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CAT software question
Thread poster: Marcy V

Marcy V  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 8, 2008

I'm new to this site, and I'm wondering how necessary or useful is it? I work on site mostly, so it is a new concept to me and I'm trying to gather pros and cons. I see some jobs are restricted to translators skilled in the use of certain CATS, so I'm just trying to gather opinions.

Thanks!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My experience: just for fun really Jun 8, 2008

We have only got one job from a company who found us in Proz.com. So if you are looking for work, it might be difficult to compete with the many translators who bid with really low prices (for whatever the reasons). So in my opinion this site is just for fun, i.e. answering Kudoz questions which is always challenging, or participaring in forums. But expect no dramatic boost in your performance, bottom line or amount of work...

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Michael Tovbin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:16
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
useful Jun 8, 2008

Are you asking about CAT tools or ProZ?

If CAT tools, here goes:

Primary usefulness of a CAT for me is that it saves me from ommissions feeding me the text one unit at a time, as it were. For a lone translator, it is not very useful as a time-saving tool.

If you do a lot of similar documents in your job, and if you are given a certain amount of work to do and can go home once you are done (for full pay), it might be worth your while to use CAT.

However, I have come to the conclusion that in most institutional settings CAT tools do not take. The translators there are set in their ways and do not want to work harder. Besides, no one is going to let them leave once their batch is done. They are simply going to be given more work.

[Edited at 2008-06-08 19:52]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Portuguese to English
I second what Tomás has said Jun 8, 2008

This site is quite fun, and can be useful at times (terminology queries on Kudoz and general problems in the Forums), and the members can be quite knowledgeable and helpful. But as a source of paid work, it's far from ideal unless you're willing to bid against dozens or hundreds of other folk for slave labour rates. You're not going to make a decent living from the jobs advertised here.

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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:16
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
What is your question, Marcy? Jun 8, 2008

Are you asking about Proz.com or about CAT tools?
Angela - moderator

Marcy V wrote:

I'm new to this site, and I'm wondering how necessary or useful is it? I work on site mostly, so it is a new concept to me and I'm trying to gather pros and cons. I see some jobs are restricted to translators skilled in the use of certain CATS, so I'm just trying to gather opinions.

Thanks!


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:16
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Generalizations are never a good idea Jun 8, 2008

As it happens, I make a very good living from the work I get from the site (not from moderating, which is unpaid).
At the moment I have only one customer who did not find me through ProZ.com.
I get contacted at least once a week and although some jobs offer well below what I will accept, I am certainly able to say "no" to those and work constantly at above average rates.
I don't have time to bid and when I do I rarely win the offer, probably because I ask for more than the customer wants to pay. But it's an open market and all of us are free to set our prices - client and provider alike.
One contract last year was worth over 35K dollars for a prestigious and interesting series of art books.
And I doubt I am the only person on site who can say this.
It was not the case at the beginning, but patience has paid off. Not to mention the great friends and colleagues I have met here, and the confidence booster from being in an environment of intelligent peers.

Angela




lexical wrote:

This site is quite fun, and can be useful at times (terminology queries on Kudoz and general problems in the Forums), and the members can be quite knowledgeable and helpful. But as a source of paid work, it's far from ideal unless you're willing to bid against dozens or hundreds of other folk for slave labour rates. You're not going to make a decent living from the jobs advertised here.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Having to deal with us uncontrollable people is for free? Jun 8, 2008

Angela Arnone wrote:
As it happens, I make a very good living from the work I get from the site (not from moderating, which is unpaid).


I now value moderators a lot more if that task is completely for free. I would not like to have to deal with, correct, delete my comments... even for money!

Just joking of course. I understand what you mean Angela. We do get contacted via Proz many times, but then we state our minimum rate and that is usually the end of the conversation... which is good in many cases if we want to avoid the "slave labor rates" (I am convinced the low rates might be something specially frequent in translation into Spanish). But contacts are there and keep coming in, which might be good in the long run. As you say, patience pays.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
The site is not just about bidding Jun 8, 2008

lexical wrote:

But as a source of paid work, it's far from ideal unless you're willing to bid against dozens or hundreds of other folk for slave labour rates. You're not going to make a decent living from the jobs advertised here.


I agree the best jobs are not normally advertised here.

However, I have to agree with Angela.

I found one, and then two of what I call my "inner circle" clients found me via the site. All excellent payers who pay promptly (two within 15 days, one within 30 days).

The one I approached via the site - a Belgian agency - was initially offering an average rate, but after working with them for a while I was able to raise rates and did so again recently. Great agency, great support and even though I invoice 30 days, I know the money is in the bank by the 15th.

Another promising prospect approached me last week, saying they'd found my profile on the site, and were offering to pay EUR 0.12 (i.e. offering not dictating terms). That is not a bad rate for Dutch - although I have clients that pay more - and they have a BB rating of 5 from more than 20 translators, many of whom I know and whose rating I can trust. I asked for 30 days, they agreed. I'm delivering my first job for them on Tuesday and am confident there will be more.

I also get a lot of requests from colleagues, most of which I can't take, but there is substantial networking that goes on behind the scenes.

So, although I also receive a lot of disappointing/ludicrous requests, the site has been a good source of well-paying work.

I don't always agree with the direction the site is taking, but I'm better off because of it and, like Angela, have met up with a lot of great people too.

Just don't expect miracles overnight.


[Edited at 2008-06-08 21:07]


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
AFA CATs are concerned Jun 8, 2008

As far as CAT applications are concerned, they might save time and increase your profit, provided that you use them effectively. And what Lawyer-Linguist says, also goes here: Don't expect miracles overnight.
I have been feeding my databases for 10 years now, and I could not imagine my professional life without them.
If you really want to see what it can mean for you and find out whether it suits you, just play around with a couple of them (which is free). Or take Jost (translation tools compared) - whose banner appears quite frequently, even right now on this page (at least here) - up on his offer.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-06-09 09:01]


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
back to CATs Jun 8, 2008

I think Marcy was asking about CATs.
Marcy, there was a thread on this just a couple of days ago, and it comes up frequently. Best is to learn to search the forum archives--there's a wealth of information there.

Good luck,
Susan


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Marcy V  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it was about CAT Jun 9, 2008

It was about CAT software. I'm just unfamiliar with it, and wondering if it's worth my time and money.

I'm only looking to supplement my work a bit, and learn more on this site, so that should be fun, I just don't know whether to shell out the $ for the CAT or not.


Thank you Susan, I should have searched the boards. Duh! I've been on message boards long enough that I know I should have done that!

Thanks again!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please describe the type of work you do Jun 9, 2008

Ok. Let's talk CAT then.

We cannot tell you whether it will be worth for you (although there are some really cheap -unfortunatelly sometimes in both senses- tools out there) unless you describe the type of work you do. I.e. we need to know:

1. Whether you mostly get your source materials on paper or electronic.

2. What are the main source file formats you work with.

3. Whether you translate a lot about a reduced number of topics.

4. Whether you frequently receive jobs that resemble earlier jobs, are related to earlier jobs, or contain some text reused from previous source materials.

Only with this information can we assess whether it is worth for you or not!


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AniseK  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 13:16
Japanese to English
+ ...
CAT or Translation Machine Jun 9, 2008

Hi Marcy,

If you are just starting, translation machine may help you more instead of CAT. Just a private opinion, because translation machine helps me cut down my translation time to 50%. Of course, I still have to go through everything the machine translated for me, and do corrections on terms, and such, but compared to doing everything manually, the machine really helps!

As for CAT, you can start experimenting with some free versions, like Wordfast. CAT is very useful if you have repeat clients who wanted you to translate related documents. For example, IT related documents that may use the same glossary, or legal documents that use almost the same wordings. Or else, having CAT is of not much help, you still have to do everything manually.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Your vision about automatic translation - Not my experience Jun 9, 2008

AniseK wrote:
If you are just starting, translation machine may help you more instead of CAT. Just a private opinion, because translation machine helps me cut down my translation time to 50%. Of course, I still have to go through everything the machine translated for me, and do corrections on terms, and such, but compared to doing everything manually, the machine really helps!


I think this assessment might be valid for linguistically limited, procedural texts. Honestly, automatic translation technology has not reached a level to translate the kind of work I do (and most of us do here). And I have assessed this many times over the last 10 years. I haven't seen any significant advances, and translating everything manually still takes less and produces better results than editing the text after automatic translation...

To me, any investment in machine translation today is still rather useless if you want to deliver a good quality.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Automatic 'translationation' Jun 9, 2008

This is what an automatic translator makes of my previous posting (I apologise if you don't speak Spanish):
-----
Creo que esta evaluación podría ser válido para lingüístico limitado, de procedimiento textos. Sinceramente, la tecnología de traducción automática no ha alcanzado un nivel de traducir el tipo de trabajo que hago (y la mayoría de nosotros hacemos aquí). Y he evaluado muchas veces en los últimos 10 años. No he visto ninguna avances significativos, y la traducción de todo manualmente todavía tiene menos y produce mejores resultados que los de edición de texto después de la traducción automática ...

Para mí, cualquier inversión en traducción automática de hoy es todavía bastante inútil si desea entregar una buena calidad.
-----

It hurts!! :-/


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