Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Becoming a ProZ.com member with 2 years of experience and no CAT tool skills
Thread poster: Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:45
Member (2012)
English to Indonesian
Feb 23, 2012

Hi guys,

Currently there's a discount for proz membership in my country. I'm really interested in joining but I feel kind of intimidated seeing that many jobs require you to master a CAT tool (mainly Trados) and/or a specific area of knowledge. So, considering that I'm still a beginner, so to speak (2 years of translating novels and movies/tv shows), and I don't have any CAT tools knowledge yet, would it be worth it if I pay for a membership? Or should I increase my experience and start learning some CAT tools first? Thank you.


 

Maria Amaral
Local time: 15:45
Portuguese to English
Newbie Feb 23, 2012

Hi Aditya. I'm a newbie here too. I just very recently joined and also have no CAT tools. This is a fantastic site with individuals who truly do help. I not only joined but became a paying member on the word of another user and haven't regretted it. If there is a discount right now in your neck of the woods, take advantage, become a full fledged member, get your website up and running, promote yourself, take part in the forums, plant the seeds, be pro-active and see what happens. Good luck!

 

MM^^  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:45
Chinese to French
+ ...
Yes for a beginner Feb 23, 2012

Hello,

I had wait a moment before becoming a full member, but finally I found it is an advantage for newbies. Now I have direct customers, I receive directly orders from those I contacted via Proz and the membership is not so important for me.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
no CATS Feb 23, 2012

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha wrote:

Hi guys,

Currently there's a discount for proz membership in my country. I'm really interested in joining but I feel kind of intimidated seeing that many jobs require you to master a CAT tool (mainly Trados) and/or a specific area of knowledge. So, considering that I'm still a beginner, so to speak (2 years of translating novels and movies/tv shows), and I don't have any CAT tools knowledge yet, would it be worth it if I pay for a membership? Or should I increase my experience and start learning some CAT tools first? Thank you.


I've never used CAT tools and would not have any use for them, for the types of document I translate. CAT tools are not essential. And the same would apply to you if you continue to translate fiction and movies etc. CAT tools are really nothing more than glorified macros that find and replace every instance of a fixed concatenation of words. So if you're translating imaginative prose that requires you to understand style and nuance, a CAT tool would be completely useless.

I would highly recommend Proz membership. Through Proz I am not only able to have interesting exchanges of views and information with other translators; I am also regularly approached on a personal basis by potential clients who have singled me out.

If you join Proz it's important to make the most of your personal page by having a good CV, good examples of your translations, etc. It's also important to specify that you are specialised in some particular field (people who say they can translate anything are not very credible).

So my advice would be yes - join Proz but then go to work on your personal page and make it as good as you can.

[Edited at 2012-02-23 08:33 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:45
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Aditya: probably not Feb 23, 2012

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha wrote:
I feel kind of intimidated seeing that many jobs require you to master a CAT tool (mainly Trados)...


1. How many translators would you compete with if you were a paying member?

461 paying members claim English-Indonesian in their top 8 languages. To get to the first page in the directory results, you need about 100 KudoZ points. 83 paying members claim it as their top or only pair (i.e. 4 pages of results). This means that even if you become a paid member, you would still be on page 4 of the general search results for English-Indonesian translators, so your chances of getting picked would be slim anyway.

Unless you can get 1000 KudoZ points from somewhere (which will take years), becoming a paying member does not seem worth while for directory ranking purposes.

2. How many jobs in the past week/month/year in your language combination required CAT?

For the past month, for English-Indonesian, for actual translation work, I see 13 jobs (of which 1 is member-only), of which 5 require CAT (4 of which include Trados).

This means that nearly 40% of the jobs require CAT, which is a high percentage. For the non-CAT jobs, you compete with 461 other translators for 7 jobs per month, so paying members of ProZ.com does not seem like a realistic option here either.


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com membership benefits Feb 23, 2012

Hello Aditya,

While acquiring CAT tool knowledge may be a good move, there are other aspects you should take into account when considering ProZ.com membership.

For instance, you should know that the main channel to get jobs in the site is the direct searches outsourcers conduct in the directory of freelance translators, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and that results in this directory are ordered by membership status (members showing before non-members).

Then, you should also know that these searches are not just conducted by language pair, but that, in most cases, outsourcers conduct directory searches by language pair + field of expertise. So, if as reported in your profile, your top field of expertise is "Music", then, with ProZ.com membership, you would occupy the 10th position in a search for service providers working in English to Indonesian in the field of "Music". As you can see then, if you concentrate in your fields (i.e. if you focus on specializing), you do not need to amass many KudoZ points to be among the first set of results in page 1.

Finally, ProZ.com membership includes a lot more benefits such as full access to the Blue Board database, particularly useful to assess risks, web site hosting and email, unlimited access to online invoicing, and more. For a complete list of membership benefits just visit http://www.proz.com/membership/

Hope this explains.

Kind regards,

Lucia


 

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:45
Member (2012)
English to Indonesian
TOPIC STARTER
is it really that bleak? Feb 23, 2012

^ hmmm, so what do you suggest? actually I've paid the fee a few hours ago and I feel pretty confident it will pay off since probably only one or two jobs is/are needed to cover the expense. you don't think that it's hard to get one single job from proz in a whole year, do you?

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Make yourself visible in other ways Feb 23, 2012

Membership helps, but outsourcers do not necessarily start at the top of the list in the directory.

The people at the top of the list may be fully booked, on holiday, or just not interested in more jobs this week. Outsourcers will then try different strategies.

Add as many keywords as you can to the list at teh bottom of the profile - then when someone googles 'translator + music' or 'translator + [any of your keywords]' they will find you.

Make out an interesting profile anyway. You have added a picture, so occasionally you will be the 'featured translator' - and colleagues click to see more details.

Add any subject, hobby or sideline where you might be able to provide translations. Leisure industries are often international and there is a turnover in equipment, meetings, contests, or whatever the hobby involves. Add keywords too...

Don't be too modest. Beginners can also deliver excellent translations, and with two years of experience, you must definitely have something to offer.

Don't be frightened of CATs. Download one or two free trial versions, and if possible find one you like, and that works with your languages. Trados is possibly difficult to start with, but others are more intuitive and many are compatible. It takes some time to learn to use them, but I think they are worth it. (Check out the technical forums and webinars too.)

Like a great many others, I joined Proz.com as a beginner, and still think it was one of the best investments I ever made. Of course, you need jobs to make a living, but there is so much more on this site - advice and support, contact with others. Translation can be a lonely world.

I hope you enjoy being a member as well as making a profit - and good luck!


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:45
German to English
+ ...
Bidding isn't the only way to get jobs Feb 23, 2012

Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha wrote:

^ hmmm, so what do you suggest? actually I've paid the fee a few hours ago and I feel pretty confident it will pay off since probably only one or two jobs is/are needed to cover the expense. you don't think that it's hard to get one single job from proz in a whole year, do you?


Write up a very good list of keywords so that your profile pops up when clients search for translators in your specialties. Sometimes clients truly looking for long-term relationships will contact you via your profile if they are interested in you rather than posting a job for bidding.

Although I use CAT tools, I agree with Tom that if you are specialized in more creative work, you may not need them at all.


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Don't worry about CAT. Feb 23, 2012

I just wanted to second the previous posters who said it's not essential. There's plenty of work around for non-CAT owners, and clients will often automatically specify CAT (even for creative jobs where it's unsuitable) but relent when you say you don't have it.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:45
English to German
+ ...
Advertisements are a bad teacher. Feb 24, 2012

I am a bit shocked by the number of young voices that keep popping up recently, coming from newbies who are convinced that only the use of a CAT-tool turns a translator into a professional. Has everyone gone insane? The same goes for the use of cell phones, tablets and other gadgets. YOU DO NOT NEED ANY - I REPEAT: NONE, ZERO, ZILCH - ANY OF THESE THINGS TO BE A TOP-NOTCH PROFESSIONAL, HIGHLY-PAID TRANSLATOR.

Your clients are buying your translation skills and nothing else, not your software / hardware skills.

I have no idea why you ever would even remotely consider using CAT-tools in your fields of specialization. CAT-tools are a wonderful tool when you have to manage large, dull, industrial and repetitive work, such as 200-300 pages of technical manuals or patents. Why on earth would you use a CAT-tool for your creative work?


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:45
English to German
+ ...
Because some customers want to make sure that their files are readable Feb 24, 2012

philgoddard wrote:
clients will often automatically specify CAT (even for creative jobs where it's unsuitable) but relent when you say you don't have it.


For some reason certain new customers (please note that I don't call them clients) are strangely enough convinced that no translator on earth is capable of dealing with any file formats other than Word 95 or Simple Text. That's why they ask for CAT-tools due to mere ignorance, not because CAT is particularly necessary for this job.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:45
English to German
+ ...
Also: ProZ.com is neither an employment office nor any equivalent to Monsters.com and the likes Feb 24, 2012

You are now a member of the world's largest portal for professional translators. This is the address where the really significant clients will find you.

I never, ever, ever, ever sent off ANY application to any desired customer for self-marketing. Never. Clients find me here on ProZ.com because this is where Fortune 500 companies and such are looking for their vendors.

Forget about the job board. Good jobs are never advertised.


 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:45
Italian to English
Why not? Feb 24, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Why on earth would you use a CAT-tool for your creative work?



Among other reasons, because they provide text management options that enable you to consult all - or as much as you need - of your legacy creative work while you are translating and because they enable you to work directly in complex file formats without a knowledge of the DTP program concerned, which saves production time, enhances quality and provides a lever for raising rates.

Most agencies find them crucial to their business so if you're planning on working for agencies it's a good idea at least to try out one or two.

But no, CATs are not a sine qua non of making money from translation and in any case require a considerable investment of time and effort - any cost is usually tax-deductible - before you get sufficiently good at using them to see much return. They also demand a certain discipline with your workflow that many established non-CAT-using translators and, in particular teachers of translation, find irritating, although hardly enough to justify the degree of ailourophobia you sometimes see in Proz fora and elsewhere.

The problem for most newbies is that CATs are obviously important but no one can tell them why they are or aren't until various subjective factors are taken into consideration.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:45
English to German
+ ...
Indeed. This is not about the functionality and usefulness of CAT-tools Feb 24, 2012

Giles Watson wrote:

The problem for most newbies is that CATs are obviously important but no one can tell them why they are or aren't until various subjective factors are taken into consideration.


Damn. The purchase of my Swiffer Deluxe Steam Mop with Sanitizer didn't happen to turn me into a Stepford Wife. Neither will the purchase of any CAT-tool turn any translator into a BETTER translator.

It doesn't matter if you type your work in MS Word, NotePad or in some "Originally beautiful text, now chewed-up into bite-sized pieces with tons of tags to type around because translators are considered idiots who cannot produce any text without religiously using our superduper-software"-stuff or if you pee your text in the snow.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Becoming a ProZ.com member with 2 years of experience and no CAT tool skills

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search