Poll: How did you learn to use a CAT tool?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:20
Oct 18, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How did you learn to use a CAT tool?".

This poll was originally submitted by Achmad Fuad Lubis. View the poll results »

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564354352  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Danish to English
+ ...
A combination Oct 18, 2015

An initial 2-day in-house course with one of the original Trados instructors way back in 2001. Followed by a year of on-the-job practice, troubleshooting and exchanges with colleagues, with a lot of swearing and hair pulling-out, as well as frequent phone calls and email exchanges with the same Trados instructor. Some side-by-side work with an IT dude to adapt MultiTerm to suit company needs (well, I was the side-kick, the brain in the software development was the IT dude). After that just working with Trados consistently in practically all my translation work, and going through the many different versions, through to Studio 2015.

I had a go at the certification courses, but couldn't see the point, so I quit. Besides, they seem to cover all Trados applications, and I only use a few, so I would consider that a waste of time.

When people say that Trados is not intuitive, I tend to disagree, because it is quite straightforward to me by now, and I wouldn't stop to consider for a moment whether to swop it for another CAT. But then again, it has taken me 15 years to get to this stage...

[Edited at 2015-10-18 09:57 GMT]

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 18, 2015

Mainly self-taught, but with a few pointers from friends/colleagues already using cat tools.
The first came from a friend of mine who translates from German using Trados, who explained the complicated learning curve involved, which (apart from the exorbitant price) is mainly what put me off using it.
Then, someone told me about Wordfast. I tried out the classic version,and found it was much easier and quicker to learn (basic use after about 15 min) and much better suited to my purposes and (rather impatient) personality. I'm still using it today, several years later, although it has several functions which I have yet to master, or simply haven't bothered to investigate.

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:20
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Logically Oct 18, 2015

I RTFMed read the friendly manual...duh.

[Edited at 2015-10-18 15:59 GMT]

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
By magic! Oct 18, 2015

I learned how to use CAT tools at Ms. Gonagall's class about animagic. You know, a cat becomes a CAT tool…

What, you didn't learn it that way???

Seriously, I owe it to my first manager, Mr. Mariano Huamaní, at Intergraph Corp (Alabama, USA) who hired me as an in-house translator on the strength of my experience (as a translator) and lack of experience (in Trados or anything else). That was Trados with Workbench 1.0 I think, pretty buggy. We also used Trascendence, one of the first machine translation software programs of the day (1998).

I left the company after one year (spooked by its financials and uncertain future) but I will always remember Mr. Huamaní (from Perú, by the way), a model manager. No other manager I have worked under has even come close.

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trial versions Oct 18, 2015

I downloaded all the trial versions and picked the one that was easiest for me to figure out (Trados 2014). For anything beyond that, I turn to Google and YouTube - the greatest fountains of knowledge known to man

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I've learned it more than 20 years ago Oct 19, 2015

One thing I have learned about software in general is that you only learn when you sit in front of the computer, all by yourself, with manuals and other sources of reference, and dive into the system highly concentrated. All other methods (I mean all, no exceptions) are a waste of time.

In the late 80's and early 90's, I took DBase, Clipper, Lotus 123, DOS and WordStar courses, because at the time, employers would require a certificate in some of these to hire you. However, I learned practically nothing there as compared to what I learned by myself in the efficient method.

Now, in the mid 2000's, when I decided to use a CAT, I saw all the forums, workshops, courses, etc., read many previews, and realized it's still the same thing. You pay and see your money burning in the trash can, because you will only learn it when you concentrate, all by yourself, at home, in front of your computer, practicing.

I learned MemoQ first, with an excellent method. I translated the MemoQ manual using MemoQ. I tested all functions while translating it. That was an excellent idea.

Now, if you need a certificate, then you have to buy one... oops, I mean, take one of those courses. But don't expect to learn much.

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Giulia Bassi  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
internship + university Oct 19, 2015

Thanks to an internship as in-house translator and at the university.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Learning Oct 19, 2015

by doing.
If I have attended any courses for the amount of CAT tools that I used, I would not have had much time to work.

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Poll: How did you learn to use a CAT tool?

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