Computer-Aided Translation questionnaire
Thread poster: eskadi
Local time: 00:47
Polish to English
+ ...
May 2, 2006

Dear all,

I am currently struggling to design a questionnaire concerning Computer-Aided Translation for my thesis. The questionnaire is addressed to professional translators and seeks to gather the information concerning such issues as: usefulness, applicability of CAT tools, possible problems connected with them, proper translator training.

I would not like to omit important issues therefore, should there be any ideas that you feel may be relevant for this questionnaire or if you possibly can suggest adequate references, then you are kindly encouraged to do it.

Thank you very much,

[Edited at 2006-05-03 09:20]

[Edited at 2006-05-03 09:29]

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Do two studies instead of one May 3, 2006

eskadi wrote:
I am currently struggling to design a questionnaire concerning Computer-Aided Translation for my thesis.

My approach would be to do two questionnaires. The first questionnaire is a pilot study which asks more general questions based on a hypothesis of what the answers are likely to be. The second questionnaire is then based on the hindsight obtained from the results of the first questionnaire. The second questionnaire, which should be more useful because it is more focused on the type of answers you'll likely receive, is then the one on which you base your final study.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:47
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Some very basic issues are text types and what accessories are available with different CATs May 3, 2006

There are undoubtedly types of texts full of repetitions and exact terminology where CAT tools are really useful.

At the other end of the scale there are texts where CATs 'cramp the translator's style', typically sales and communicative texts which almost have to be rewritten after translation to adapt them to the target language culture. Here one source sentence may be divided into two in the traget language, or the reverse. Possibly the content is rearranged too, so the translation segments do not correspond well, and the CAT is practically useless.

There are many degrees in between, where practice in using the CAT and a large accumulated TM make the CAT increasingly useful as time goes by, even if the translator does not benefit much while translating the first few texts.

I only have experience of Trados, which is expensive, and I do not use all the features (TagEditor for instance) because I simply find it too complicated. I cannot translate while I am constantly struggling with the 'mechanics' of the system.

I do make a lot of use of the Concordance and Multiterm, which organise terminology, even when there are no whole sentences that match.

Other systems may be 'lighter' and cheaper or easier to use, but they may not have all the features. On the other hand, if they have all the necessary features, or are easier to understand and apply, this is an advantage. I do not benefit from Trados TagEditor, and possibly other features. Others use it constantly.

Some translators use different CAT tools for different types of text - you could ask questions to find correlations.

If you have not already done so, you could spend some time looking at

and the CAT tool forums

- you will need a LOT of time, but it may give you some ideas of what problems arise and how they are solved.

I'm sure you know other sites on the Internet for Deja Vu etc. etc. etc.

Best of luck!

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Local time: 00:47
Polish to English
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Thank you May 3, 2006

Thank you very much for your valuable comments. I highly appreciate your willingness to help.

A questionnaire seems to be ready so if you are willing to take part in a survey concerning CAT tools (generelly speaking) please, let me know and I'll send the questionnaire (in Word text format) on your e-mail. Thank you.

Kind regards,

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