Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
CAT software for start-up - advice needed
Thread poster: Luke Mersh

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
Mar 3, 2015

I would like to know what CAT software you used when you first started and before your first paid translation.

I am currently using Wordfast Anywhere, but I would like to know what other people used.

many thanks


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Member (2008)
Italian to English
None Mar 3, 2015

I don't use any. I have looked at a few, and tried one or two, but haven't seen any advantage for the kind of translation I do.

Moreover, in a recent discussion about daily translation output capacity, I was interested to see that people who use CAT tools aren't any more productive than I am without them.

There will now ensue the usual discussion about CAT tools being the thing that puts the translator in the forefront of technological development vs. the refusal to use CAT tools being the thing that makes the translator a stick in the mud, antediluvian, backward Luddite.



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Wordfast and Wordfisher Mar 3, 2015

Luke Mersh wrote:
I would like to know what CAT software you used when you first started and before your first paid translation.


I never used CAT tools before my first paid translation.

I started using CAT about a decade ago, and at that time I had to choose between Wordfast (free at that time) and Wordfisher (USD 30). I almost went for Wordfisher, but I'm glad that I chose Wordfast in the end, because despite looking much more user-friendly, Wordfisher did not offer fuzzy matching.

When Wordfast (later known as Wordfast Classic) became a paid tool, I bought it, and I eventually also bought Wordfast Pro. I bought Trados 2007+2009 at a time when there was a very, very special special offer (like, about an 80% discount), and I upgraded to Trados 2011 about two years after version 2011 it was released. But I still use Wordfast Classic as my main CAT tool.

The one big advantage of Wordfast Classic over many other CAT tools is the ability to tag and retag and per-segment custom tag the source while doing the translation. In other CAT tools, tagging is either non-customisable or must be set up before you start the translation and/or does not provide many (or any options) for tagging that is customisable per portion of text. The big disadvantage of Wordfast Classic is the lack of visual segment filtering (pseudo-filtering by segment must be done hackishly by find/replacing styles and formatting in MS Word itself).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CAT software for start-up - advice needed Mar 3, 2015

Thanks for the info guys.
Look forward to seeing what other people say.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Beside the point Mar 3, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I don't use any. I have looked at a few, and tried one or two, but haven't seen any advantage for the kind of translation I do.


That's absolutely possible. Maybe Luke is working in a similar field, maybe not. We don't know. As far as we can tell, "none" may be a valid and sensible answer to Luke's question.

Tom in London wrote:
Moreover, in a recent discussion about daily translation output capacity, I was interested to see that people who use CAT tools aren't any more productive than I am without them.


Your reasoning (comparing your productivity with others') is quite meaningless imho. It would be more interesting and meaningful to look whether people are more productive using CAT tools than without them. You have answered this (no), but this doesn't mean the answer is the same for everybody else or for every kind of work.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CAT software for start-up - advice needed Mar 3, 2015

I am starting out as a freelance medical translator, as I have a background in Health Care and Home care.

regards


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
The point is what it symbolises Mar 3, 2015

Luke Mersh wrote:
I would like to know what CAT software you used when you first started and before your first paid translation.

In some fields it may be that you do not need CAT at all (literary translation, for example) while in other specialities life is indubitably more tedious without it.

Assuming that in your field CAT is a benefit rather than a drawback, I'm not convinced that the exact package matters that much. There are pros and cons to all the major competing applications. The key issue is that you are signalling that you're a serious translator because casual part-time translators don't spend money on expensive pieces of software.

Does owning and using such software actually make you a serious translator? No, no more than owning a chainsaw makes you a serious tree surgeon. But we're talking about the image you project to potential clients. If you have a chainsaw, full protective clothing, felling wedges and a cant hook, most potential clients will take you more seriously than somebody wearing nothing but a rusty bow-saw and a big smile*.

To put it another way, there is copious research showing that "official" looking uniforms or formal wear imbue the wearer with greater authority, dating back to Lefkowitz, Blake, & Mouton's 1955 study using a man crossing a street. Other pedestrians followed the man when he wore a suit, but not when he was dressed in casual attire. My argument is that a CAT tools is a kind of uniform, a business suit for translators that lends an air of authority and competence.

Whether or not this is a rational response or not on the part of the potential client is beside the point. When it comes to making decisions, the strange biases and heuristics that riddle human cognition are arguably as important as reason - maybe more so given that intelligent people in particular tend to believe that their own behaviour is unaffected by the former. You can succeed without making these biases work for you but it will be easier if you let human nature help you.

I chose SDL Trados Studio 2014 because it is the market leader. It is certainly not the cleverest CAT tool or the easiest to use, but it's a good all-rounder and has higher mind share than the others.

Regards
Dan

*Of course, if you know nothing about cutting down trees, all the gear in the world won't help you because ultimately you need to be competent to stay in business. What I'm talking about here is improving your chances of securing the opportunity to demonstrate that competence


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CAT software for start-up - advice needed Mar 3, 2015

This is not about making me appear more professional to clients.

I simply want to know what you used, if any when you started out, thats all.

I think people read too much into the meaning of my question, or maybe I am wrong.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Find a CAT you like and stick with it Mar 3, 2015

That would be my advice. It is a personal thing, and depends on your own workflow.

CATs evolve with time, and the ones available when some of us started are no longer available or have evolved beyond recognition.

Trados Workbench, for instance, is still usable in principle, but will not clean up Word files in formats later than 2003. I would miss a lot of the neat features in the newer versions - I would never go back.

Emma Goldsmith's blog compares MemoQ and DéjaVu with Trados Studio.
http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2014/08/08/memoq/
http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2015/01/26/dvx3/#more-2294
She comes back to Studio, but the colleague with DéjaVu preferred that. I was not convinced by MemoQ, but some who like it find Studio clunky - while I prefer it.

Look at the lists of features and consider which ones you personally would prefer. There is a lot of overlap, so if your clients have a preference, that might be the deciding factor.

Find similar comparisons and try out one or two demo versions.

Another thing is that the advantages of a CAT increase with time, and as you use it more or less automatically. If the keyboard short cuts are different, it keeps doing unexpected things, and that is REALLY distracting. So don't reckon to change often. For that reason I refuse to work with clients' own CATs - the rates rarely compensate for the irritation and extra time I spend!

For what it's worth, I have tried other CATS, but always came back to Studio myself.



[Edited at 2015-03-03 14:44 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:22
Member
Italian to English
A matter of taste Mar 3, 2015

If you are not forced to use a particular tool by a customer, then it all comes down to personal preference.

In my time I have been forced to use Wordfast, SDLX and Trados. Since I use a Mac, and refuse to pander to a company who won't develop a tool for the Macintosh platform, I am currently using Swordfish, and find it easy and reliable.

There are so many out there... as Christine says, find one you like and go with it!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alina Karakanta  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:22
Member (2015)
Romanian to Greek
+ ...
Experiment with open source software Mar 3, 2015

When you begin your translation career you might not be able to afford commercial software. And even if you can, my advice would be to try open source or free software. This way you can find out what type of interface suits you most, and learn more about how to use their features to make your life easier.
As a student, I used OmegaT and Anaphraseus, which had totally different interfaces and ways to store and import TMs and Glossaries. I only started using commercial CAT tools (first Trados, then Wordfast) when my clients required it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
It should be Mar 3, 2015

Luke Mersh wrote:
This is not about making me appear more professional to clients.

If you don't think appearing more professional to clients is more important than choosing your software then I think your priorities are a bit mixed up. You're not going to be using the software if you don't attract the clients.

Let me rephrase my previous response. The difference between using and not using a CAT tool is far greater than the relatively small variations in functionality between the top 3 packages. Buy one, doesn't really matter which, just get stuck in. Make sure prospective clients know you're a CAT user. Job done, kinda.

Dan


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CAT software for start-up - advice needed Mar 3, 2015

@Dan.
Thanks for the clarification.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
CAT software for start-up - advice needed Mar 3, 2015

I think Alina understood the question I was asking the most.

I am experimenting with Wordfast Anywhere at the moment.

I just like to know what everybody else may have used when they begun, before the clients had given them there first assignment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You mean, what CAT tools did we use at college? Mar 3, 2015

Luke Mersh wrote:
I just like to know what everybody else may have used when they begun, before the clients had given them there first assignment.


That question can only make sense (if I understand correctly) if you mean that you assume that some of us would have used CAT tools while studying translation (e.g. at college), before we started doing translation professionally. Am I right?

If so, then I think the question should be stated more clearly, e.g. "which CAT tool did you use at college/university before you started doing translation professionally?".

Note that some of us predate CAT tools.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >


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


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

CAT software for start-up - advice needed

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



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