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Poll: Do you prefer using CAT tools when translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:19
SITE STAFF
Mar 22, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you prefer using CAT tools when translating?".

This poll was originally submitted by Norman Buhagiar

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:19
English to French
+ ...
Yes Mar 22, 2007

It's not that much about working faster and being more productive or having an easier time working (although that's a plus). It is rather about wanting to produce translations that are as close to perfect as possible, and CAT tools help me achieve that. Consistency is very easy to achieve with CAT tools, and the added benefit is that I can reuse TMs from earlier projects so I can be sure that I am always using the right terminology.

I don't target financial benefit from CAT tools, but I do believe their use helps me to boost the quality of my work, so I can be proud of my work (I find my work more rewarding) and so that the client is happy about it too. In the end, we both win.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:19
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes Mar 22, 2007

In addition to all other advantages (better consistency, faster translation, etc.), and advantage usually overlooked (by those who don't use translation memory tools) is the fact that they in effect provide an additional safety net: since each segment is saved in the translation memory as you proceed with your translation, you are much less likely to lose a significant amount of your work just because MS Word crashed (as it often does).

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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
German to English
+ ...
Another Yes Mar 22, 2007

I always use my CAT tool (DVX) for my translations. (The only exceptions are paper/fax/PDF source texts that are too bad to be OCR'd).

Reasons: especially consistency and ease of access to my digital reference material (i.e. terminology/TM). Once in a while I get a productivity "windfall", but the extra productivity is not my main reason.

And one other "safety net" factor in addition to what Riccardo mentioned: using a CAT tool it is very difficult to miss out a whole sentence (which I occasionally did in the bad old days when I typed from paper) because all of the source text is there, and if I leave a segment untranslated, the tool will tell me that the segment is not finished when I check things at the end (or at the latest when I spellcheck).

One other incidental benefit: typing in Word I often find that I make a number of typos as I go along. Working in DVX, I make far fewer typos. Not sure why.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree completely! Mar 22, 2007

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

In addition to all other advantages (better consistency, faster translation, etc.), and advantage usually overlooked (by those who don't use translation memory tools) is the fact that they in effect provide an additional safety net: since each segment is saved in the translation memory as you proceed with your translation, you are much less likely to lose a significant amount of your work just because MS Word crashed (as it often does).


Yes! Absolutely!


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
English to French
Depends on job Mar 23, 2007

I would have been keen to say "Yes" for all the above reasons (consistency, not missing segments, etc.) but in the end I answered "Depends on the job" because it does.

According to me, CAT Tools are very useful for technical text but they come as an obstacle to my translation when it comes to more journalistic texts.

When you translate articles about a football news for instance, you don't want to repeat yourself and use the exact same terms all the time because the text would soon get very boring, repetitive and heavy. If I were using a CAT Tool for that kind of texts, it would certainly force me to follow the English structure, segment by segment, and that I can't see myself do it for football magazines, news or players' biographies for instance. For the rest, no problem though.

Emma


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Hendarto Setiadi  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 22:19
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Don't think they're useful for my line of work Mar 23, 2007

My mainstay is literary and non-technical translation. Every text is unique and repetitions are virtually non-existent. Even though I haven't tried any CAT tools, I doubt that I would benefit from them.

Best,
Hendarto


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Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 17:19
English to Greek
+ ...
All of the above Mar 23, 2007

...and the fact that you are not likely to overlook a segment, as they appear one by one! Also important, is the fact that whatever the tool you use, it helps you focus on each segment at the time, this, to my mind, being the reason why I make fewer typos.

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Frances Bryce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:19
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Surely it depends Mar 23, 2007

I have top say I completely agree that for technical-type jobs CAT is remarkably useful.... for all the reasons above. About 90% of my work is technicalish and I use Trados for virtually all of it.

However, I find there are clients and even some PMs who don't really understand what CAT is useful for and at what point it's like using a hammer to crack a nut....complete overkill and you end up with a messy result. If you're not sure what I mean then just try translating a magazine article in TagEditor, where the bilingual files have already been created...... Not fun I can tell you!!


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Irena Kacarski-Kimova  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 16:19
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Definitly yes! Mar 23, 2007

Ever since I started using a CAT Tool I feel better about the work I do because of everything that has alredy been said in this thread, but mostly because I am sure I am consistent in the use of the terminology and I haven't left anything out (has happened to me unfortanatly before CAT time).

PLUS if something happens to the file I can recover the translation from the TM! Just knowing this makes me feel much better and this is why: some years ago my husband was exploring the computer while the translation file was open (I stepped out for a quick snack) and crashed the system (!?). I had to retranslate 30 pages (I was just finishing when this happened) until the next morning in order to meet the deadline! You can image what my husband had to suffer afterwards !

[Edited at 2007-03-23 09:02]


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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:19
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
YES Mar 23, 2007

Frances Bramer wrote:

However, I find there are clients and even some PMs who don't really understand what CAT is useful for and at what point it's like using a hammer to crack a nut....complete overkill and you end up with a messy result. If you're not sure what I mean then just try translating a magazine article in TagEditor, where the bilingual files have already been created...... Not fun I can tell you!!


This is true. Sometimes PMs become so stubborn only to save 2 or 3 cents on 2 or 3 repetitions for jobs written in the strangest formats, and in which future repetitions are highly unlikely! If you know what I mean!
However, in most cases (almost always), CAT tools not only help you increase your speed but, above all, they help you considerably improve quality.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:19
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I use Trados more and more Mar 23, 2007

I hated Trados when I started with it, but had to admit it had its uses. I have tried a couple of other CATs, but personally, I prefer Trados.

Now I use it a lot. Not every time, but for clients who have recurring terminology, the concordance is great, even if you never get a repeat sentence.

I keep track of all the 'characters' and their titles in large companies by typing them carefully into Trados and/or Multiterm. Then they are easy to find again. Correctly spelled and labelled CFO, Finance Manager, CEO, Managing Director, director of... or XXX Director, Department name, whatever, as they prefer.

I've added the 12 months and 7 weekdays with capital letters and without typos in English - and I no longer spend half the year correcting septebmer, Ooctoebr, novebmer, decebmer ... as I used to. The correct forms pop up ready to insert with an easy short cut.

Or those peculiar names... Multiterm causes a run-time error on my new computer and I've been working without it for a couple of weeks. If I wasn't converted before, I am now

It is well worth the effort of learning to use a good CAT. Then you know when it really is a waste of time - but there are fewer and fewer occasions as you learn new ways to use it.

Happy translating!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I find them limiting Mar 24, 2007

I'm just starting with Trados, and I've postedited machine translation for 25 years. I find that I'm faster and more accurate when I'm working from my head, with my eyes closed, than when looking at the screen.

Also, unless a job requires that certain sentences be translated identically all the time, I like to introduce variation, which is more natural in normal writing.

And finally, a "match" in one context can be completely wrong in another, and I find them a waste of time.


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