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Is it crucial to use softwares such as Dejà vu, Trados, Word Fast etc. to succeed as a translator
Thread poster: younes-01

younes-01
Local time: 13:15
Arabic to English
+ ...
Oct 15, 2007

Hi,

I would like to know if it is crucial to use softwares such as Dejà vu, Trados, White Smoke, Word Fast etc. in order to succeed as a freelancer? Does it really help?


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 07:15
English to Spanish
A lot! Oct 15, 2007

younes-01 wrote:
Does it really help?




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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
depends on your style and perception of work/translation Oct 15, 2007

younes-01 wrote:

Hi,

I would like to know if it is crucial to use softwares such as Dejà vu, Trados, White Smoke, Word Fast etc. in order to succeed as a freelancer? Does it really help?


Not much, for me:

a) I hate to use memories passed on to me from agencies (in other words I don't wish to be associated with what's usually crap)
b) I hate to chop up jobs (unless with trusted colleagues)
c) I dislike hugely repetitive work, it bores me and it's so boring I feel I'm likely to commit error,

On the plus side:
As member of a team I use it to learn from others/avoid duplication of research effort (we are a team, researching the same area for articles every months; the same issues are often repeated, but before this occurs it is fully researched before it enters the trans memory)

So the answer to your Q is basically all down to what you are willing to do to earn a bob. I will not recycle crap, share jobs whose quality I feel will be negatively affected by being chopped up between translators etc, or click-click-click happily through a repeated text (altho I enjoy repetitions as an occasional topping on the cake, but not mechanical translation) ... consequently I earn less, but like my job better. I know not all jobs requiring a TM or CAT tools are of this nature, but all in all, I prefer to feel like a human than a machine:-)

By teh way, if you like manuals (machines, electronics, ect), this area lends itself to using CAT tools.

[Edited at 2007-10-15 22:53]


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I can't work without them Oct 15, 2007

There are innumerable reasons.
But I got so used to them......and for team work they are abosolutely necessary.

Alicia

[Edited at 2007-10-15 23:27]

[Edited at 2007-10-15 23:29]


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younes-01
Local time: 13:15
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's how I feel about those programs :'( Oct 15, 2007

[quote]Lia Fail wrote:


Not much, for me:

a) I hate to use memories passed on to me from agencies (in other words I don't wish to be associated with what's usually crap)

I totally feel the same thing !


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younes-01
Local time: 13:15
Arabic to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To Alicia Oct 16, 2007

[quote]Alicia Casal wrote:

There are innumerable reasons.
But I got so used to them......and for team work they are abosolutely necessary.

But I think it is tough to use these programs at the beginning. It takes some time to get used to them.


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Generally Oct 16, 2007

My partner and I use our own TMs.

I received only once a TM from an agency.

At the beginning I hated Trados.........

When we are translating different parts of the same project,
we need the TM.

And if I translate HTML, XML files, I use Tag Editor.

It's just an opinion.

[Edited at 2007-10-16 00:47]


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 20:15
English to Indonesian
+ ...
use only things you're comfortable with Oct 16, 2007

if you're not comfortable using any cat tool, then don't use it.
personally, i find them beneficial, as i mostly deal with manual translation, which requires consistent translation.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:15
Spanish to English
I love wordfast but Oct 16, 2007

I love wordfast but I've only been using for a few years and I have never had to promise to use it for a client. I know other people who prefer not to use a CAT tool, no problem.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:15
Turkish to English
+ ...
Not nececessary to succeed as a translator Oct 16, 2007

This topic has been discussed at great length on other threads, and I have voiced my views there, so I do not feel the need to go to great lengths here. I do not consider myself to be a technophobe or a luddite, but apart from providing terminological consistency in technical manuals, I fail to understand what purpose CAT tools serve. To answer the question whether translators can succeed without CAT tools, based on my experience, I believe they can.

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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
NO! Oct 16, 2007

If I used CAT tools I would

- have to spend more time declining job offers (or subcontract)

- feel like an assembly line worker

- have to decrease my rates (Trados discounts)

***********************
Sven Petersson
Medical translator
Web site: www.svenp.com
***********************


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Italian to English
+ ...
Not crucial but I use them where possible Oct 16, 2007

One bonus which hasn't been mentioned is that the way in which they work means it's impossible to accidentally skip a sentence or paragraph as you translate (although of course it's still possible to skip a word or two). This is the reason I use a CAT (WordFast) wherever possible. Another advantage is the actual TM itself - even if the texts you work on aren't particularly repetitive, using a CAT means that you can look up a specific term in the TM to see how you've translated it before, improviing your consistency.

WRT the reduced rates, I'm lucky in that most of the agencies I work with have never asked me to apply a reduced rate for repetitions. On the one job where I had a series of very long, highly repetitive texts, we agreed that I should charge by the hour rather than word count, as even with a 90% repetition rate it still took a couple of hours to process each file, due to their sheer length. So I've never felt that using a CAT has left me out of pocket - on the contrary, it's increased my productivity without causing me to have to drop my rates.


[Edited at 2007-10-16 06:34]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
It's crucial for certain jobs, Oct 16, 2007

but definitely not to succeed as a translator. Just ask two simple questions: how old is translator's profession? and how old is CAT software?

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Andrea Kowalenko  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Member (2006)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Not crucial, but very helpful Oct 16, 2007

Any of these programs has (afaik) a free evaluation period, so perhaps you should just try and decide for yourself ...
I finally decided to purchase Déjà Vu. I love the fact that the translation environment is always the same regardless of the original format (I think SDLX does the same). Another advantage is that you can work on multiple files (including different file formats) as one file, which comes in handy for endless excel files and html files.
As for the learning curve, I do not think it is too steep, at least the basic use of a tool should be possible without too much hassle. I remember getting my Déjà Vu license and starting right out with my first job using it. Granted, you will not make use of all its functions at once, but you will already appreciate how helpful it can be.
Obviously, it depends a lot on what type of texts you translate. As for me, I get very different types of translations (from manuals to legal stuff to general texts to ....), and I think it is helpful for all of them (no line skipping, no formatting problems, same interface for all formats, quality assessment, etc.).
As for reducing rates, it is up to you if you inform your client that you use a CAT tool, and if you are willing to reduce your rates.
So, the use of a CAT tool is certainly not necessary to succeed as a freelance translator, but it can make your life a lot easier. As said above, perhaps you would be better off to try and decide for yourself ...
Regards,
Andrea


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 16:15
English to Arabic
+ ...
Big difference Oct 16, 2007

Big difference before and after in terms of:

- Speed
- Quality
- Future reuse

HTH

Regards

Ahmad Wadan
Financial & IT translator


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