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How essential is it to have a translation program such as TRADOS?
Thread poster: xxxmlechevalier
xxxmlechevalier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
Jun 3, 2007

How essential is it to have a translation program such as TRADOS? And, what do they do? Thanks for the advice.

[Edited at 2007-06-04 01:52]


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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:13
Member (2005)
English to Czech
basic answer Jun 3, 2007

a CAT system is not essential if:

* you don't translate repetetive texts like manuals
* you don't need terminology management
* your clients/agencies don't require it

CAT systems do:

* put everything you do into a translation memory (TM)
* help you create and maintain a terminology base (TB)
* help you translate repetetive texts using TM & TB


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:13
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Bryan Jun 3, 2007

Please note that I have moved your topic to the Getting Established forum.

I believe, this question has been discussed in the forums many times. Have you tried searching the forums? here are some threads to begin with:

http://www.proz.com/topic/68766
http://www.proz.com/topic/68108
http://www.proz.com/topic/62508
http://www.proz.com/topic/54700
http://www.proz.com/topic/37262
http://www.proz.com/topic/33514


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 05:13
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"How essential is it ..." Jun 3, 2007

to have orders?

Its the absolute #1. To get oirder, however, one needs clients...The essential- question then is:"How can I be of some use to my clients? Of so much use, they will pay my invoice and come back for more?"

Everything else is corollary to this basic question. Including TRADOS.

Vito

PS: It´s funny - TRADOS has always been the big up-front question : "Do you use TRADOS" or "TRADOS experience expected".

H*ll, what about knowing the grammar (sorry, don´t want to push it too far, so let me rephrase it: the basicsof the grammar) of the target language!?...

There's an old, practice-proven wisdom in the software industry:"Giv'em a chance to program in English and you will find out, they can't speak English".

Same thing applies to CATs.

If you are an exception, then your clients are a happy crowd and you will die . er.. not poor.

End of rant


[Edited at 2007-06-03 23:17]


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Riens Middelhof  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
New in translating? Jun 3, 2007

Maybe you should adapt your profile too. It says you have 15 years of translation experience. Confusing for prospective clients and colleagues alike...

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The Misha
Local time: 23:13
Russian to English
+ ...
They worrry about the wrong thing Jun 4, 2007

Since when has TRADOS and the like become a must? I have started in this business over 20 years ago, and there was neither TRADOS back then, nor online dictionaries, nor even word processors for that matter. If you cannot do the job, or have bad work ethics, TRADOS will not help you - nor will it help your client much. Yet I've noticed that most European outsources require it as a qualifying prerequisite. They should worry more abouty the actual ability of their potential contractors to do a quality job, not about technological gizmos. If the guy chooses so to re-type the same text over and over, so be it, why micromanage? Or is is yet another reincarnation of the nanny-state syndrom? Lucky for me, not a single client I have ever had here in the US ever made a big deal out of this issue. Not yet anyway.

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xxxmlechevalier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply-clarification Jun 4, 2007

Riens Middelhof wrote:

Maybe you should adapt your profile too. It says you have 15 years of translation experience. Confusing for prospective clients and colleagues alike...


Not really when you consider that I was a French teacher for fourteen years beginning in 1992 (including Advanced Placement French Language). If I had a nickel for every time a student came up to me and asked, "Mr. Watkins, how do I say this in French?" I consider those years spent teaching "professional experience," especially when one is talking about fifth-year students who are looking to take French in college. What I was teaching my students and helping them translate from English to French I am sure came in handy later on in life.

Until I registered on Proz.com, I had never heard of TRADOS or any other translation program. So in that sense, I am new. I hope that this explanation clarifies what I meant.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
English to German
+ ...
165 words per hour? Jun 4, 2007

I just took a look at your profile page and I found out that your hourly rate compared to your interesting rate per word equals an hourly output of 165 words. Maybe you should get Trados...

)


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xxxmlechevalier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hourly rate versus rate per word Jun 4, 2007

[quote]Nicole Schnell wrote:

I just took a look at your profile page and I found out that your hourly rate compared to your interesting rate per word equals an hourly output of 165 words. Maybe you should get Trados...

)

Thanks for the tip.

[Edited at 2007-06-04 02:40]


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xxxmlechevalier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jun 4, 2007

The Misha wrote:

Since when has TRADOS and the like become a must? I have started in this business over 20 years ago, and there was neither TRADOS back then, nor online dictionaries, nor even word processors for that matter. If you cannot do the job, or have bad work ethics, TRADOS will not help you - nor will it help your client much. Yet I've noticed that most European outsources require it as a qualifying prerequisite. They should worry more abouty the actual ability of their potential contractors to do a quality job, not about technological gizmos. If the guy chooses so to re-type the same text over and over, so be it, why micromanage? Or is is yet another reincarnation of the nanny-state syndrom? Lucky for me, not a single client I have ever had here in the US ever made a big deal out of this issue. Not yet anyway.


Thanks for the advice.


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:13
German to English
Depends upon your clientele Jun 4, 2007

As Pavel explained, the necessity of using a CAT tool (it doesn't have to be Trados) depends upon the type of translation you do. I was a relative latecomer to translation tools -- I started translating full time in 1981 (after doing it part time starting in 1969), but didn't acquire my first CAT tool until 1997. I've invested in both Trados and DVX, and will admit to being a believer in computer-assited translation tools. They've increased my productivity and serve as a significant QA tool.

But CAT tools have their limitations. If you translate from hard copy or faxes, PDF format, etc., then such tools have limited applicability.

I receive a number of documents each year relating to the same automotive-related process, and I've found that I can double my output using a CAT tool. Normally I can translate between 2500 - 3000 words/day depending upon the subject, but when I receive documents relating to this above-mentioned process, a daily output of 5000+ words/day is not unusual. Such an output allows me to take on additional work, thus increasing my productivity.

On the other hand, some types of texts such as advertising, etc. don't readily lend themselves to using a CAT tool. I use one anyway in order to maintain terminology consistency, plus in many cases, I've already researched some of the technical terminology, and the terms are in the database, thus saving time.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:13
English to German
+ ...
3.3333 words per second? Jun 4, 2007

Hey, you are good!
Enough kidding around. Sorry.

I don't use Trados or any other CAT tool. In my line of work (advertising text) repetitions are pretty much the last thing a client would want to pay me for. Sometimes I wish I had some kind of translation memory available, especially when I am dealing with ongoing projects / websites over a period of months and have to look up up how I translated the one or the other term or recurring headline. In those cases, I use this certain tool called "discipline"... I second The Misha: you can do darn well without.

Best,

Nicole


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xxxmlechevalier  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jun 4, 2007

[quote]Nicole Schnell wrote:

Hey, you are good!
Enough kidding around. Sorry.

I don't use Trados or any other CAT tool. In my line of work (advertising text) repetitions are pretty much the last thing a client would want to pay me for. Sometimes I wish I had some kind of translation memory available, especially when I am dealing with ongoing projects / websites over a period of months and have to look up up how I translated the one or the other term or recurring headline. In those cases, I use this certain tool called "discipline"... I second The Misha: you can do darn well without.

Best,

Nicole

Nicole,

No problem. I did find the rate calculator and adusted my rates accordingly. Thank you for the tip! I am just getting my feet wet with my free-lance business (I was a French teacher for fourteen years and helping kids translate was part of the job. There were no hourly or per word rates.) Basically, I am looking for some general advice in order to get started.

Thanks a lot, Nicole.

Best,

Bryan


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:13
Italian to English
Not essential but very useful Jun 4, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I don't use Trados or any other CAT tool. In my line of work (advertising text) repetitions are pretty much the last thing a client would want to pay me for.



If you do a lot of creative work for the same clients, CAT tools can help you to avoid unwanted repeat translations by instantly presenting solutions that you have used in the past.



Sometimes I wish I had some kind of translation memory available, especially when I am dealing with ongoing projects / websites over a period of months and have to look up up how I translated the one or the other term or recurring headline. In those cases, I use this certain tool called "discipline"... I second The Misha: you can do darn well without.



If you organise your files carefully - as I suspect you do - you could use a grep utility to make occasional searches of your legacy translations for single terms or phrases.

So when are CATs useful? "For repetitive texts" is the standard answer but there are plenty of other occasions. For example, I was once translating a book as it was being written. At a certain point, the publisher asked the author for some fairly radical changes in content: collating the two versions without a translation memory would have been a nightmare.

CATs also make it very difficult to skip a line in the source text, something that is all too easy to do when you are translating without one.

On the downside, CATs take a while to learn properly and they impose a workflow that is not always congenial if you already have your own routine.

Another drawback is that they focus your attention on individual segments. Source and target languages rarely use cohesion markers in the same way, which means that a discursive translation can end up sounding stilted or disjointed if you're not careful. If you are translating without a CAT tool, you are more likely to take context into account and adjust the linking mechanisms accordingly, even if you don't do so consciously.

For most CAT users, it's a good idea to export the translation, preferably to paper, and make sure the whole text hangs together.

FWIW,

Giles


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Trados seems to cause so many problems Jun 4, 2007

Bryan Watkins wrote:

How essential is it to have a translation program such as TRADOS? And, what do they do? Thanks for the advice.

[Edited at 2007-06-04 01:52]


I've been a full-time freelance translator for more than 18 years and have never used Trados. (I also used to teach French and Spanish). I get as much translation work as I need without Trados and feel that I've *become" a translating machine. If a client insists on Trados, then I can't work for them, but none of my regulars demand it.
What worries me about Trados is the large numbr of problems it seems to cause, judging by the frequent questions about it in these forums. Do I want all that hassle? At my stage of life, I think not.
If a text contains repetitions, Word makes it easy to copy and paste those bits, and there's also the "Autocorrect" feature that enables whole phrases to be inserted - invaluable for fussy phrases with lots of accents, etc.
So I agree with Vito - Trados isn't essential.
Best of luck,
Jenny.


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