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Where to start from with Translation Tools?
Thread poster: Andonova

Andonova  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:05
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
Mar 15, 2016

I have translation training and some experience but have no knowledge of what translation tools are and how to use them. I am planning to start translating professionally and would like some advice on where to start from. Which translation tools are you using and how did you learn how to use them? Did you enroll in a course? Which one was it?

 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:05
Member (2014)
English to German
Free tools Mar 15, 2016

There are some free tools you can download, explore and try out ... then go from there.

I liked Memsource, there is Across, Wordfast Anywhere and more ...


 

Teresa Freixinho  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Start by the easier ones Mar 15, 2016

Andonova, if you have no knowledge of CAT Tools, I would recommend you to start by the easiest ones, especially, those free of charge.

I would advise you to have a look at WF Classic website. There you will find some tutorials. Watch all of them. They are pleasant and short. Then, download and install WF Classic in your computer and start using. You can use the trial version for undetermined term provided that each TM does not reach the limit of 1,000 TUs. When you reach this threshold, you will need to create a new TM. IMHO WF Classic is the easiest one. I did a course on it, but many people manage to learn by watching videos.

There is also OmegaT, which is not so complex and free for ever. You will also find tutorials videos on the Internet.

I bought a license for Trados Studio 2014 and think it is more complex than the others. However, it is more powerful.

Good luck!


 

Alexander Somin  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:05
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Consider getting more clients Mar 15, 2016

Consider the tools which you would need to get more clients, compare how many translators use these tools as this is the best indicator.

There are free webinars for the tools. E. g., look at the SDL webinars on translationzone.com they offer for beginners. Try the free Wordfast Anywhere. It comprises all the features you'll find in the future within any tool.


 

Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:05
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
some questions Mar 15, 2016

First of all, you must ask yourself "Should I learn/have a CAT tool?". If you are translating a novel then it will be no use for a CAT tool. However, if you are translating techy manuals then a CAT tool is a really good wingman.

Where to start? Well, there are numerous training docs about all CAT tools. Before purchasing a CAT tool, you should be familiar with some basic concepts like pre translation, concordance search, Translation Memory etc.

Although all CAT tools claim that they are different, they have almost same functions with different looks and names.

I would suggest you some CAT tools but not here as it can be interpreted as a kinda ad.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:05
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
My father tought me... Mar 15, 2016

.... if you do something, do it good, or don't do it at all!

All the advises I read till sofar, are good, but I started it the 'hard way', that is, right away with (then) the most complex, but most used CAT-tool, namely Trados.

Still working with it (SDL Studio 2015), kind of grew up with it. Understanding that tool made it easier for me to work with 'lesser' tools, and it is still the most demanded CAT (important!).

The question is: 'Do you want to learn it right away (which might take longer), or do you want to take your time for it?'

In essence, there are 2 mayor tools, SDL and memoQ, the rest are variations off.... (though a lot of colleagues would disagree with me).

In short, take your pick, and remember, the more you invest, the better the quality (free doesn't exist!).


[Edited at 2016-03-15 23:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-03-15 23:14 GMT]


 

Aelf
Poland
Local time: 20:05
English to Polish
+ ...
Free tools Mar 16, 2016

I would strongly recommend trying out free applications first. Some companies now offer free ('lite') versions of their full–fledged CAT tools (e.g. Wordfast Classic and Pro, Memsource, Memoq, Deja Vu, CafeTran, Across). Of course, they don't have all the features of their bigger bothers, but they're great to check them out, work with for some time and move on. This will help you choose the right tool if you eventually decide to buy it.

Be sure to check out some freeware programs as well (e.g. OmegaT, Matecat, Wordfast Anywhere), as they might just fit you right.

Oh, and please, don't fall for "This is industry standard tool" or "Use it as it's the most popular tool" type of recommendations. It's a bunch of BS. Decide for yourself what suits you best.


 

CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 20:05
You can make your own choice Mar 16, 2016

You can make your own choice: as an independent translator there's no need to go for the market leaders. A decent CAT tool will support the files created by those market leaders, without any compatibility problems.

I see in your profile that you are an interpreter too. Perhaps you'd like to use a MacBook (many interpreters do). If so you can go for a CAT tool like Wordfast Pro, Fluency, CafeTran, OmegaT or Swordfish. All of them run on a Mac (and also on Windows).

If you are a project manager, you'll have to use one of the market leaders. If you are a freelance translator, you are free to choose.

Best training: visit a colleague and let her show you how she works.


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 20:05
Member (2005)
English to German
A few points Mar 16, 2016

Emin, I wouldn't even translate a novel without a CAT tool, because I love the side-by-side (or otherwise interleaved) view of the source and target texts. I don't like working like a spectator at a tennis match, looking back and forth between files!

Andonova, some agencies also give you a license to use a CAT tool (of their choice) to work on their projects, so that might be another option apart from genuinely free tools.

Looking at your profile, you might also want to look at some articles / training material here on ProZ and elsewhere on how to present yourself and how to set your rates.

Maybe you could get a little (part-time?) job or internship at a translation agency/company for a while to get acquainted with CAT tools and with the the industry in general?


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:05
German to English
three major tools Mar 16, 2016

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

In essence, there are 2 mayor tools, SDL and memoQ, the rest are variations off.... (though a lot of colleagues would disagree with me).



I would say three major tools, because Wordfast Classic (as opposed to Wordfast Anywhere and Wordfast Pro) is a very distinctive CAT tool that bears almost no resemblance to anything else.

However, I agree with the rest of you said: Trados can probably often help you to find work, but Wordfast Classic will probably only help you to do work.


 

Andonova  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:05
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A lot of useful advice here! Mar 16, 2016

It really makes a difference when you get a professional opinion. I don't personally know anybody in the profession, so it's quite difficult for me.
I have decided to start with some free webinars, download a free trial version and start from there.
Many thanks everyone!


 

Marina Herrera
United States
Local time: 14:05
French to English
+ ...
Something about TRADOS not mentioned Mar 17, 2016

Yes, Trados is the most often used tool for large businesses, however, it has a big drawback if you have been a long time user of MSWord. You have to surrender your special macros and other personalized settings in Word to TRADOS, something I wasn´t prepared to do. So, I have been using OmegaT, learned it in 10 mins. and haven´t looked back at Trados in 10 years.

 

Andonova  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:05
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Missing out on Trados work Mar 25, 2016

What about missing out on all those assignments that say using Trados is a must?

 

CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 20:05
Like I said... Mar 25, 2016

Andonova wrote:

What about missing out on all those assignments that say using Trados is a must?


A decent CAT tool will support the files created by those market leaders, without any compatibility problems.


 

Andonova  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:05
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A decent CAT tool? Mar 25, 2016

You mentioned OmegaT, which other ones would you call decent? I am experimenting with Wordfast at the moment. How would I know if that is going to support the files created by those market leaders? Am am afraid to accept a Trados project without having Trados.

 
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