CAT tools are supposed to speed up your work, right?
Thread poster: Nicole Schnell

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:20
English to German
+ ...
Nov 24, 2011

You must be kidding. Here are some refreshing excerpts from a recent project.

{238}[1}S{2][3}ecurity{4] [5}Awareness{6] [7}training{8] [9}is{10] [11}important{12] [13}for{14] [15}every{239}one!
{349}[1}Remote access t{350}o the XXXXX network must be over a {351}{{352}2][3}VPN connection {353}{{354}4][5}or {355}{{356}6][7}Citrix session{357}{{358}8][9{359} using the Secured ID token issued by Global IS/IT.
{328}Someone could be reading it over your shoulder ({329}{{330}1][2}shoulder surfing{331}{{332}3][4}),{5]
{185}Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as {186}“{187}# {188}”{189}or {190}“{191}&{192}”{193}
{211}Use the numeral {212}“{213}2{214}”{215}for {216}“{217}two{218}”{219}and the numeral {220}“{221}4{222}” {223}for {224}“{225}four{226}”{227}or {228}“{229}for.
{336}[1}Only use {337}{{338}2][3}encrypted Wi-Fi Internet connections {339}{{340}4][5}via XXX & YYY{341}’{342}s VPN services,{6]
{402}Managers with European Union employees as direct reports must also be familiar with the {403}PlaceName{404}Safe{405} {406}PlaceType{407}Harbor{408}requirements and the {409}PlaceName{410}place{411}XXX & YYY{412}PlaceName{413}Safe{414} {415}PlaceType{416}Harbor{417}Privacy Policy.
{420}For suspected {421}PlaceName{422}place{423}Safe{424}PlaceType{425}Harbor {426}privacy policy violations please contact the XXX & YYY Law department or the XXX & YYY Ser{427}vice Desk.{428}


As delivered by the client.


 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:20
English to German
+ ...
Use the right technology then :-] Nov 24, 2011

[begin jobdescription level="beginner"]
\blurbon
[347{245}This347]{blurb}has been done[0045][{\blurb}{99}\89so you can \forceuppercaseEASILY\ feed\89 it into a {adultcontent}[99fudging{\adultcontent}99] {jokeon}MT{\jokeoff} engine.345]
\blurboff
[end jobdescription]

Regards, o.icon_wink.gif


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:20
English to Czech
+ ...
Looks like a joke... Nov 24, 2011

...or better, like a OCRed PDF file. These files usually need some pre-processing before they can be loaded into a CAT tool: a step your client has probably missed.

 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:20
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Tools are just that - tools Nov 24, 2011

Computers are also supposed to speed up work, and yet you can spend half of your workday recovering from crashes, fighting viruses and browsing through Facebook. But the pen and paper are even worse - imagine how many hours went into those doodles on the margins? And yes, when you hit your fingers with a hammer, it slows down your work significantly.

In other words, blame the user, not the tool.


 

inge van dri (X)
Local time: 16:20
German to Dutch
+ ...
Ask your client Nov 24, 2011

to deliver a better one. Force majeure. One cannot translate this into another language, especially in Germanic languages with the verb at the end.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:20
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The file has been prepared by the PM Nov 24, 2011

I only have the editor version of this CAT tool and I can neither start a new project, nor can I influence the format. I do need to discuss this issue with this rather new PM at my long-term client's office. I just don't know how to start as I don't know much about CAT tools and I am not too keen to wrap my translator profession around technical issues.

 

bbbb bbbb (X)
Eritrea
Local time: 17:20
agreed Nov 24, 2011

I recently started using a CAT tool and found that the only good thing it really does is to compartmentalize my sentences. At the end of the day it still takes me longer to use. What a waste.

 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:20
English to Czech
+ ...
I'd write something like this: Nov 24, 2011

Dear PM,
the project file I have received contains an excessive number of tags which makes it nearly impossible for me to work on the project.
I assume that the project has been created from an OCRed PDF. These files are generally rather troublesome and need some pre-processing. Could you please look into this? It should be possible to remove excessive formatting with tools like CodeZapper, or even by going through the file manually and replacing local, hard-coded formatting with document styles.

A big thank you.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:20
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Stanislav! Nov 24, 2011

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

Dear PM,
the project file I have received contains an excessive number of tags which makes it nearly impossible for me to work on the project.
I assume that the project has been created from an OCRed PDF. These files are generally rather troublesome and need some pre-processing. Could you please look into this? It should be possible to remove excessive formatting with tools like CodeZapper, or even by going through the file manually and replacing local, hard-coded formatting with document styles.

A big thank you.


This is exactly the kind of information that I was looking for. Other than that, this large project is an online course. I have no idea why such files can possibly contain more tags than words.


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:20
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Their mistake Nov 24, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I only have the editor version of this CAT tool and I can neither start a new project, nor can I influence the format. I do need to discuss this issue with this rather new PM at my long-term client's office.


Just refuse politely. This is not workable - it's an equivalent of a faxed source document where half of the lines are garbled.


 

opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:20
English to German
+ ...
Agree with Stanislav & Jabberwock Nov 24, 2011

You should write to the PM, and ask for a cleanup. I've worked a lot with tagged formats as a translator (though not in CAT tools), but your file looks impossible to me.

If they don't change it, try to sneak out of this job as elegantly and as soon as possible. There's not much good that can come out of it, IMHO.

[Edited at 2011-11-24 12:19 GMT]


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:20
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Ye gods! Nov 24, 2011

How appalling! No wonder I don't want to use CAT tools.
Jenny


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:20
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes. Nov 24, 2011

opolt wrote:
I've worked a lot with tagged formats as a translator (though not in CAT tools)


I am faster when working directly in some XML Editor. I own Oxygen which is a neat little tool. Clients don't like that. Building up TMs is paramount.


 

XX789 (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:20
English to Dutch
+ ...
It's a new market Nov 25, 2011

Would you believe me if I told you that I make most money these days by operating my tools in better ways than the clients themselves? They think they're saving money, but they know so little about the tools that in the end they only lose money. By formatting and segmenting the projects in better ways and thinking up the most efficient way to process files on a per-project basis, I get all the exact matches the clients always miss. And of course they're all mine - I wasn't the one forcing them to work according to their own inefficient procedures, now was I? If the client is willing to listen, I will give them tips on how to work more efficiently, but experience has shown that most of them are too stubborn, lazy or scared (inexperienced project managers who dare not deviate from procedures!) to change their ways. So no, I don't feel sorry at all if they won't listen.

A prerequisite for this is buying the actual tools and learning a bit of programming though, as you need to get out of that Edit mode. But boy is it worth it.

By the way, this is a battle you will ALWAYS win in the end. Project managers get very low salaries and try to move up in the organization as soon as possible. Most of them don't last longer than 2 years or so. They will almost always have less experience than you when it comes to these matters. So yes, knowledge is indeed power.

[Edited at 2011-11-25 12:05 GMT]


 


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