Poll: Has your investment in CAT tools paid off?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:02
SITE STAFF
Jan 30, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has your investment in CAT tools paid off?".

This poll was originally submitted by Morano El-Kholy. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:02
Member
German to English
+ ...
Absolutely Jan 30, 2015

When I first bought a CAT tool many many moons ago, it was quite a large initial investment. I worked out what proportion of my annual income it represented and therefore what percentage it needed to improve productivity in order to pay off. It worked out as roughly 10 % of my income, so I needed a 10 % improvement. It paid off much more than that within the first year alone, and has done every year since.




Typo edited!

[Edited at 2015-01-30 08:40 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:02
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, definately Jan 30, 2015

It paid itself off after 1 month when I was translating on the side.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes, but Jan 30, 2015

It's not much of an outlay in the first place, however much we grumble, so it really doesn't take long to pay off.

That said, I don't normally give customers discounts for matches.

If I agreed to agencies' discount matrices, then CAT wouldn't pay, because all the efficiency gains would then accrue straight to them, which is plain wrong, and I wish the rest of the profession also had the spine to resist this.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:02
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Fully agreed, Chris Jan 30, 2015

Chris S wrote:

It's not much of an outlay in the first place, however much we grumble, so it really doesn't take long to pay off.

That said, I don't normally give customers discounts for matches.

If I agreed to agencies' discount matrices, then CAT wouldn't pay, because all the efficiency gains would then accrue straight to them, which is plain wrong, and I wish the rest of the profession also had the spine to resist this.


Indeed I wish we would all resits to that, as an insult to us.

Other than that, yes I think it pays off, since many clients are requiring a TM of their work. We can't just try to bypass the market practices, or we'll be out of it soon.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, but to a certain point Jan 30, 2015

I began using WordFast Classic when it was free, then bought the license, some 10+ years ago.

My typical job is less than 5% repetitions, no fuzzy matches. However WFC preserves formatting in Word, and that's priceless... enough to outweigh WFC's $19.99-shareware interface and user-unfriendliness.

As a PageMaker power user, to me text formatting with MS Word resembles playing pinball on a machine mounted on a truck going at high speed on a dirt road. After having used countless word processors since the days of the Apple II, Microsoft Word is by far the #1 worst word processor ever, and it keeps getting worse at every new version. However it is the market standard. As the French say... Hélas!

I tried WordFast Pro, and gave up. It added a whole new dimension to software sluggishness. I've used MemoQ and Passolo on client-provided licenses, and they work all right as CAT tools, however they don't address MS Word's shortcomings so directly.

SDL once sent me a very detailed questionnaire on my everyday translation work. I tried my best to answer it accurately. Their expert opinion was clear: It would take Trados 13 years (sic!) to pay for itself in my case, not including the mandatory upgrades once a year.

For a comparison, I recall my very first laser printer, I think I bought it in 1989. It cost USD 7,000 and paid for itself in three months.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:02
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... but oddly Jan 30, 2015

I has used WF when it was free but I brought my first CAT in 2007 on proposal from an agency for a large technical project. They also provided some tech support so even though the project was huge it went really smooothly. It paid for itself from the first project and has paid for itself many times over since
Oddly though, I had put updating my CAT as in my business plan for this year and for some reason or other .... I am finding it really hard to put my hand in my pocket ...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:02
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Definitely Jan 30, 2015

I use Word Fast Pro and it has paid itself off within a very short time.

However, since I am the one paying for the renewal of my license, discounts are given only at my discreation. I never accept a client's "demanded" discount rate for repetitions and/or matches. Accepting it would mean working for free while fixing the fuzzy matches and, especially in German, the repetitions. Frankly accepting payments of 0.00 for repetions and allegedly 100% matches would mean being charitable beyong my means.

[Edited at 2015-01-30 10:49 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Reduced earnings thanks to CAT tools Jan 30, 2015

I don't use any CAT tool as I've never really seen any need for it with the types of documents I translate. But agencies actually (attempt to) apply CAT tool 'discounts' for 100% and fuzzy/partial matches even so. It's a joke. And the discounts they demand are ridiculous. 10 to 30% of the full rate. Fine, if it's just copy/paste with no checking. But I've always reduced the charge anyway if whole chunks of a text are repeated. If it's just a matter of a word or term reappearing several times in a text, then demanding a reduction is just ludicrous and practically insulting. Clearly the sales pitch used to sell CAT tools to agencies is not the same one used to lure translators.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:02
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, Jan 30, 2015

I use Wordfast PRO and would not want to do without it.

I accept clients' match discounts if they are not unreasonable.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:02
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
It paid off immediately Jan 30, 2015

With the first job I used to get my teeth into Trados

I'm pretty good with software - says be blushing - since I've translated 1'000's of manuals so I know what's coming around the corner.
It was OJT and, quite frankly, it was a doddle.

Just why do I just looove these kinds of techy things.

On another note, why would you invest in something that wouldn't pay for itself in the first place

Small edit

[Edited at 2015-01-31 08:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:02
English to Polish
Yes, definitely Jan 30, 2015

Especially since my lovely CAT isn't as expensive as some on the market, and it doesn't require payment each year for a licence. I paid once, I use it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:02
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jan 30, 2015

Yes, with the first 2 projects.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - with the first project Jan 30, 2015

But I cheated, I had already won the project before I bought the CAT tool.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Chunks of text Jan 30, 2015

writeaway wrote:

I don't use any CAT tool as I've never really seen any need for it with the types of documents I translate. But agencies actually (attempt to) apply CAT tool 'discounts' for 100% and fuzzy/partial matches even so. It's a joke. And the discounts they demand are ridiculous. 10 to 30% of the full rate. Fine, if it's just copy/paste with no checking. But I've always reduced the charge anyway if whole chunks of a text are repeated. If it's just a matter of a word or term reappearing several times in a text, then demanding a reduction is just ludicrous and practically insulting. Clearly the sales pitch used to sell CAT tools to agencies is not the same one used to lure translators.


Not all repetitions hold the same value in a document. For example, a phrase in a series of bullet points may also be a heading or a graphic caption.

The way technical writers write English documents these days is appalling: sure, they use short sentences, but they often appear disjointed to the point that I have to add connectors or transitional words so that they make sense in a paragraph in Spanish.

I won't begrudge a translator for not using a CAT tool, but one feather in anyone's cap is knowing how to discuss the pros and cons of such tools with a customer or an agency, especially when they want to impose discounts.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Has your investment in CAT tools paid off?

Advanced search






BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search