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Poll: By how much have CAT tools increased your daily productivity?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:56
SITE STAFF
Nov 22, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "By how much have CAT tools increased your daily productivity?".

This poll was originally submitted by Crystal Samples

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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Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 02:56
English to Greek
+ ...
I find it amazing... Nov 22, 2007

...that over a quarter of the colleagues who participated in the poll (so far, 22 Nov 12:20 GMT) do not use any CAT tools!

I admit it took me a while to wrap my head around the idea, but I wouldn't be without my CAT tool now!


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:56
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other: I don't know Nov 22, 2007

Because I've always been using CAT tools, at least since I've been monitoring my productivity.

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Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:56
French to English
+ ...
what other benefits? Nov 22, 2007

Would I be correct in assuming the "other benefits" are consistency and terminology management? What others could there be?

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Maria Asis  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on job and TM Nov 22, 2007

Hi!

I think it is difficult to be determined, because we work with different documents and several TMs (me at least) and the number of fuzzy/100% matches changes from one day to another.

Being able to handle other formats is also useful (or difficult, you choose!)

María José


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Spanish to English
CAT Tools ¿benefits? Nov 22, 2007

[quote]ProZ.com Staff wrote:
"By how much have CAT tools increased your daily productivity"

Although CAT have their uses (I have used WordFast off and on for about 2 years) I don't think they are any benefits at all for me. I have to handle larger files for less money (I once had a file 40 pages long with about a third requiring translation) and more work (re-configuring 100% matches, re-translating completely 70-90% matches etc.) I only translate medical documents and have yet to see a great benefit (apart from headings for sections, etc.)
My personal opinion is that agencies and big clients benefit more than the translator. I know I have seen many translators singing the praises for their particular CAT, but....


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Increased - yes. But how much? Nov 22, 2007

It's almost impossible to tell how much CAT tools have increased our productivity. I am just sure that it _has_ increased.

If the client know how to set up Word files with useful format, put in automatic tables of contents, changing templates etc. we can use all the advantages a CAT offers us. If however another client always misuse his computer as a type-writer and keep on insisting on putting a hard return at the end of _every_ single line, and also have no ideas how to format a Word file, we might need to invest more time for the translation with CAT. If we had decided not to use CAT for this, we could have started right off with this text..

Also, as Maria stated, when using CAT we're now able to handle other file formats we couldn't without a CAT, so it's impossible to determine if the productivity has improved.

Erik


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:56
English to Polish
+ ...
Why? Nov 22, 2007

David Brown wrote:

I have to handle larger files for less money (I once had a file 40 pages long with about a third requiring translation) and more work (re-configuring 100% matches, re-translating completely 70-90% matches etc.)

Why less money? You don't have to agree to discounts. CAT is for you to work more conveniently, not for an agency to pay you less (even if agencies think so).


Anni


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:56
Italian to English
+ ...
No idea Nov 22, 2007

I've no doubt WF has improved my productivity, but I've no idea how much - when I started using it I didn't get offered enough work to fill my time anyway, whereas now I have to turn work down.
There are also other factors: I do a lot of scanned pdfs, where CATs are useless anyway, and I do some non-repetitive work, where the benefits aren't to do with productivity. I aso avoid using WF on the rare occasions I get Excel or PowerPoint files to translate, as it's more trouble than it's worth.

Still, it certainly has speeded up processing of repetitive texts in Word, which do account for a fair part of my time.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly the same on our end! Nov 22, 2007

Maria Asis wrote:
I think it is difficult to be determined, because we work with different documents and several TMs (me at least) and the number of fuzzy/100% matches changes from one day to another.
Being able to handle other formats is also useful (or difficult, you choose!)
María José


I entirely agree with this statement. We have several memories depending on the job, some of which are 8-9 years old by now, and also use Multiterm intensely and in several ways, but being able to give a ballpark figure is very hard indeed. In some jobs we work 9 times faster, in some other jobs we work at the same speed as without a memory.

But the side benefits of consistency and quality are always there. I find it hard to believe that 25% of people who have voted don't use a translation memory tool. How do they manage?


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Mike Hunter
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:56
Member
English to Flemish
+ ...
in praise of CAT Nov 22, 2007

[quote]David Brown wrote:

ProZ.com Staff wrote:
"By how much have CAT tools increased your daily productivity"

Although CAT have their uses (I have used WordFast off and on for about 2 years) I don't think they are any benefits at all for me. I have to handle larger files for less money (I once had a file 40 pages long with about a third requiring translation) and more work (re-configuring 100% matches, re-translating completely 70-90% matches etc.) I only translate medical documents and have yet to see a great benefit (apart from headings for sections, etc.)
My personal opinion is that agencies and big clients benefit more than the translator. I know I have seen many translators singing the praises for their particular CAT, but....


Hi David

From an agencies point of view I think the principle benefits are about consistency of terminology, and ability to handle different formats. I'm a bit worried about your example of having to retranslate 70-90% matches, there's something very wrong there. Perhaps there were problems with the existing translation memory. Its easy to over exagerate the impact of CAT, people forget that if you tell the memory that a line of hashes (or whatever) is the correct translation for a given phrase or sentence, the TM will produce it as the correct translation forever if no one spots the error. Hence the value of independant proofing and careful selection of translators.

Kindest regards

Mike


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I find it amazing... Nov 22, 2007

...that people manage to find time or patience to gauge this kind of thing - all I can say is that starting to use WF has made me change the way I work (top down, systematically in segments instead of a holistic approach, starting from the end, etc) when doing so.
However, I am wary of taking anything to do with clients (usually agencies) who work things out on the basis of text with/without repetitions (for example, offering a text "20,000 words without repetitions" which may turn out to be nearer to 40,000 words in the real world). Up till now I have always billed for translations on the basis of an initial wordcount, not taking into account repetitions but with discretionary discounts depending on volume, complexity, format or deadline, etc and have had no complaints so far (apart from the odd haggle, which I invaribly lose).
Before installing WF I would use the search/replace function in Word on repetitive texts, which was fast enough.
Finally I'd like to comment that there seems to be a lot of ferociously businesslike stuff going on out there that I prefer to leave aside for others, i. e. targets/self assessment/obsession with performance, profitability, marketing and income etc...
All I can say to that is "get a life"....

[Edited at 2007-11-22 16:01]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
CAT-tools: How to increase your productivity, lower your income... Nov 22, 2007

A CAT tool may increase your productivity, but does it increase your income if you have to give your "best price" and follow the standard scheme of reductions for fuzzies etc. The only ones who benefit from CATs are agencies, who will sell the product to their end-customer WITHOUT any rebates for matches...

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
My point exactly Nov 22, 2007

Williamson wrote:

A CAT tool may increase your productivity, but does it increase your income if you have to give your "best price" and follow the standard scheme of reductions for fuzzies etc. The only ones who benefit from CATs are agencies, who will sell the product to their end-customer WITHOUT any rebates for matches...


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Annelise Meyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:56
English to French
+ ...
Other (N/A) Nov 22, 2007

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

Because I've always been using CAT tools, at least since I've been monitoring my productivity.



I don't even remember how it was before them, though I remember how I disliked the simple idea of using them!!
Now even for the simplest word file, I like using SDLX to translate it, if only to have the source and target aligned on screen, but also to check my progress!

Annelise


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