New translators and CAT Tools - Iolet Examinations and other enquiries
Thread poster: Paula Borges

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:04
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 26, 2009

Hello people! I am new to Trados!

I have been working with Media and Communication but always had a great passion for language, I taught myself english, and I am a brazilian native, but being a portuguese citizen in a portuguese family, both variations are easy for me.

I have decided to become a translator since that's what I really like to do. My passion for language and writing would make my work always exciting!

I am currently looking for opportunities to translate so I can gain more experience (that's why I joined proz), and I just finished a course in CAT Tools.

I was very excited with the possibility of using Corpora I must say, and I didn't find Wordfast that difficult.
But the thing is: I don't like using CAT tools. Maybe I am old fashioned, but specially when working with different kinds of files I find that I take more time figuring out what's going on with the CAT tool than I do focusing on the text.

I notice that a lot of companies demand that you work with Trados. I wonder if they really know what they mean. I don't think someone translates better just because they are using Trados.

Having that said, I am not familiar with the tool. I find it to expensive and complicated.

Is it possible for any translator today work without using Trados?

Another question is regarding the Iolet Examinations: DipTrans. Has anyone sat through it? Would you recommend it?

Thank you


[Edited at 2009-05-26 12:54 GMT]


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:04
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
IoLet Jun 1, 2009

I took the IoLET exam 3 or 4 years ago. I had been studying translation in evening classes and wanted a relevant qualification before leaving my job in housing development and setting up as a translator. I would strongly recommend taking this or a similar exam if only to concentrate your mind upon the difficulties of translation.

I believe that IoLET has a pass rate of about 33% and they only allow you to take the exam for translation into your mother tongue. Indeed, I think one can be disqualified from CIoL membership for commercially translating into a language other than one's mother tongue. In your posting, you are enthusiastic about language and translation. That is great and, if your English self-taught, then you certainly have done extremely well. Nonetheless, you do make quite a few mistakes and your posting does not read as though it was written by a native speaker.

IoLET exams are expensive and, given the pass-rate and the fact that most candidates need to pay for re-takes, you should only enter for the exam when and if you feel confident. Get some past papers and examiners notes to get a clearer idea of what is involved.

I have read bad things about Trados. It seems to be far more popular with agencies than with translators. I am sticking to Wordfast.

Good luck.



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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Let's all say "You must have Trados" Jun 1, 2009

pborges wrote:
Is it possible for any translator today work without using Trados?


We get this question every day, and our answer is the same every day. But it seems that we are not believed when we say "You don't need Trados", so I suggest all try saying the opposite for a change. Nobody believes us anyway. So, to get the ball rolling, allow me to say "You must have Trados."


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Antonio Tomás Lessa do Amaral
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Choose your market Jun 1, 2009

Hello Borges
There are many 'translation markets' just like most service markets.
Trados is a tool to produce cheap translations for cheap translations market.
Then there are final clients who would not touch a Trados translation with a barge pole.
I have been a translator long enough (and have enough clients) not to use Cat gadgets.
If you do all your home work, you too might get there.
Regards
Antonio Tomas


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:04
French to English
+ ...
not quite Jun 1, 2009

B D Finch wrote:

I believe that IoLET has a pass rate of about 33% and they only allow you to take the exam for translation into your mother tongue. Indeed, I think one can be disqualified from CIoL membership for commercially translating into a language other than one's mother tongue.


This is not strictly true - as far as I am aware, you are allowed to register for the exam in whatever language pair you like, though if you cannot write to a level that would be expected of a well-educated native speaker of the target language you will not pass the exam.

CIoL membership is a separate issue - you can sit the DipTrans exams without being a CIoL member, and you can be a CIoL member without taking the exam. It seems from the IoL's Code of Conduct (which is freely available on its website) that the IoL has a similar attitude to the ITI, in that it makes allowances for the fact that people may have a "language of habitual use" which is not the person's native language but in which the translator has such a level of expertise that it functions like a native language. In any case, to achieve full ITI membership, and in order to pass the IoL exam, you need to put your money where your mouth is and produce writing of a sufficiently high standard.

In all other respects I agree with what "B D" says.

As for Trados - it's not dogma that leads agencies to request it, it's that they use it for their workflow and they need you to fit in with their workflow. There are ways to achieve this without using Trados, but I believe that some kind of CAT tool is probably a necessity (at least if you want to obtain jobs from those customers who require them). There are demos available for all current tools, so experiment as much as you can, and be sure you can deliver what agencies need and *be sure that you can explain to them how you propose to do this*.

[Edited at 2009-06-01 11:18 GMT]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:04
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Samuel, you forgot to add... Jun 1, 2009

Samuel Murray wrote:
"You must have Trados."


... or you will burn in Hell


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:04
French to German
+ ...
Or should we put it that way? Jun 1, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:
"You must have Trados."


... or you will burn in Hell


Trados must have you, or it will burn in Hell.


Laurent K.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:04
French to English
+ ...
??? Jun 1, 2009

Antonio Tomás Lessa do Amaral wrote:

Then there are final clients who would not touch a Trados translation with a barge pole.


What do you (or these clients) think a "Trados translation" looks like?

I'll tell you what I think it looks like: in the hands of a good translator, it looks like a good translation; in the hands of a bad translator, it looks like a bad translation.

If you choose not to use CAT tools then that's fine; if pborges chooses not to use CAT tools then that's also fine; I choose to use them, mostly for my own benefit but also for the benefit of my clients, most of whom neither know nor care which tools I use, as long as I do a good job for them.

As I heard someone say recently: "they're TOOLS, people!".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Good translators, good tools, bad project managers Jun 1, 2009

Angela Dickson wrote:
I'll tell you what I think it looks like: in the hands of a good translator, it looks like a good translation; in the hands of a bad translator, it looks like a bad translation.


This is not necessarily true. If the client is an agency or an intermediary who uses the translation tool in a stupid leveraging kind of way (instead of a smart leveraging kind of way), the result will be a sorry mess even if the translators were all excellent at their job.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:04
French to English
+ ...
... Jun 1, 2009

Samuel Murray wrote:
Angela Dickson wrote:
I'll tell you what I think it looks like: in the hands of a good translator, it looks like a good translation; in the hands of a bad translator, it looks like a bad translation.

This is not necessarily true. If the client is an agency or an intermediary who uses the translation tool in a stupid leveraging kind of way (instead of a smart leveraging kind of way), the result will be a sorry mess even if the translators were all excellent at their job.

This may well be the case, but I doubt the clients Antonio had in mind ("who would not touch a Trados translation with a barge pole") would fall into that category.

I was thinking of a document that had been translated using Trados and then cleaned up such that no trace of Trados involvement remained.


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:04
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Jun 3, 2009

Thanks everyone.

It seems that Finch was right, the Iolet examinations are only allowed if the target language is your native one.

I am obviously not a native english speaker - as she pointed out - so that's what I intend to do anyway.


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