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Poll: Which best reflects your opinion of CAT tools?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:33
SITE STAFF
Sep 12, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which best reflects your opinion of CAT tools?".

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Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trados Studio 2015 actually seems OK Sep 12, 2015

Having cut my teeth on the frankly scary (when will it crash next?, when will I get a totally incomprehensible error message that I will have to research and respond to in order to make deadline?) Studio 2011, Studio 2015 seems, so far, to be stable and far more capable than Studio 2011 of doing what it says on the tin.
Fingers crossed.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:33
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I dislike them! Sep 12, 2015

Am I a dinosaur? Maybe this is an age thing, as I'm a good bit older than most of you. I used Trados when I worked in-house and I deeply disliked it. I particularly hated all the time wasted aligning and re-aligning documents…

That being said, when I retired from my in-house position and started freelancing I didn’t buy a CAT tool. To date I have survived without one and I have managed to build a strong client base. My approach to translation is that of a “handicraft” rather than an “industrial process”. I’m more concerned with quality than with quantity, productivity and rapidity.

Anyway, most of the texts I translate are creative and not repetitive, with the exception of some medical devices certifications which are extremely repetitive, but nothing that the Word search function can’t solve…

Well, if you know of a CAT tool that is really intuitive, one that you just jump right into and start working with it, learning as you go and not one that requires you to take time out from work, maybe I could be converted…

I have been working for over 10 years with 3 agencies that require CAT tools but we have come to an agreement that works for me and for them.


[Edited at 2015-09-12 09:20 GMT]


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:33
Romanian to English
+ ...
Depends on the CAT tool Sep 12, 2015

I absolutely love MemoQ 2013. Before that, I had used Trados 2007 for jobs where it made sense (i.e. lots of repetitions). I use MemoQ for every single page I translate, it never crashes and I've been using it for more than a year now, translating about 3,000 pages; never messes up anything with the format, has tons of excellent term-related features, so it really does what it says it does: just let's me do my work and takes care of the rest.

 

564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:33
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 12, 2015

To me, CAT tools are a necessary part of my toolbox as a translator.

Are they great? I don't know. They are what they are, tools of the trade.

Is Microsoft Office great? Is Windows great? Is Adobe Acrobat great? Are electronic and online dictionaries great?
I don't know...

But I wouldn't contemplate working as a translator without any of them...


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'll always be a basic user, but never a non-user Sep 12, 2015

The age thing means I'll never get to grips with all that a CAT has to offer. I've never tried anything that has Trados or SDL in its name, and I never will. But I do like to use good ol' Wordfast Classic. I bought the Pro version but I've never used it. I think I'll stick to the one I know.

I can see why some people hate them, but I think it's the fact that they're imposed on them that makes the difference. That and those absurd discounts some translators get pressured into giving. I've been using Wf for about seven years but I've never delivered an unclean file, I've never given a fuzzy discount, I've never shared my TM, and the only time I've ever accepted a TM came as a gift from a fellow translator, on the basis that it might be useful.

Working this way, I get all the benefits of my investment in my CAT but none of the disadvantages. As a marketing translator, I rarely get 100% matches, and often feel I can do better than just reuse the target text anyway, so that's no great benefit. But the QC functions, concordance search, glossary, and placeables all make it worthwhile. And as I'm not delivering the TM, it's no problem if I clean the file then have second thoughts. I don't feel it makes me translate in a mechanical sentence-for-sentence way.

If I had to work the way many translators feel they have to, I'd be a CAT tool hater.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:33
Member (2006)
German to English
Great Sep 12, 2015

I find them very helpful and I actually work a lot quicker with them, irrelevant of the repetitions.
And since I actually took time to (or was forced to) look into MultiTerm, I am wizzzing along even better.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:33
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I love Wordfast Sep 12, 2015

at first I used Classic but now PRO and it is great.
I have never had a problem I couldn't solve by just looking in the manual.

I have worked with Trados Studio 2010 in-house, but I much prefer WF.

Some clients want me to use MemoQ,( providing the licence) that is fine too.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 12, 2015

SOME CAT tools are great and I like the one/s I use (WF Classic and Dragon NS).
However, I dislike Trados due to its complexity (which I perceive as needless from my own point of view), high price and the general air of superiority it exudes from its lofty position as "the industry standard" (I know I'm not alone in perceiving this, no offence intended to Trados users).

Then again, I have no experience of other CAT tools and have only tried out the other WF options, which I didn't really like either (again, too many bells and whistles for me). I just hope I can go on using my old WFC, warts and all, for the next few years in the same way as I have so far - i.e. successfully.


 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
French to English
Misconception no. 1 Sep 12, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

most of the texts I translate are creative and not repetitive,


CAT tools can in fact help just as much to make sure you do not repeat yourself, if creativity and originality are what you need to achieve, by showing you translations you have used previously, so you can actively avoid them. Just a thought. I've always held the above to be largely a non-starter in the ranks of reasons not to use them.


 

Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:03
German to English
Sometimes Sep 12, 2015

neilmac wrote:

SOME CAT tools are great and I like the one/s I use (WF Classic and Dragon NS).
However, I dislike Trados due to its complexity (which I perceive as needless from my own point of view), high price and the general air of superiority it exudes from its lofty position as "the industry standard" (I know I'm not alone in perceiving this, no offence intended to Trados users).

Then again, I have no experience of other CAT tools and have only tried out the other WF options, which I didn't really like either (again, too many bells and whistles for me). I just hope I can go on using my old WFC, warts and all, for the next few years in the same way as I have so far - i.e. successfully.


Some are great - I stick to WF classic; have used Trados which I perceive as too complex hence haven't renewed the licence; don't have too much experience with other CAT tools.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
A bit of everything Sep 12, 2015

CAT tools can be helpful and indeed excellent, and are necessary in certain situations. However, I prefer not to use one, and in fact I dislike using them. But that's mostly just personal preference as IT is not my thing and I would happily use pen and paper if I could.
I do have Trados and tried for a while to learn how to use it, but I almost threw the computer out of the window on quite a few occasions, and blame it for several of my many grey hairs! Eventually I decided I didn't really need it in my particular fields and gave up trying. Maybe sometime soon I'll give it another chance and try again...


 

Dr. Tilmann Kleinau  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:33
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
11 years of experience with Trados Sep 12, 2015

While I had difficulties with Trados 2007 because it often refused to clean the files shortly before the deadline came, I was satisfied with Trados Studio 2009 and 2011 and am happy with Studio 2014. However, I must say that Trados is not easy to learn, and it took me several weeks to get to know it so well that I got sure how to use it even under time pressure, and to pass the certification exams. I also had good experiences with the support, and I find the SDL Open Exhange very helpful. All I have to criticize is that, all in all, software plus updates plus support plus webinars plus certification exams ect. are very expensive. It must be a gold mine for SDL who pay translators a per word price below the average.

 

Paul Adie  Identity Verified
Germany
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 12, 2015

I prefer using a CAT tool on repetitive texts and my client doesn't know about it. Yes, it's true - I prefer to work less and earn more.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:33
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I used to be reluctant like Teresa Sep 12, 2015

Just like Teresa, I was "forced" to use Trados for a while, and hated it. I figured I translated a lot less with the CAT than without it. But that was Trados, which is too complex and too polluted, with too many useless functions and buttons, bugs and crashes, etc. After that experience, I spent years positioning myself against the CATs because of the bad impression caused by Trados.

Until a few years ago when I had a great oppotunity that required a CAT. With the help of my good friend Trovão, I adopted the MemoQ. Now that is a practical CAT. No useless extras, no pollution, easy to use, etc. I've been using it for two years now, and I developed an excellent TB/TM, importing my former translations as well. It has become an essential tool for me.

Now, let's make it clear that Google Translator and on-line platforms like WordBee, SmartEngine, GTM and the like are NOT CAT tools. They are only for the agency's advantage and they stink badly.

So, you cannot consider you don't like CAT tools if you only know Trados and on-line platforms. If that's the case, you hate wine because you only tried the sweet whites. Once you try a good red & dry, you may change your opinion.


 
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