word, typing over the source text.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Michael


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:28
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
user-friendliness Oct 21, 2010

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:

Remember: the target group is people who can just about use Word, and email, but have a hard time understanding things like "uncleaned" files, QA, and ... MultiTerm;) They generally translate straight inside of Word, typing over the source text.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Michael


I see your point but there are also many "young" translators who cannot use Multiterm. There are some programs which are user-friendly but in my opinion Multiterm is not one of them. It is a good tool for terminologists but a difficult one for many translators.


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
Italian to English
+ ...
Age is irrelevant Oct 21, 2010

Surely you mean a forum for Ailurophobics rather than 'older people'!

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Please define "older" Oct 21, 2010

In the eyes of my daughter I certainly count to that kind of people.
Judging from your foto I also would expect being counted by yourself to the "older" generation.
Hoever, neither do I feel older nor do I have any problems in using CAT tools or computers.
Taken by the experience of over 20 years in translation I even dare to say I am able to show most of "young" people how to use certain tools and not vice versa.
So please define who's older and tell me also please, why if so many absolvents cannot use computer in proper way (not just the thing about Word, but even keeping their files alltogether in a nice order) we do need to educate older people on that?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Makes total sense to me! Oct 21, 2010

It makes total sense to me. However, I only see two issues really:
- People who know how to use the tools are usually very busy, and maybe it would be good to discuss this as a service instead of free help. After all,

- Wouldn't there be some privacy issues --or at least privacy fears-- if you let other people see your files while they guide you in the process with a LogMeIn connection (a remote control connection)? I think any such help should be received from someone who does not work in your language pairs and thus is not interested in seeing what you are working on...


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
English to German
+ ...
Thanks for this :] Oct 21, 2010

Susanna Garcia wrote:

Surely you mean a forum for Ailurophobics rather than 'older people'!


made my day! maybe I am not the only one declaring my 100th birthday tomorrow. so, not the only one getting new grey hair with every digital "miau".


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:28
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"You're only as old as you feel" Oct 21, 2010

I am not out to define "old" or "young", simply to find a way for people to use a CAT tool who otherwise wouldn't or couldn't. They might be 62, they might be 12, or they might be 35; my point is I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to how to go about helping them.

However, the reason I suggested that was that today I had some time to play around with XTM and Translators Workspace (Lionbridge), and was pleasantly surprised by the Word plugin that Translation Workspace uses to connect their Cloud Stuff to your desktop. This lead me to thinking that it might be possible for them to target users who were not that good at using their computers, which in turn led me to the "older people" idea. I could have said "people who are not so comfortable using computers", or something slightly more general. I should have. As Jerzy rightly pointed out, age is very often completely unrelated to how well a person knows how to use their computer.

Anyway, sorry if I chose the wrong category to refer to the target group I have in mind, so let's just refer to them as "people, young or old, that are missing jobs because they are going to people with a CAT tool", (or something along those lines).

Tomás, yes, true. The reason I mention LogMeIn is probably more because that is how I help my mother and a few of my friends with their computers. But I do see what you are saying about privacy issues. Actually however, that is a whole separate issue I have been thinking about a lot recently, in connection with the many recent developments re. online bilingual concordancers, TAUS search, WeBiText*, IP rights and TMs, etc, etc.

Hmm. I am drifting off topic again, as usual.

In any case, and on a more practical level: any tips/links about THE EASIEST, most foolproof CAT tools would be more than welcome!

I was thinking along the lines of some kind of SAAS type thing, but then as simplified as possible, probably with a MS Word toolbar, and NO tags (visible).


Michael

By the way, Selcuk, I was kidding: I used MultiTerm as a joke. It is the most horrible thing I have ever laid eyes on;)

*http://www.webitext.com/bin/webitext.cgi,

[Edited at 2010-10-21 21:56 GMT]


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
English to German
+ ...
2 forums Oct 21, 2010

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:

... so let's just refer to them as "people, young or old, that are missing jobs because they are going to people with a CAT tool", (or something along those lines).

...


definitely an interesting idea but I would vote for 2 forums, then. the other one could be the forum for the "people, young or old, that are getting jobs because they know how to present their choice to avoide miau-saying furry applications that love to hunt and catch insects known as bugs"
- something like this.

generally, definitely a nice idea. as a hundred years old stone age relict, there's just one question I have: do you think we will see more or less bug reporting forum entries there than in the other forum threads, the one for the people who were not missing the job but then posting them while risking to miss the deadline instead due to a new insect caught by the furry application?

...

ok, but back to serious talk, there are probably enough fundamental debate threads already - sure, why not an own forum.

Re "In fact, I propose we create a new forum for [edit: no-CAT-lovers]. Not sure what we would call it, so as to not offend anyone, or make it sound dumb." - why not something like "The DOG forum"?


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 23:28
German to English
I'm an "older" translator, and I do quite well! Oct 21, 2010

I'll be 62 next month, and I don't need any more help than the average 30 year-old, thank you very much!

I do understand your point, but I think that the issue regarding new tricks for old dogs involves at least two factors in addition to technophobia. Technology resistance is certainly important; there are at least two translators in my circle of acquaintances who dictate their translations for transcription. They will never change their ways.

A more important factor has to do with work habits. Many translators my age eagerly bought computers when CP/M and DOS machines came onto the market. We immediately realized productivity gains and longed for more efficient means of transmitting our work other than modems operating at a 300, then 1200 baud rate. Almost everyone in my circle of professional acquaintances jumped on the Internet wagon. But they were all happy working directly in the document using WordPerfect/MS Word, and didn't see the need to try a new approach. The big change for people I know was going to MS Office when it was clear that WordPerfect would never be the standard (I'm speaking from a US perspective. WP never had a chance in Europe). Many of my long-time professional acquaintances are still perfectly happy not using tools beyond MS Office, as most of their assignments are one-off documents. For them it's not worth going through extra steps when the result will be the same. The productivity gains compared to the investment and change of workflow are minimal.

The second factor is financial. Trados SDL products, DVX, MemoQ and Transit all require significant investment of time and money. Last year I bought MemoQ, but I had to consider whether a long-term investment in software would make sense, as I already owned DVX and Trados SDL 2007. Since I have no possibility of retiring I decided to buy the product (are there any retired translators? It seems there are only working translators and dead ones).

While I think it's useful for older translator to familiarize themselves with the available tools, it's perhaps more important to make sure the upcoming translators learn about the importance of professionalism, quality assurance and writing skills.


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:28
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Computyros? Oct 21, 2010

Well, not simply older in any case. I am not as old as apk12 (and I don't believe she's quite 100 yet) but I have been using computers since 1968 because I have studied and practised engineering (and I'm over 60). Michael was evidently thinking of people who are relative beginners in using computers because when they were in education, and in subsequent years also, using computers was not a matter of course as it is nowadays, but rather confined to people with specific needs for them, particularly before the days of the ubiquitous Internet starting about 15 years ago.
Possibly computers + tyros = computyros, though of course ProZ won't entitle a forum like that because it's not self-explanatory. Perhaps something like Computer novices or Gentle help please

Talking of using Word: I have, in the past few days, translated a Word document that was presumably produced by somebody with, at least a professional need to produce it (containing diagrams and data about electrical power distribution), but who did so in a really horrible way: e.g. with tables consisting of graphics straight lines, containing numbers positioned with large numbers of space characters. Possibly that wasn't done by a person but by software that converted the PDF version of the doc into a Word version.

Oliver


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: empty

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:28
German to Spanish
+ ...
Evil's tools... Oct 21, 2010

The use of CAT tools, specially those of «client-server» or «cloud» type

only benefits the owner of the server
is completely useless, if the texts are not very repetitive
drops translation prices down

I think the fame that some smoke vendors have given to CAT tools (you have to...) is overvalued. This does not mean that we do not have to help people, both old and young, to manage such evil's tools. But, did you thought first about your eternal damnation...?

PS: of course, I agree to any forum with helping others purpose.

[Edited at 2010-10-21 23:44 GMT]


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:28
English to German
+ ...
Much more benefits! Oct 21, 2010

Nah, Pablo - you just have to look at it with a positive attitude :]

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

The use of CAT tools, specially those of «client-server» or «cloud» type

only benefits the owner of the server
...


... and our own private CATty translation joke collection. "Oh what a cute segment. Did you know that XY has translators in their databank translating 'safety belts' as 'Gürtel'? Must be an extreme joyful experience to feel safer in a car when fastening your trousers belt."

(Which again reminds me of the "time-waisting" thread for whatever obscure fuzzy repeated reason.)





[Edited at 2010-10-22 00:00 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 10:28
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
They are tools Oct 22, 2010

CAT is the translation tool. Ancient people used tools to evolve their standard of living. Old people now who are ignorance of CAT tools can live in a slower world, and may be very very happily without mental pressure.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 23:28
German to English
Let the market take care of this issue Oct 22, 2010

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:
(snip)

I could have said "people who are not so comfortable using computers", or something slightly more general. I should have.
(snip)

Anyway, sorry if I chose the wrong category to refer to the target group I have in mind, so let's just refer to them as "people, young or old, that are missing jobs because they are going to people with a CAT tool", (or something along those lines).


Different types of jobs require different tools; it doesn't matter whether the field is plumbing, dentistry or financial analysis. Performing a root canal procedure, for example, requires a different set of instruments than filling a tooth.

It is also a basic principle that businesses with low barriers to entry have a higher failure rate than those with high barriers to entry. More translators go broke than physicians for lack of clientele.

Over the decades that I have been translating, I've seen tremendous changes in the types of documents to be translated. The rate of change has accelerated as new technologies are used to produce documents. 10 years ago I only occasionally saw HTML/XML/SGML-based documents. Now such documents make up almost half of my translation volume. Although I don't expect such "tagged" formats to predominate in the near future, it is apparent that the general volume of these formats are increasing, and translators are going to require suitable tools to work with them. Quite simply, the translators without the proper tools will be left in the dust.

There are already enough translators in the major language pairs; in fact there's an overabundance which has led in part to stagnation or even decline in rates. Successful translators will provide high quality work using the tools required for the assignment. CAT tools don't necessarily make for a better translator, but they do potentially provide greater efficiency when properly used.

A successful business -- of any kind -- requires a certain level of investment, in terms of time as well as money. Translators with a greater technical skill set will have an advantage over those who don't. Translators who can't figure this out might best be left behind.

Although I laud the idea that new translators should be encouraged to try CAT tools, perhaps this is one instance when market forces should be allowed to winnow the wheat from the chaff.


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