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Anyone out there who doesn't use a CAT tool...
Thread poster: AnnikaLight

AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
Aug 18, 2006

... and is quite happy working without a tool?

I tried Trados for a bit, and it really cramped my style. So, I guess, I'm an old-fashioned translator

I was wondering if there are others "out there" who don't use TRADOS/SDLX etc... and if so, why not?

Looking forward to your input,

Annika

[Edited at 2006-08-18 14:46]


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:52
Member (2002)
English to German
You are not alone Aug 18, 2006

Don't feel lost and alone in the whole universe.

I bet there are many other colleagues like you out there so don't worry.

Hey, I bet there are even some translators who still refuse to touch a computer!

I just don't know any...

So long

Andy

www.interlations.com


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AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Good to know.... Aug 18, 2006

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your response. Good to know I'm not alone out there...

Well, I've got to say, I'm not THAT old-fashioned after all! I couldn't live without my computer or 24-hour DSL connection...

Do you, as an outsourcer, expect your freelancers to use Trados?

Thanks,

Annika



[Edited at 2006-08-18 14:26]


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Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:52
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I know TRADOS can be useful Aug 18, 2006

specially for technical translations where the vocabulary isn't very creative. However, in literary translations, it's not so useful and I can totally relate to what you said, Annika, about cramping your writing style. I am specialized in literary translations, therefore I only use TRADOS if the client specifically asks me to.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
A contrary opinion Aug 18, 2006

Leaving aside even Wordfast which offers similar functionality to TRADOS at a lower price and with perhaps improved stability, there are also Déjà Vu, OmegaT (the latter is free, open source, and works with paragraphs rather than sentences) with many satisfied users, and a number of other tools.

Unfortunately many translators and even more agencies seem to think that TRADOS (or the new TRADOS/SDLX) is synonymous with "CAT tool" and that you either use these programs or you use none at all.

So in answer to your question, "no," I don't use TRADOS, but "yes" I am very satisfied working with a CAT tool (Déjà Vu in my case). I like to think that the part of my mind that is freed up by not having to remember "what was the splendid solution that I had worked out last time for that tricky turn of phrase?" can be applied to enhance my creativity. Thus I find it helpful not only for terminology-rich texts and texts with repetitions but also for more literary-type texts.

[Edited at 2006-08-18 15:19]


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Manal chreidah  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
German to Arabic
+ ...
dont worry Aug 18, 2006

Hi Annika,

don't worry, you are not alone at all. I dont have TRADOS either. Nevertheless I will be visiting a course next month with BDÜ in Köln. I am like you, I cant live without my PC and DSL Connection.

The question is: I translate German-Arabic, does TRADOS support this language pair?

have a nice weekend

manal


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AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
You're right, of course.... Aug 18, 2006

Hi GoodWords,

Thanks for your response. You're right, of course. TRADOS isn't the only CAT tool. I actually meant to refer to translation memory software in general.

I've tried other tools as well (such as Wordfast), and I noticed that using a CAT tool (any tool!) was actually slowing me down.

I'll change "TRADOS" to "CAT tool" in the subject-line of my original post. I realize that this was a misleading title....

Thanks,

Annika


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AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Manal.... Aug 18, 2006

Hi Manal,

Thanks for your reply!

I would presume that TRADOS supports German-Arabic... hmmm.....

Good luck with your course,

Annika


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AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly, Teresa! Aug 18, 2006

Hi Teresa,

Exactly! That's it! I translate a lot of literary/creative texts, and a CAT tool just seems to interrupt my "creative flow, the way I write, and the way I think ....

Thanks for responding

Annika

Teresa Bento wrote:
However, in literary translations, it's not so useful and I can totally relate to what you said, Annika, about cramping your writing style. I am specialized in literary translations, therefore I only use TRADOS if the client specifically asks me to.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I use it on demand Aug 18, 2006

but I'm happiEST without it

I hate the choppy product when what the text calls for is flow.


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Sybille  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
I also felt that it slows me down. Aug 18, 2006

Never really used a CAT tool. I tried to get to know what it is all about doing some exercises with Wordfast. But I do not like it.
I took part in a weekend course for Trados (knew before some things wich are the same or similar with Wordfast. But I didn't get the clou.
One of the things I do not like is that I am shown one sentence only and cannot have a look over a whole paragraph.
Another thing is the payment - I saw a lot of offers at proz.com and on not like those reduced payments of fuzzy matches (with different percentage of the rate.
One disadvantage, as to my opinion, also is that you are not forced to learn any new words, the CAT tool does it for you, displaying it the next time.
Maybe other colleagues still can add other opinions.
I, for my part, am happy with not using CAT tools.


Sybille


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:52
Proz surveys... Aug 18, 2006

... on the use of CAT tools show that there are approximately 25% of its members (who respond to surveys, of course) who do not use CAT tools.

I, just like Parrot, use TRADOS on demand, but work happier without it. I find it is not a user-friendly product at all, and very difficult to learn to use thoroughly (I guess that was the intention of the manufacturers, since they are now selling "user certificates" which entail paying for and passing a series of exams).

Parrot wrote:
but I'm happiEST without it

I hate the choppy product when what the text calls for is flow.


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AnnikaLight  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Sentence only - no paragraph.... Aug 18, 2006

Hi Parrot, Sybille and Rosa - good to hear there are more translators who are happier without a tool....

Sybille wrote:
One of the things I do not like is that I am shown one sentence only and cannot have a look over a whole paragraph.


Yes, that's one of the reasons I dislike it so much....

Annika



[Edited at 2006-08-18 15:06]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 14:52
Turkish to English
+ ...
A question that I have often wanted to ask Aug 18, 2006

Thanks for asking this question.
I am quite happy working without a CAT tool and sometimes I wonder if I am a latter-day Luddite who is about to find himself forced out of business for refusing to keep up with modern technology. I have recently turned fifty and I also wonder if my way of working has become totally divorced from current accepted practice. Then again, I often work on documents for large legal cases and twice recently agencies have admitted to me that the client has specifically requested that all Turkish documents in that case be sent to me and no other translator, so I think I must be doing something right.
Actually, last week I used a CAT tool for the first time ever: this was the agency's own proprietory tool that they supplied free of charge. Now, I understand how a CAT tool helps you to use terminology consistently, and was able to experience this in practice. Also in the job I did last week there was some data displayed in tables, and the tables were all formatted with embedded tags so all I had to worry about was the actual content. Which is great. But do I think that these advantages justify the expense involved in acquiring a CAT tool? Sorry, no I don't.
I wonder if terminology consistency has not become something of a fetish. In the first place, it is not always important. In a brochure advertising a department store I might write 'We have a wide range of ... " in one place and 'We have a great variety of ...' in another, even though the source language has the same word for 'range/variety'. Using a different equivalent may just fit the flow of the text better and makes no difference. On the other hand, if I refer on one page to a particular department as 'men's clothing' then I obviously cannot call it 'menswear' on another page because this would create confusion. And I think it is only in technical manuals where there is an awful lot of terminology that has to be used consistently. In other kinds of text the amount of such terminology is smaller, and quite frankly two pages on I can still remember that I called this particular department 'men's clothing'; I do not feel the need to be prompted. Or if necessary I can just scroll back and check what I used - OK, I am losing 30 seconds but I am prepared to lose it and keep the money I would have paid on a CAT tool.
So, when I hear about CAT tools I just shrug my shoulders. On the other hand, if asked whether I still see myself in translation in five years time, I would say there is about a fifty percent chance. Maybe these two attitudes are connected.
That's my five cent's worth.


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:52
German to English
CAT tools not useful for well-written texts Aug 18, 2006

AlthoughI regularly use my CAT tool, I've found it not to be particularly useful when working with journalistic pieces, advertising or other documents requiring creativity. Sometimes sentences / paragraphs need to be combined or broken up, and this is often impeded by a CAT tool.

On the other hand, I do a lot of tender/contract specifications, and my CAT tool is invaluable for this work. Not long ago I finished a 50 page document - 10K words - in a day, since most of the document contained material I had translated over the past few years. I was then able to take 2 more jobs that week.


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