Should a professional translator have a PC or a Mac?
Thread poster: Bricio

Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 14, 2004

Hi there!

I'm getting started in this profession and i'd like to buy an appropiate equipment... The thing is that i can't make my mind up. Perhaps any of you can help me out because i don't know if i should buy a PC or a Mac. I'm used to using PCs but i've heard that Macs are much better than PCs. Plus i don't know what software for translators a Mac user should have.
I'll appreciate your help.

Thanks a lot!


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
PC Jul 14, 2004

For the type of work done by a translator, a PC is the one. Everyone uses them for creating text.

You want to use a Mac when you work with graphics.


Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
PC Jul 14, 2004

I agree with my colleagues, but it will very much depend on your needs. PC is the standard for translators, Mac is used by graphic designers. Many agencies are equipped with both, and can convert documents as needed. Unless you are also a graphic designer and plan to offer those services, I would definitely go with a PC.


Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI


Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:03
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
maybe it depends on the languages you work with Jul 14, 2004

I have a Mac laptop, and it took me AGES to be able to work on it in Russian (not just typing documents, but surfing the net, as well). The pretty little titanium box still isn't fully Russified, but I can function.

But maybe if your languages all use the Latin alphabet it wouldn't be an issue.



Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:03
German to English
+ ...
PC Jul 14, 2004

PC running Linux, what else?icon_smile.gif



Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:03
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Should a professional driver drive Mercedes or BMW Jul 14, 2004

Or will he even prefere Jaguar? Or is Rolls-Royce better.
We are comparing apples and oranges here.

I have both, but I´m mostly working with PC. Nevertheless, some jobs cannot be done without MAC.

My 2 cents



Jing Nie
Local time: 03:03
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
PC! Jul 14, 2004

Of course What you need is a PC, it's much cheaper than MAC. And PC is more useful than MAC in most projects.
And there are softewares that can mimic MAC on a PC when you need a MAC.


Paul Roige (X)
Local time: 20:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
Check it out and compare Jul 14, 2004

Try both, it all depends on your needs. I must warn about well-established 20th century pseudo-truths about Macs though. If you go for a Mac Power PC G4 or G5 running OSX.3, which is what is being marketed today, (don't even think of going for OS9 to save money) and your needs are not too "weird", there won't be much you can't do with it. Even Microsoft has produced Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Mac (Office X) , PC-friendly, which means you can receive and send files from and to PCs ant they'll never know you're using Mac, yuk. Completely trouble-free. Important though: indeed some features like Search can't be downloaded. It's the one and only instance I've felt frustrated about for a short while for having a Mac, got over it quickly and then I believe it's just a matter of time, besides you can access that so-helpful search page online via Safari or Explorer and it works just as well. Software applications that ignore Macs are increasingly fewer, as this is a lucrative market regardless of the difference in size. Adobe also offers PDF for MacX that can be downloaded for free, and it's, again, PC-friendly. One of Mac's best features is that it's 99% virus-free thanks to its strong architecture, so no need of spending your ex-pesetas on McAffees and the like. There are software packages that can mimic Mac on PC... and vice versa too, a Bill MicroGates one actually. As for languages, Mac (including Safari and Mail) accepts Non-Latine characters alright and Word for Mac includes a large set of dictionaries. Mac apparently allows keyboard input in dozens of languages too but I don't know the details, sorry, never used more than five of them. Mac is dearer than some PCs but cheaper than some others, but as we often say around here, you get what you pay for.
Anyway, I see you translate into Spanish, welcome to the club. You can set your default language in Spanish then, and use the Ñ even if you have an American keyboard. You can even select screen language in Spanish. Just as PCs, I presume.
Further on software, even our beloved RAE has produced their Spanish Dictionary in CD-Rom. PC and, ae, finally, MAC compatible, can't wait to get it. There is fabulous dictionary software for Mac (Ultralingua). There are fully-fledged Bible suites for the Mac and the faithful, I know about three. The official Mac site is crowded with all types of software applications, including games and fish tanks, love that bubbly screensaver, many for free or ridiculously cheap. So much stuff, enough? But then, how much do you need?
What else can I say. I don't want to sound parroquial and I swear I'm not in Mac's payroll, there are defects of course, I'll never understand why my laptop connections are on one side instead of on the rear of the unit, or why it had to be all white take it or leave it. Not that I miss those bygone, thank God, lollypop colours...
Whatever you do, good luck, but check them out by yourself first is best.


Pablo Roufogalis (X)
Local time: 14:03
English to Spanish
Windows 2000 Pro Jul 14, 2004

Hello to all.

Today, there's no reason to use a Mac for anything. The reasons to own and use a Mac were obliterated when Apple switched to OSX. It is no longer and easy to mantain, easy to troubleshoot computer. It is a nightmare.

The single strong point for Macs these days is color management, but that's for pre-press specialist. Most users, even pre-press users, can do without it.

The hardware and the interface are cute, though. My daughter loves her iMac.

I still use Mac OS 9.2.2 for pre-press and love it, but eventually I'll need to switch. To Windows. Hope color management in Windows has catched up by then.

I suggest a built computer (as opposed to a brand computer), running Windows 2000 Professional. Inexpensive, easy to upgrade.

If building, beware of cheap motherboards. They present hidden bottlenecks that dimisnish performance severely.


Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks for your help! Jul 14, 2004

I'd like to thank you all for helping me out on my decisition!
Keep on translating!icon_razz.gif




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