Does it matter which CAT we use for quotes?
Thread poster: Dragomani
Dragomani  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 08:57
Jan 1, 2015

Hello,

I am taking this opportunity to wish everybody a successful and happy new 2015!

Now, to the topic: I've recently received an e-mail prompting me to purchase Fluency at lowest price ever, and since I've been thinking over starting to use CAT tools for some time now, I will most probably take the chance.

So, the question: many job offers require Trados. So, from your experience please let me know whether it would make any difference to the customer which software we use. I would like to make a one-time purchase of some CAT tool and stick to it as much as possible, rather than invest money and time in studying numerous softwares. Thanks


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Drago Jan 2, 2015

Dragomani wrote:
I would like to make a one-time purchase of some CAT tool and stick to it as much as possible, rather than invest money and time in studying numerous softwares.


If the reason you're buying a CAT tool is to get work from agencies, then it won't be a one-time purchase, I'm afraid. New versions of CAT tools are published all the time, and with many new versions, the file format changes. Your own CAT tool will only support the formats that existed at the time that you bought it, so eventually you'll have to buy a newer version of it, or something different.

Many job offers require Trados. From your experience, please let me know whether it would make any difference to the customer which software we use.


Legally (depending on your country's laws) it makes no difference which CAT tool you use to produce the client's required files, as long as the files that you produce conform to the format that the client had requested. You're not an employee, so the client can't dictate what methods you must use to produce the end-product. So theoretically it is possible to use any CAT tool for a "Trados job", but it requires that you know enough about Trados and the limitations of your own tool to be able to tell the client in advance what you can and can't deliver.

However, it is likely that some/many Trados clients will not want to give you the job if they know that you don't have Trados. This is because they would be unable to assist you if anything should go wrong, because they are not familiar with the tool that you use. And unless you're one of the only translators in your language, and are a very good translator, agency PMs will prefer to use translators with the appropriate tool, because it means fewer conversions for the agency.

I've recently received an e-mail prompting me to purchase Fluency at lowest price ever, and since I've been thinking over starting to use CAT tools for some time now, I will most probably take the chance.


Does Fluency support Trados, MemoQ and Wordfast files? It took me a while to get that information, but I finally chanced upon one of the FAQs on their web site, with a partial answer:

Fluency does support Trados and Wordfast source text files, though only in a limited way. It says that the files must be "pre-segmented" in the original program. Now, that comment is meaningful for TTX files, because TTX files are not pre-segmented automatically, but the FAQ also says that Wordfast TXML and Trados SDXLIFF files must be "pre-segmented", which makes no sense, because those files are always pre-segmented anyway, so it's not possible to get them in a non-pre-segmented way. Unless... unless Fluency uses the word "pre-segmented" to mean "pre-translated", in which case Fluency's support for Wordfast and Trados files are very limited indeed, and you would have to hope that the agency PM understands that they must "pre-translate" the file for you before sending it to you.

The Fluency user manual is also available for download. It answers another question that I had, namely whether Fluency can import Trados TMs. Answer: it can't. It can only import TMX TMs, so you'll have to convince your agency PM each time to convert the TM for you to TMX.

I find no information on whether Fluency supports Trados project packages, which is a format used by quite a few of my Trados clients.

The front page of Fluency's web site says "free updates", but if you get to the "buy" page, you'll notice that free updates cost $9 per month.


[Edited at 2015-01-02 08:47 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends on the client Jan 2, 2015

Some clients are concerned with the translator qualification, competence, experience, specialization, writing skill, etc. However there are, indeed, agencies who only care about which CAT tool a translator uses, absolutely nothing else.

If I were ever interested in serving the latter group, I'd buy a Trados license, use the CAT tool of my choice (which does not exclude Trados itself - some people actually like it), and build bridges from it to Trados as necessary. I happen to know several very successful translators who do so.

It is a very limited sample, of course, but none of the best clients I've had so far could care less about whether I use ANY CAT tool AT ALL. They just demand uncompromising high quality and reliable timeliness, no matter what it takes me to deliver them.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:57
Finnish to French
About "lowest price ever" Jan 2, 2015

Dragomani wrote:
I've recently received an e-mail prompting me to purchase Fluency at lowest price ever, and since I've been thinking over starting to use CAT tools for some time now, I will most probably take the chance.

Many CAT tool vendors have "lowest price ever" offers on a regular basis. This is merely a sales gimmick, don't fall for it. Instead, make an educated decision by trying out a few tools.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:57
Finnish to French
About clients that "require" a certain tool Jan 2, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
none of the best clients I've had so far could care less about whether I use ANY CAT tool AT ALL.

You can also put it the other way round: clients that "require" a certain tool as a sine qua non condition for working for them are often the worst ones, those that treat translators as interchangeable robots and rank them purely based on the rate they're prepared to accept. The primary selection criteria should be the translators' subject matter knowledge and linguistic skills, not the tool they're using.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The primary selection criterion Jan 2, 2015

Dominique Pivard wrote:
The primary selection criteria should be the translators' subject matter knowledge and linguistic skills, not the tool they're using.


I don't agree. The primary criterion should be whether the service provider is capable of providing the required service. It matters little if the service provider is an absolute expert in his field, if he is unable to provide the product that his client needs, according to the exact conditions required. Imagine if the translator is the best of the best, but delivers it in longhand. He won't ever get a second job from that client, ever, no matter how good he is.

==

Dominique Pivard wrote:
Instead, make an educated decision by trying out a few tools.


Trying out various tools can be daunting, and possibly not quite useful, if you don't know what to look out for. It is more useful to get opinions from translators who have used other tools, or who can evaluate a product for you. In the case of Fluency, we are fortunate in that the user manual is available for public download, so we can compare its actual features with other tools.

As an example: it would seem that with Fluency one can't insert tags one by one, while translating, or after having translated a segment, but instead one must insert all tags all at once, using a single keyboard shortcut, and then type the translation inbetween the tags. This is not something that would be mentioned in a list of features or a comparison of features, though.


[Edited at 2015-01-02 12:31 GMT]


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Radu Nicolaescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 08:57
Member (2006)
German to Romanian
+ ...
Agencies or end-clients? Jan 3, 2015

1. If your Clients are agencies (technical or Marketing translationsm e.g.) who prepare Projects for many target languages, there is no real alternative: you are bound to the Software in which the Projects are prepared (Trados 2011/2014, Across, memoQ, Transit, etc.).
Any Transfer from a CAT-tool to another and v-v is very delicate, and for experts only; and to be an expert... you need to have and use currently all of them... hence, you do not need more transfer procedures.

2. If you work with final formats (doc, docx, ppt, xls, idml, pdf, XML, ...) the best tool is the one that has the best conversion filters for that Format + additional Tools (to convert pdf in doc e.g)

3. Scanned/paper documents; it doesn't matter

have a Hapy New Year.


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xxx2nl  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:57
I think you are exaggerating here Jan 3, 2015

Radu Nicolaescu wrote:

Any Transfer from a CAT-tool to another and v-v is very delicate, and for experts only; and to be an expert... you need to have and use currently all of them... hence, you do not need more transfer procedures.


I think that there are ‘universal’ CAT tools that deal very well with proprietary file formats and enhanced XLIFF flavours of the market leaders. These tools only cost a fraction of what the big brothers cost, often offer more useful features, OS independency and increased speed for many basic tasks. Big marketing budgets don't say everything about innovation.

Another question is whether your client expects you to QA your translation in the originating CAT tool. This is something that can be negotiated, though often demo versions can be used for this procedure.

Personally I check all my translations in the originating CAT tools but it's been a long time since those tools caught any QA errors that weren't reported by my underdog CAT tool.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Typical Jan 3, 2015

Dominique Pivard wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
none of the best clients I've had so far could care less about whether I use ANY CAT tool AT ALL.

You can also put it the other way round: clients that "require" a certain tool as a sine qua non condition for working for them are often the worst ones, those that treat translators as interchangeable robots and rank them purely based on the rate they're prepared to accept. The primary selection criteria should be the translators' subject matter knowledge and linguistic skills, not the tool they're using.


From today's harvest on the Proz job board:
We have urgent requirement of Trados user Translator. Please do let us know are you intertested to do one sample test of approx 150 wc. This will be free of cost.

Please share your CV urgent. we have regular jobs for all languages.

Subject field: Mechanics / Mech Engineering


Job poster has a comparatively low LWA score on the Blue Board.

Though I am an Industrial Mechanical Engineer, I wouldn't touch this job/client with a ten-foot pole. Thank goodness my only CAT tool is WFC!


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Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 14:57
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
My two cents in a nutshell Jan 4, 2015

Dragomani wrote:

Hello,

I am taking this opportunity to wish everybody a successful and happy new 2015!

Now, to the topic: I've recently received an e-mail prompting me to purchase Fluency at lowest price ever, and since I've been thinking over starting to use CAT tools for some time now, I will most probably take the chance.

So, the question: many job offers require Trados. So, from your experience please let me know whether it would make any difference to the customer which software we use. I would like to make a one-time purchase of some CAT tool and stick to it as much as possible, rather than invest money and time in studying numerous softwares. Thanks


A) Many offers on the market at very low prices and endless trial versions. Try before buying and see what best fits you not based on price only but rather on needs. Saying "Oh i buy this because it's really cheap" doesn't sound like a good choice, business-wise. I buy what i need, not what is cheap. Do you need Fluency?

B) Many said customers don't care which software you use to deliver Trados compatible files. I beg to differ. In my 15 years as a translator i have found countless customers harassing me with using solely and exclusively Trados, some asking specific versions (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). When i offered to deliver with different CATs they disappeared often. This is due to ignorance in part (they don't know any other God than Trados), as well as to the fact the despite you delivering TTX files cooked with some other CAT (or also a different version of Trados) exposes the file to incompatibilities.

C) From what i said in two items above and the huge dose of common sense others have shown before me, you'll quickly understand that even if you buy Fluency at a very low price that purchase may become useless as you will have to:
- Sooner or later buy some other CAT to fit customer's needs
- Sooner or later buy updated versions of Fluency to fit customer's or your needs.

In short, once you are caught into a CAT ecosystem, the cost of the CAT becomes integral part of your business costs and you'll need to keep updating existing platforms and buy new ones as need arises.

First thing i'd ask myself. Do i need fluency? Or i need to maximize my chances with the standard? Or i rather need something that offers full capabilities at a decent price? If i were you i'd try Fluency and all major CATs out there before investing money in things i don't need or whose use may be limited.

Hope this helps.

Enrico


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Dragomani  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 08:57
TOPIC STARTER
All responds have good points Jan 5, 2015

Dear all,

Thank you for being responsive and for sharing your experience. The reality here is that CAT tools here are not that popular (or maybe not yet), we translate piles of Word and PDF files from single customers and not that often manuals or other documents with plenty of repetitions.

However, we still have documents with repetitions which rise the demand of such software. And what is more, foreign contractors seem to trust more those of us who use CATs, and I want to get wider access to job offers. So, thanks again, I will most likely test trial versions and take an informed decision.


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Lourdes Barrientos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fluency, I am new. Jan 6, 2015

Hello All!

I just recently bought Fluency. What prompted me? I was a 40 hour per week user of Trados at my previous full time job translating at a hospital. So, let me clarify that I was a happy Trados user.
I am freelancing, and I wanted to have access to translation memories = TM's, and since I work alone, and got so used to having a CAT tool, I was looking for a program that:

HAD CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ONLINE SUPPORT ON A QUICK TURN AROUND.

Found it with Fluency. Their customer service support is impeccable. Quick and to the point. I bought the monthly support for $10.00 and it is well worth it! The license is for 2 computers, and wow, the 2 computers do not have to be in the same geographical location. So, I am sharing my license with my good colleague and friend. When we get familiar with Fluency, we will be able to share computer screens to work on the same project. Fluency can also do transcription.

When it comes to PDF's, there is a need to use ABBYY Fine Reader in conjunction with Fluency. More on that later, when I understand it better myself. If you have help on this topic, I would appreciate it. Fluency helps me with Fluency, but when it comes to ABBYY, since I have the trial version, I have no support... very difficult to convert the PDF into Word. Especially the PDF's that are very very very full of data, boxes, tons of fonts. I may not / I do not / know how to use ABBYY fine reader to its fullest.

Summary: Fluency, compatible with Trados, inexpensive, full customer service support, and awesome to build your TM's.

LuLu.


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