CAT/ PC or Mac? Rates?
Thread poster: ayacucho1744

ayacucho1744
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:50
German to English
+ ...
Jul 15, 2014

Hello,

I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this - I'm considering buying a CAT tool. I normally work on a Mac, and I know there are platforms you can use for SDL Trados for example, but I have been told that it would be better to use a PC.

Over the past few years I've done translations on a part-time basis, initially for people I knew, but I'm now fully qualified and thinking of signing up with agencies and turning this into a full-time job. On quite a few agency application forms you have to state which translation memory tool you use - until now I haven't used any, I didn't need to. I'd like to set myself up properly before applying, so it looks more professional. Has anyone got any thoughts on which CAT to go for, and whether it's advisable to work on a PC or not?

Also, what rates do people charge when working for agencies? I'm based in London and translate German into English.

Thanks a lot!
Daniela

[Edited at 2014-07-15 11:31 GMT]


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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:50
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
I work with MemoQ on a PC Jul 15, 2014

I always used a Mac until I started freelancing and decided to invest in a PC laptop and a CAT tool. Some of my friends/colleagues run CAT tools on a Mac using parallels and don't seem to have any problems, but it could be worth getting a PC and then you can use the Mac as a back up if nothing else.

As for CAT tools: when I worked in-house I always used Trados Studio and quite liked it. There were some things that weren't great but in general it really helped me to speed up and with consistency and so on, so it was a good tool. When I went freelance, however, one of my first clients used a MemoQ server for some of its projects so I decided that that could be a good option to go for. I've never looked back! It's a bit more user-friendly than Trados yet is also fully compatible and can do pretty much everything Trados can and more. They also offer a 45 day free trial so you can have a look and a play around with it without having commit to spending money on it off the bat.

As for rates - if you send me a message here on Proz I can tell you about what rates I charge without having to publish it here. Also, you say you work from German into English, but your profile says you work from English into German and Spanish?


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 08:50
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Mac only Jul 15, 2014

There are quite a few CAT tools for OS X, just search this forum. I mentioned OmegaT (“free”), CafeTran (€ 80, for the time being), and Wordfast recently.

Or you can run a Windows CAT tool in a virtual machine, just search for Parallels, VMWare, or VirtualBox.

Cheers,

Hans ( Mac only)

[Edited at 2014-07-15 12:21 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You probably need to check about the platform with each CAT Jul 15, 2014

I find the combination of PC and Trados Studio 2014 is optimal for me after trying a handful of other CATS and working out the pros and cons. I have no experience of a Mac.

Others will tell you they prefer different CATs - depending on the kind of work you do, what glossary functions or other features you want, etc. It is quite a personal choice. I think the only way is to try demos and really spend time getting to know one or two.

There are advantages in choosing one that agencies use - most of my clients use Studio.

With regard to rates: the CIoL and ITI published a joint rates survey a few years ago, but they are very cagey about publishing the findings. If you know a member of either institution you could ask to see their copy.
I believe the BDÜ publishes rate surveys more openly and might be useful.
http://www.bdue.de/

You can get a rough indication here
http://search.proz.com/employers/rates

My policy for my language pairs is never to go below the average shown for those pairs, and to negotiate up according to the client and subject area. Some clients are firm about their maximum - and then you take it or leave it.

I find some British agencies tend to offer rates at the low end of the scale, and have to be reminded that for 1000 source words in my languages they get something like 1200 target words in English, and there is an even bigger difference between German and English. Don't worry if the number of source words you can tackle per day sounds low - but set your rates accordingly.

It is possible to negotiate realistic rates with the better agencies. While size is not a sin in itself, a couple of once pleasant agencies have grown too fast. To put it mildly, their reputations are not as good as they used to be, and they have been pressing rates down.

Some of the smaller agencies are easier to negotiate with. If they specialise in a particular subject area, they may use their expertise to get more advantageous rates, and they are supportive if you need help with terminology or other issues. The personal touch is important! And it is really worth going for the quality end of the market. There is simply no hope of winning the rat race, while there will always be a need for top quality professional translation.

Another comment I make to people starting out is: Don't imagine it is easy to start with low rates and raise them later. In principle the translation has the same value to the client, no matter who did it. Either it is fit for purpose or it is not.
OK, it is not entirely black-and-white, but on the freelance market you don't begin as the office junior and work your way up. You start as a fully-fledged independent business partner and you carry on that way!

If you want to earn more, you have to work more efficiently, specialise in more lucrative areas and find better clients. It comes along the way if you work at it. But you have to deliver full-quality work from the start, and you are perfectly justified in charging a full rate for it.

That said, it depends on the kinds of texts you take on and lots of other factors...

Best of luck!

PS fill in more details on your profile, because the clients who search the directories and approach you directly often have work they want to offer you.
If you get too many ridiculous offers, register a minimum rate, even if you make it invisible. This should filter off those who actually state that their budget is lower than your minimum.


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ayacucho1744
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:50
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Jul 15, 2014

Thank you, that's really useful. I just fell into translating by chance a few years ago, and now I'm finding that it fits into everything else much better than my previous work in TV. But I need to set myself up so I get regular work now...
Charlotte, to answer your question, I did the Chartered Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation from German into English - that's why I mentioned that particular combination, in practice I have done equal amounts of work in Spanish into English and German into English. I'll update my profile.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:50
English to Russian
+ ...
Parallels Desktop Jul 15, 2014

will let you work with ANY computer assisted translation tool without investing in a PC hardware.

I work on a Mac and translate using Trados Studio 2011 for Windows.

No technical issues noticed sofar.

[Edited at 2014-07-15 13:19 GMT]


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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:50
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Right directions? Jul 16, 2014

ayacucho1744 wrote:

Thank you, that's really useful. I just fell into translating by chance a few years ago, and now I'm finding that it fits into everything else much better than my previous work in TV. But I need to set myself up so I get regular work now...
Charlotte, to answer your question, I did the Chartered Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation from German into English - that's why I mentioned that particular combination, in practice I have done equal amounts of work in Spanish into English and German into English. I'll update my profile.


Your profile still says that you work from English into German and into Spanish, not German and Spanish into English! If I were you I would change that ASAP or you won't be able to see jobs for your correct combinations or be contacted by the right clients on proz.


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ayacucho1744
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:50
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Profile Jul 16, 2014

Hi Charlotte, thank you, I thought I'd changed it but it was still showing up in the wrong order. Thanks for pointing this out. You can tell I haven't really used Proz much until now! I'm trying to work out how to send you a message on Proz now.
Thanks, D


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