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Poll: What is the one recommendation you would make for increasing translator productivity?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:50
SITE STAFF
Jun 16, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the one recommendation you would make for increasing translator productivity?".

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
French to English
+ ...
Other - invest in voice recognition software Jun 16, 2010

That and using a CAT tool, I suppose, but that depends on the type of documents you translate. Everyone can benefit from voice recognition software, whereas CAT tools wouldn't be as useful to a literary translator. I wouldn't be without either of them, mind!

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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:50
German to English
+ ...
Specialize Jun 16, 2010

and use a CAT tool.

I have found that repeatedly translating similar texts has increased my productivity as I sometimes remember the vocabulary and phrases I used before, for example.

A CAT tool is indispensable when translating texts in which sentences are repeated. Even for other kinds of texts, I find it very helpful in ensuring that I don't miss out any sentences.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A combination Jun 16, 2010

First of all it is important to specialize. Of equal importance is to keep on top of the training, the changes, the new developments.

CAT tools are recommended for recurring projects, are, however, of very little use to literary translators.

A good organisation of one's files and time management are mandatory to increase one's productivity.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Er... other Jun 16, 2010

How about "a bit of all of the above"?

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Member
German to English
+ ...
CAT Jun 16, 2010

In my experience, working with a CAT tool improves productivity even without repetitive texts. Even with the old Trados, working in the Word interface, I found it quicker and easier to translate than simply overwriting, and the new Editor interface within Studio is excellent. I'd say there is a good boost to productivity in that alone, let alone the huge benefits of using a TM to boot.

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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Given that we had to choose one... Jun 16, 2010

I plumped for "select your projects more carefully". At the end of the day, it is not the rate you get that matters, but how much you are earning per hour. I am of the opinion that difficult projects paying a high rate can earn you less money than easier projects you can zip through with a CAT tool at a lower rate. Again, if you choose projects you find easy (i.e. specialise/have expertise in), you will be more productive. It is often better to say no and wait for a more lucrative offer.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:50
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Jun 16, 2010

Build your own glossary (TM or a normal one if you don't use CAT tools).
Choose your projects carefully
Work hard and don't waste time
Make your research as time effective as possible, writing down the results of those particularly difficult.
Administration is important so do everything regularly and do it once (ouch! I should improve this aspect!!!)icon_wink.gif


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
French to English
Other... Jun 16, 2010

.... don't answer polls with more than 5 options.icon_smile.gif

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Darío  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes! Jun 16, 2010

Charlie Bavington wrote:

.... don't answer polls with more than 5 options.icon_smile.gif


icon_biggrin.gif


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
one cannot conquer alone Jun 16, 2010

IF the question is about manpower then teamwork is more efficient that a solo (two, five or even more 'equal' translators will surely do it faster and better).

On the other hand IF a translator uses a CAT then he can be equal of two or even three translators without CATs.

Furthermore, if a teamwork uses a CAT then it is a huge advantage...

So, taking into consideration equal conditions for the parties I vote for teamwork.
Yet IMO there's an option missing: get a good recommendation from your satisfied customericon_wink.gif


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 01:50
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2010

Use Dragon Naturally Speaking.

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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
English to German
Other: CAT tool & Specialization Jun 16, 2010

These two immediately came to mind when reading the questiona and BEFORE I looked at the possible answers.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
v.2 Jun 16, 2010

Yaotl Altan wrote:

Use Dragon Naturally Speaking.


This was my choice too, but this, of course, depends on a translator's typing skills. It's definitely increased my production!


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Erik Matson  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 13:50
Member (2008)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Specialize and CAT-tools Jun 16, 2010

Specializing is absolutely vital.

But for productivity, choosing the right CAT-tool (or other software) for the job is the most important thing. Learn all about the various features of the tools. Becoming familiar with the finer, perhaps "more hidden" features and functionalities of your software is absolutely worthwhile in terms of a time investment.

Built-in AT (automated translation, or machine translation), such as that which is offered as a new feature of SDL Trados Studio 2009 is incredibly helpful in terms of productivity.

Machine translation has gotten a bad wrap for too long, and is a very helpful, time-saving tool for almost any translator.

Learning how to fine-tune settings for TM and segmentation is equally important.

While I could not manage without Trados, is is NOT always the best choice, so don't limit yourself to just this one CAT environment. There is a lot of other fine software, each package with its own distinct benefits.


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