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Poll: How far into your translation career did you decide to invest in CAT software?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:44
SITE STAFF
Oct 2, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How far into your translation career did you decide to invest in CAT software?".

This poll was originally submitted by Laura Bennett. View the poll results »



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 10:44
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Eons after I started Oct 2, 2012

This option is missing.

Even electric typewriters were totally unaffordable when I first started out.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:44
Member (2006)
German to English
combination Oct 2, 2012

of trial and error without one with regard to terminology and after taking on a large project, I was given information about CAT tools, tried out Trados (6 those days) and it worked out well and had paid itself off within 2 months!!
Have been there ever since - although there are quite a few "moaners" when talking about CAT tools


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:44
Member
German to English
+ ...
I voted 'Other' Oct 2, 2012

Because it was probably a couple of years after I started but not as many as several. When I first started work, the majority of work came in by fax so CAT software wasn't so useful. Once it started to mainly come in in editable file formats, I took the plunge!

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Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:44
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Several years LATER Oct 2, 2012

I don't even know if they existed when I started translating
Anyway the first one I ever used was a CAT tool created by one of my Italian clients, and I must say it was excellent.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
About ten years... Oct 2, 2012

... and after using it for about ten years I still don't rate it

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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:44
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Straight Away Oct 2, 2012

When I was studying translation at University, one of our lecturers repeatedly stressed to us how important a knowledge of CAT tools (and one in particular) was in the translation industry. Accordingly, I decided to make the investment in a CAT tool before I started offering my services to clients in order to get the benefits straight away.

As a newcomer to the industry, I found that it also had benefits in terms of marketing my services to potential clients and hence getting myself up and running as a translator.


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Samantha Payn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:44
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Aimed at recent entrants to the profession Oct 2, 2012

It does seem that this poll is aimed at recent entrants to the profession. When I first tried to set up as a translator by thoughts were "with faxes and this new-fangled email malarkey that's just appeared I can live where I like and people can send me written material to translate". Unfortunately my client base was not so forward thinking and wanted me to live within 20 miles of them (London).
This time around I bought a CAT tool once I had decied to take the plunge again, moving to full-time reliance on translation income from part-time translation, part-time project management/admin work.
It is invaluable for some of my work (legal) and useless for other jobs (song lyrics).


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:44
Hebrew to English
I still haven't invested....... Oct 2, 2012

But I'm only a year into my translation career. I said to myself that I'd buy it asap (as soon as it looked like I might need it, as soon as I had enough $$$ too).

However, a year on I'm yet to find a single client asking for it. I've never had to turn a job down because they've insisted on it.

Moreover, much of my work is handwritten or dead PDFs etc which I'm told CAT won't help me much with.

So, both of these facts combined haven't exactly motivated me to go running to SDL with cash in hand.

[Edited at 2012-10-02 08:46 GMT]


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Alexandranow  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 03:44
Romanian to English
+ ...
expensive Oct 2, 2012

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How far into your translation career did you decide to invest in CAT software?".

This poll was originally submitted by Laura Bennett. View the poll results »

The truth is that I cannot afford, but I heard that are not so good, after all...from some other translators.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:44
English to German
+ ...
Investment Oct 2, 2012

I received wonderful training from my clients - neat, live online classes and such, and my clients will always bend over backwards whenever I have a technical question about their CAT tool. My time and my willingness to learn is my investment, and it is a win-win situation.

Investing a single penny in CAT software? Not going to happen. Why should I? To be able to open "exotic" file formats in programs of which I own the full license anyway?


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Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:44
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Several years after Oct 2, 2012

Because I started translating (more than) 20 years ago, when CAT tools were practically unknown.

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:44
English to German
+ ...
Never Oct 2, 2012

and I don't intend to.

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xxxchristela
Other Oct 2, 2012

CAT tools only exist since 12 years or so. Please correct me if I am wrong. And were unaffordable for a long time for most translators.
I started in 1984, tried Wordfast in 2001, sticked with it and invested in it in 2003.



[Edited at 2012-10-02 10:42 GMT]


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:44
German to English
+ ...
"Software" was a new term when I started translating! Oct 2, 2012

After 25 years of managing fine without any CAT software, I started using it because it was a prerequisite for working with one very good agency. Since this agency sends me an almost constant stream of work, I have no complaints. I will be investing in the full package just as soon as I can afford it.

Although I was quite keen about ten or twelve years ago to procure Trados, I never did, and have not been worse off for not having done so.

Do I translate any faster? No. Not really. Any gains in time are lost when fiddling about creating return packages and so on.

Does it help with "terminological uniformity"? No. Not really. My own memory is trained to remember that ABC = XYZ, or slight variations thereof.

Why is it a good investment then? Because it gives me a share of the market I to which I did not have access before; it makes me more flexible; and (silly thing) I like to know that, for example, I only have 19.7% of the text left to translate - it motivates me!


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