Off topic: I want my typewriter back and use my brains
Thread poster: Channa Montijn

Channa Montijn  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:51
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 2, 2016

OK... almost 50 and I've been in the business for a long time already... and I still enjoy translating very much... but... when a new CAT tool or an update arises, including all the new bugs, or when a client asks me to use yet another tool to check everything, I can get so bloody tired... what happened to our great linguistic skills, what happened to thinking, what happened to translating? Is it all about making no mistakes, is it all about turnover, is it all about delivering the best translation for the lowest rate and preferably yesterday? Or is it about connecting people? Trying to the best of your knowledge make something or somewhat clear to people? Is it about building bridges, or is it about an industry working hard at its own downfall. Call me old fashioned (and not a crumpy old woman;) but sometimes I just long for my typewriter! And I still connect all the dots and dot the i, with or without so called CAT tools.

(Just another day at the office)

[Edited at 2016-12-02 18:05 GMT]


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:51
English to Russian
+ ...
The two views are not mutually exclusive Dec 2, 2016

I've been in this business for over 30 years, and in my honest opinion, making no mistakes in your work and a reasonably high throughput are hallmarks of a good professional, and this is exactly the way one needs to work to connect people properly. On the other hand, no one is forcing you to accept low rates and ridiculously tight deadlines; indeed, 80% of the market is (and has always been) shoddy semi-professional work, but the other 20% are still open to true professionals.

As to the use of CAT tools, they do help a lot, but it should certainly be up to you to choose the tool that suits you and your type of work. If the agency tries to dictate what tools you are to use and how you are to perform your work, tax authorities of some countries (e.g. the USA) may consider this agency an employer rather than a client, which means the agency should make social security contributions for you, provide paid holidays, etc. Explaining it to them could make them reconsider their position.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
LOL! Dec 2, 2016

Anton Konashenok wrote:
If the agency tries to dictate what tools you are to use and how you are to perform your work, tax authorities of some countries (e.g. the USA) may consider this agency an employer rather than a client, which means the agency should make social security contributions for you, provide paid holidays, etc. Explaining it to them could make them reconsider their position.

Absolutely! I agree. We should be more proactive in educating customers to use standard interchange formats and let us use whatever tool we prefer.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
More customer education is needed Dec 2, 2016

I know what you mean when you mention other tools for checking things, etc. etc. It is always a nuisance, and I daresay that you should ask the customer for compensation if you do their QA checks on your end. Either that, or you could use a tool that helps you do these sanity checks easily (like memoQ) and, with that covered, let the customer do their own checks themselves if they so wish.

After doing all my work with CAT tools (first the old Trados, then memoQ) for about 15 years, I think they have a lot to offer to the quality-conscious translator and those of us who strive to achieve and keep a high linguistic quality in all senses and not just to churn out a lot of words every day. I would by no means go back to a typewriter (if I had ever used a typewriter professionally, which I have not in 22 years in translation).


 

Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:51
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
When I used to translate with my typewriter, I wanted a magical tool to remember my translations! Dec 2, 2016

I was typing, and I made mistakes... I said to myself, I wish there was a typing machine that remembers all the job I do, one that can redo all my translations again and again...
Now I have those tools and I'm sure that I still use my mind for translating and finding the right words, the right meanings... That magical tool does not solve those meaning issues!

Happy weekend!

Clarisa

[Edited at 2016-12-02 23:49 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Making mistakes is normal Dec 4, 2016

Channa is on to something. What happened to translation skills can be summarized thus: the deemphasis of writing skills by our own colleagues. I lost count of the many conferences, seminars, tweets and LinkedIn postings (to name the main channels) that tout language (i.e. verbal) skills as central to our work as translators, in detriment to writing, which is central to our profession.

I am not denying that one needs to acquire fluency in a language (the verbal or oral part, the conversational part) as one of the capabilities to becoming a translator. However, no amount of talk in foreign languages can make up or substitute for the abysmal lack (or mediocre display, in my experience) of writing skills.

I pursue one goal right now: translate slowly.

I disagree, Anton: making mistakes in the process of writing translations is part of the job. Translation and written communications are not math or algebra.


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:51
English to Russian
+ ...
2 Mario Dec 4, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

I disagree, Anton: making mistakes in the process of writing translations is part of the job. Translation and written communications are not math or algebra.


You are right, we all make mistakes. I stand corrected: "making no mistakes" should read "making as few mistakes as possible".

As to the writing skills, I agree with you wholeheartedly. In fact, it's writing skills in one's native language that are often direly lacking.

[Edited at 2016-12-04 23:17 GMT]


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
Romanian to English
+ ...
LOL and thanks! Dec 5, 2016

Anton Konashenok wrote:
If the agency tries to dictate what tools you are to use and how you are to perform your work, tax authorities of some countries (e.g. the USA) may consider this agency an employer rather than a client, which means the agency should make social security contributions for you, provide paid holidays, etc. Explaining it to them could make them reconsider their position.


You've made my day! I've been looking for an irrefutable argument for why I don't want to learn how to use all those custom-made annoying CAT tools. The real reason, i.e "not worth my time", doesn't sound too customer-focused.
I'm very much for CAT tools, I love MemoQ, which has been an immense and often profitable help. But those custom tools are a completely different matter...
Equipped with this argument, at least I can ask for higher rates to compensate for the risk of this being called an employment relationshipicon_smile.gif


 


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