Can I do this without buying translation software?
Thread poster: Kelly Efird

Kelly Efird
Local time: 10:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 28, 2012

I noticed quite a few of the jobs on here require experience with translation software. In addition, I get emails about offers for the software. Maybe someday I could buy it, but right now I do not have the money! Basically "will translate for food" describes my current situation.

 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:42
Member (2009)
French to English
Demo Jan 29, 2012

3divina,

Most of the major CAT tools have free demos available. Use these to gain experience, if nothing else. Most of the CAT tools will pay for themselves with one job - admittedly for some of these, it will take one BIG job. There are also free CAT tools such as OmegaT which boast of their compatibility with Trados, etc. If you have more time than money, then take the time to learn how to use these tools. Expect to spend your first year or two reinvesting a lot of the money you earn in tools, whether they are CAT tools, dictionaries, training, or translation conferences.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:42
English to German
+ ...
Good agencies will provide you with copies of the software Jan 29, 2012

That's why I work with Idiom Workbench, SDLX and Lingobit Localizer. Since these copies are editor versions, the agencies will do their homework and send me fully prepared files for translation. Doesn't cost me a cent, I don't have to lift a finger, I receive free training and tech support by the PMs, and everybody is happy.

 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:42
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Bid only on jobs you can really manage Jan 29, 2012

First of all if you have no experience with translation software start exploring Wordfast Classic. The free version has only one restriction, the size of your TM. Or you could use Wordfast Anywhere. Do some short exercises before you commit yourself to paid jobs.

The more you acquire direct clients the better for you. Most jobs on the net are low rate.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Works for me Jan 29, 2012

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

First of all if you have no experience with translation software start exploring Wordfast Classic. The free version has only one restriction, the size of your TM. Or you could use Wordfast Anywhere. Do some short exercises before you commit yourself to paid jobs.

The more you acquire direct clients the better for you. Most jobs on the net are low rate.


Sound advice from HP there. I started with WF Classic and stayed with it - most other SWs I've looked at were too complicated, too expensive and took too long to learn. AFAIK the free demo version is still available.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not needed Jan 29, 2012

3divina wrote:

I noticed quite a few of the jobs on here require experience with translation software. In addition, I get emails about offers for the software. Maybe someday I could buy it, but right now I do not have the money! Basically "will translate for food" describes my current situation.


I've never used translation software. It's of no use for the kind of documents I translate, which require a lot of interpretation, writing skill, and creativity.


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:42
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I don't think your problem is software related Jan 29, 2012

Your problem is not software related. Your problem is that you don't get jobs. Let's turn it round - Why should I as an outsourcer give you a job - your profile is empty, you are using a pseudonym. I have no chance to find the slightest info on your background or experience that might convince me to offer you a translation job.

I don't really care which software you use, but you have to convince me that my translation job is in good hands if I give it to you.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
With-software translators occupy a niche, nothing more Jan 29, 2012

3divina wrote:
I noticed quite a few of the jobs on here require experience with translation software. In addition, I get emails about offers for the software. Maybe someday I could buy it, but right now I do not have the money!


1. Even those of us who own these tools don't own all of the tools, so even we have to turn down jobs from clients asking for work done in the tools we don't have.

2. You won't make more money with these tools that you would without them, unless you buy the tool for selfish reasons (to boost your own productivity without offering discounted rates from clients).

3. There are free tools out there -- use them in the mean time. They will increase your productivity but won't help you get jobs in the niche markets that use those other tools.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Don't invest money until you need to Jan 29, 2012

neilmac wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

First of all if you have no experience with translation software start exploring Wordfast Classic. The free version has only one restriction, the size of your TM. Or you could use Wordfast Anywhere. Do some short exercises before you commit yourself to paid jobs.


Sound advice from HP there. I started with WF Classic and stayed with it - most other SWs I've looked at were too complicated, too expensive and took too long to learn. AFAIK the free demo version is still available.


I've not felt the need to change from Wordfast Classic either, though I do have the paid version now and I also own (but have never used) Wf Pro. The free version is identical to the paid one and you aren't restricted in any way other than in terms of storage area for your TM. Even this can be got round to a certain extent, but if your TM is big then you should be earning enough to fork out for Wordfast.

I certainly don't feel the need to invest either the time or money required for Trados etc.

Sheila


 

Kelly Efird
Local time: 10:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What is TM Jan 31, 2012

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

First of all if you have no experience with translation software start exploring Wordfast Classic. The free version has only one restriction, the size of your TM. Or you could use Wordfast Anywhere. Do some short exercises before you commit yourself to paid jobs.

The more you acquire direct clients the better for you. Most jobs on the net are low rate.


Pardon my ignorance, but what does TM mean?


 

xxxLucyPatterso
English
Another Wordfast fan Feb 2, 2012

I tried a trial version of Trados but it sure is complicated - and expensive.

Then I downloaded the trial version of Wordfast for free and loved it. I was able to use the demo version for quite a while until I ran out of the allowed memory, and did not hesitate to pay for the full version. Easy to use, simple - give it an hour or two and you'll be flyingicon_smile.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:42
English to German
+ ...
TM Feb 2, 2012

3divina wrote:

Pardon my ignorance, but what does TM mean?


Don't allow anyone to bombard you with tech terms and preferred brands.

TM is short for Translation Memory, it means that this software will record everything that YOU ever typed. This comes handy, say, if you write a gazillion of press releases for a particular company, and they all start the same: "XYZ Corporation, super-duper supplier in blah-blah technology and whatever market leader in whatever products... etc.", this software has remembered what you wrote a year ago and will recognize it and will automatically insert it into your file.
This is cool. You don't have to look anything up.
Or, for example, you are working on a big, fat brochure or a technical manual and you can't remember how you translated "13-teeth double-twisted nano-sprocket" about 50 pages ago, the translation memory (TM) will remember it for you. It's a very, very nice thing.


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:42
Swedish to English
+ ...
More info please Feb 2, 2012

10 answers from 9 different professional translators and yet, with the exception of Siegfried, none have addressed the 1st part of 3divina's question. I'm fully aware that "can I do this" wasn't actually her/his question, but without more information about his/her ability to translate we can have no idea whether or not he/she can do so with or without a CAT tool.

As I'm sure we're all aware, CAT tools are actually just that - tools. Some of us find them useful, some don't.

I could give my son access to my CAT tool, but, even though he's fully bilingual and bicultural, it wouldn't be much use to him if all he wanted to do was 'Basically "will translate for food"' which is all we know about 3divina (empty profile).

3divina - could you please expand on your translation knowledge/experience?


 


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