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Poll: If it is not specified, do you prefer to use CAT tools?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Sep 12, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If it is not specified, do you prefer to use CAT tools?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mariam Osmane

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:43
English to Serbian
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Yup Sep 12, 2008

Unless it's a very small text or in a difficult format (text boxes, tables) I'll always use it.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Other Sep 12, 2008

It depends. I'm not even going to try it on a novel.

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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:43
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
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ujygvffuy Sep 12, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

Doesn't Proz.com review these polls before they are submitted?

This poll assumes that everyone uses CAT tools. Many of us do not use them at all. That at least should be an option.


Maybe a possible process for ensuring polls are well designed would be for proz to have a small test group of volunteers for each poll (maybe 10 persons drawn randomly from a larger pool of volunteers); the test group would "test" each poll before it is submitted to the entire community. The test group should be constructed so as to include a diverse range of people with regard to for instance location in the world, number of years as a translator, sex, preferred CAT tools if any, language combinations, mother language, etc. (which can be done through an automated process using a script over a database).

The main purpose of the test would be to check whether the question is well formulated and that there is a suitable selection of possible answers.

There would also need to be someone to manage the process and make the final decisions.

Thomas


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 04:43
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
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95% prefer CAT tools Sep 12, 2008

Unless it is an obviously literary work (maybe just 5% of my translations so far have been literature) I always prefer to try the original texts with my available TMs. Even for very short texts. Why? Because I keep my TMs updated and they happen to be a great tool for collecting my already-done work.

Not because I think that CAT tools are better translators than humans... if you are a bad translator, your CAT tools will just make you deliver your own bad translations sooner.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:43
Italian to English
Come on, Henry ;-) Sep 12, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

Doesn't Proz.com review these polls before they are submitted?

This poll assumes that everyone uses CAT tools. Many of us do not use them at all. That at least should be an option.


There's nothing wrong with the poll, which I find quite interesting.

No one forces you to use a CAT tool. Some of us find CATs useful while others, like you, have a tried and trusted workflow that is productive without one.

The percentage of Proz translators who are CAT-dependent is actually quite relevant, not least because, if memory serves me right, other surveys tend to suggest that even today relatively few translators globally use CAT technology.

CATs take time to learn and even longer to use profitably. If you have been translating for any length of time before you adopt one, they also tend to impose radical changes on your working procedures.

But they do have benefits.

Suerte,

Giles


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:43
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Relevant Sep 12, 2008

"The percentage of ProZ.com translators who are CAT-dependent is actually quite relevant..."

Well, of course it's relevant, Giles, which is why whether or not people use CATs in the first place is a relevant category in any poll on CATs.

I do have a good workflow without them, even with electronic documents. But I also do a large volume of paper documents which I know most people here do not. CATs are no good there.

So I'm one of those who stays away from CATs except for the one that hangs out in front of my office. It cannot help me with translation and neither can any other.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Confidentiality Sep 12, 2008

I would think that most clients would not want us to keep copies of their documents stored on our computers indefinitely, so I cannot understand how a CAT tool could be useful for previous translations either. Or do you request permission from each client to store their documents as a TM file?


[Edited at 2008-09-12 21:08]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:43
German to English
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Not specified? I specify! Sep 13, 2008

I choose not to work without one, because of the interface. It's not just habit-forming, but it makes sense.

I'll use a CAT tool for the most trivial of jobs.

It's there and it makes sense. I won't go into the other benefits of CAT tools: they have been discussed too much here. Almost as much as "How do I translate a PDF?"

Here is a banal and hasty representation of just one CAT file (for what it's worth):



I refuse to accept work that cannot be managed in an electronic format and Henry, I sincerely hope that you apply a heavy surcharge for such material.

Without a CAT, I would have to overwrite files in Word, PPT etc.

No way. Those days are gone.

Cheers

Chris


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Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 09:43
English to Arabic
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No Sep 13, 2008

for bulk project with tight deadlines
I posted this question because I have no extensive experience with the different translation tools. I wanted to know 'What the experts do?'. I realized lately that I am very slow with the translation tool. Without It, I can translate double the amount.
Also the right-to-left alignment in Arabic involves some back end issues after the clean up.

But to be fair, It helps me keeping the format "font size, color, ..." and It's very useful for those texts with relatively high percentage of repeated segments.

Regards,
Mariam


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 04:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Q: If it is not specified, do you prefer to use CAT tools? Sep 13, 2008

A: Regardless of whether or not it's 'specified' (whatever that means) I prefer not to use CAT tools.

Why?

1) I don't have any CAT tools.

2) I firmly believe that the regular use of human brain cells will do far more to keep Alzheimers at bay than any computerized substitute.

3) The CAT that can deliver (almost) instant recall of the terminology and specializations I've acquired in the 35 years since I got my first translation assignment (not to mention the fruits of 10 years in engineering before that) has yet to be conceived - let alone built or marketed.

MediaMatrix


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:43
English to Spanish
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Thanks, Textlick Sep 13, 2008

This is the best recommendation I've heard in years!

"I sincerely hope that you apply a heavy surcharge for such material."

Right you are, and I suppose that most people here have grown up on electronic, and to go to paper would be a tremendous culture shock; so much so that they would either recoil in horror or immediately double the price.

Actually that is not a bad argument for raising the price so I might just consider doing that. But I am actually quite productive working with paper documents. After all, for someone who worked over 15 years with nothing but pencil and paper, now being able to use a computer is a giant step ahead.

But a CAT? Oh, no. I like it simple. And I do have a memory bank. All those years have not been in vain. Until Alzheimer's sets in...


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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:43
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Glossary creation beats the speed-need Sep 13, 2008

Mariam Osmane wrote:

I realized lately that I am very slow with the translation tool. Without It, I can translate double the amount.
Also the right-to-left alignment in Arabic involves some back end issues after the clean up.

But to be fair, It helps me keeping the format "font size, color, ..." and It's very useful for those texts with relatively high percentage of repeated segments.



I use Wordfast. Have been using it for three years now, and I have to say that I do not actually translate slower with it. On the contrary, especially since i do lots of government related informational material, I find that the glossaries I have built over the years are saving me about 30% of time. Right-to-left alignment doesn't seem to be a problem here, Mariam, so if you are working with WF feel free to contact me and talk about what is worrying you there I'll be glad to help.

As for "clients not wanting you to keep their files" it all depends what the files are. Most of my work is public domain stuff aimed at educating the masses, so there are no issues of confidentiality. I don't use WF for copywriting, poetry, and other creative stuff.


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Yes Sep 13, 2008

Simply because I invested a good deal of money in it.
Trados is not cheap tool. Worth the money? I don't know.


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