CAT tools? When does it pay off?
Thread poster: Dénia A. Amon

Dénia A. Amon
Local time: 22:35
English to German
+ ...
Aug 25, 2010

Hi all.
Since weeks I am testing various CAT tools (among them: Wordfast/Trados/Déjà-Vu) and I am sorry,- but I haven't figured out entirely when these programmes start to become useful.
This it what I did: I created TMs with at least 15,000 words. Then I modified very slightly the original text which I fed into the TM earlier and tried to 'pretranslate' it with the programme.
Well, what should I say? The outcome was very disappointing indeed. All programmes could only recognize and 'match' (translate) sentences which where NOT modified AT ALL. Some sentences were 'fuzzy matches' which made no linguistic sense. Modifications with two or more words left only empty rows,.....
So, I am wondering:
- how many thousands of words does one have to feed into the TM to get a decent hit rate?
- does it REALLY make sense to use a CAT cool when the texts one translates do NOT contain always exactly the same wording?

Language is tremendously versatile and the chance that you'll write the same complex sentences twice is quite unlikely,.....? Unless you'll write manuals or business correspondence for the same customers every day?

So, please, I know there are plenty of CAT-tool users out there and I would really appreciate your opinion!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
try harder Aug 25, 2010

Dénia A. Amon wrote:

- does it REALLY make sense to use a CAT cool when the texts one translates do NOT contain always exactly the same wording?



Yes, they REALLY do. I suggest you'll have to spend some more time with those CAT tools. For starters, don't try to pretranslate (this is indeed only useful if you have a lot of 100% matches). Instead, try to translate. The CAT tool will then present you with segments that to some extent match the segment you're translating (that's what they call fuzzy matches - why didn't they make sense in your case?) If you've changed only one word in the original segment, chances are that you'll only have to change that word in the translation as well. This can save you a whole lot of time.

Also, read something about the concordance function, which will also help you save time and increase consistency.

Best regards,
Erik

PS.: If you are working with texts that aren't very repetitive (the prime example being literature), CAT tools are indeed less helpful, though the concordance function might still be useful.



[Bearbeitet am 2010-08-25 21:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:35
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
CAT does not equal automatic (pre)translation Aug 25, 2010

This is not a main purpose of CAT.
What you expected is automatic (machine) translation, which would be able to translate even sentences which did change from what TM does contain. This is not what CAT tools do.
Obviously you've already figured out what happens with 100% matches (exact the same sentence in TM and text), but even this is quite dangerous.
Please translate the following into German:
"You see a window. Click it to select it."
This will be stored in TM. Due to the fact CAT does segment sentece by sentence your TM will contain two entries (segments).
Now take this:
"You see a file. Click it to select it."
Although in German the gender of the first sentence changes, your TM will deliver exactly the same translation for the second sentence as before. But before you reffered to a neutrum in German. And now you have to refer to femininum.

CAT is an interaction between you and machine. When CAT finds a fuzzy match, it is waiting for you to apply the necessary changes.
You are asking, when does this pay off?
Well, depends on what kind of jobs are you doing and on the word price and CAT price.
For easy calculation:
CAT = 500 EUR
Word: 0,10 EUR
Monthly turnaround: 50,000 words
Average match and repetition rate from TM: 5%
You need two months for the CAT to pay off, provided you charge your customer in full for 100% and reps. If you use weighted word count, it will of course be longer. With 30% charge for 100% matches and reps it will take six months.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 22:35
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
well, perhaps looking up some info Aug 25, 2010

might give you some idea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation_memory

Antonin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dénia A. Amon
Local time: 22:35
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
'Eric Aug 25, 2010

thanks for your reply.
Well I am having trouble than with those segments,..


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:35
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Don't ask what your CAT can do for you Aug 25, 2010

Hi Dénia,

Don't ask what your CAT can do for you, ask what you can do for your CAT. Feed it with your translations, feed it with glossaries and feed it with material for concordance and reference searches.

Keep testing Wordfast, even if the TM doesn't propose anything. In the meanwhile use the glossary propagation and MT features to populate your target segments and use the dictionary, concordance and reference search features to look up terms.

Good luck,
Gerard


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other benefits Aug 26, 2010

First, to illustrate, Trados sent me the link and an invitation to a web page where I would give some information on my work, and they'd calculate how long it would take me for Trados to pay for itself. The result was impressive: 13 years!

By now, you've guessed it right: I have and use WordFast.

Some colleagues I know consider their most value asset a TM with so many gazillion segments, carefully checked and polished. I don't. If a job is a typical one-night-stand, I use WF, create a new TM for it, and delete it once the job is closed.

So, what other benefits do I get from WordFast?

First, I spare my neck from turning my head from the original printout to the computer screen all the time. I have both on the same screen, so I look in one direction only. (Btw, I save paper and toner, too!) As corolaries... first, I never have to search for where in the page I was translating, as it's all segmented; second, the risk of skipping a phrase, or a whole paragraph, is down to zero.

Second, as a very old hand with PageMaker, any kind of formatting on MS Word seems to me like a strenuous effort for something that can be so easily accomplished otherwise. WF preserves most - often all - the formatting in the original doc.

Third - and this is a recent one - InFix Pro, a PDF editor from Iceni.com, is now working for translation. It exports and tags all text from a PDF into XML for me to translate, and then imports this tagged text back into the PDF with the right fonts in the right places. Yes, I can use it to do the necessary layout adjustments too. Once I got used to the way of doing it, WF handles XML well, copying those tags much better than I would do with Word alone.

As my average job has less than 5% repetitions and very seldom any fuzzy matches, this is what I get from WF. If you get more fuzzies and repetitions, it's your luck. For me that's enough.

Some 30 years ago, if I had CAT tools, considering the kind of work I was doing then, my translation "labor" would have been cut by some 90%! However in those days the only computer available (but not for me) was a huge mainframe, locked up in a heavily refrigerated room.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 03:35
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My weak points Aug 26, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Some 30 years ago, if I had CAT tools, considering the kind of work I was doing then, my translation "labor" would have been cut by some 90%! However in those days the only computer available (but not for me) was a huge mainframe, locked up in a heavily refrigerated room.

My weak points on computer assisted translation as well as CAT (I am still using it) are mistakes due to my excessive reliability on this tool. For example, wrong numbers are automatically added to my translations due to fuzzy match. But recent CAT tools can prevent this by setting of concordance and QA verifications. Yes, my translation productivity becomes much improved.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dénia A. Amon
Local time: 22:35
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
well then Aug 26, 2010

Thanks very much for your reply José Henrique Lamensdorf!

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

First, I spare my neck from turning my head from the original printout to the computer screen all the time.


I have second monitor connected to my notebook,... so that I does pretty much the same

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

As my average job has less than 5% repetitions and very seldom any fuzzy matches, this is what I get from WF. If you get more fuzzies and repetitions, it's your luck. For me that's enough.


Guess, I am in the same league. My work does not contain much repetitions and I only got very few 'fuzzy' matches.


Well, thanks to all again for your enlightening replies. I keep trying the other functions of CAT tools because these TM functions don't really work out for me. Unless, I might translate more uniform sentences,..



[Edited at 2010-08-26 06:59 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:35
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
terminology Aug 26, 2010

Dénia A. Amon wrote:
- does it REALLY make sense to use a CAT cool when the texts one translates do NOT contain always exactly the same wording?


Hello Dénia,
my texts do not have much repetition either but I use DVX mainly for terminology. And it's great! I see in your profile environment & ecology as one of your main fields. It's one of mine too and years ago I was very sceptical about using CAT Tools, because in my texts the same wording seldom happens. But then, when I've started to build my terminology data base with DVX, I understood the benefits of it. Of course you will not see it immediately; it takes time to build it but it surely pays off.
good luck
Ewa


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

CAT tools? When does it pay off?

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €415 / $495
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €415 / $495 / £325 / ¥60,000 You will also receive FREE access to our getting started eLearning program!

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search