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Poll: Have you received more translation job offers since you purchased CAT tool(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:52
SITE STAFF
Apr 12, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you received more translation job offers since you purchased CAT tool(s)?".

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:52
Member (2006)
German to English
Yep Apr 12, 2016

You cannot really do without them in the technical sector

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Apr 12, 2016

I work mostly with legal texts, but having a CAT supplements my volume.

Much of time time I have to work with PDFs, typing everything into a re-created Word file.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not really Apr 12, 2016

Am not really interested in touting for more job offers at the moment, so it's not a criterion that affects me. Nor did I choose or start using my CAT tool to increase my client base in the first place. I was simply curious about what CAT in general had to offer, as a colleague and Trados user was encouraging me to get Trados, because it was "the industry standard".

To cut a long story short, I kissed a few random frogs, but in the end I chose Wordfast Classic for its simplicity and now swear by it. However, none of my current direct clients knows or cares about which software I might happen to be using (one who went over to Open Office still converts files to workable Word-compatible formats before sending them to me), and the couple of agencies I occasionally work with also know not to try to foist their preferred CAT systems or in-house methodologies on me either.

However, I do understand that for others, in different working situations, having one or more CAT tools can be a boon.


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Sara Maghini  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:52
English to Italian
+ ...
Other Apr 12, 2016

I have never worked without CAT tools, so I wouldn't know...

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Loaded and simplistic question Apr 12, 2016

Receiving job offers as an independent contractor hinges not just on what tools you may or may not use. Who is the author of this poll, some CAT tool representative or neophyte salesman?

During the 1992-1997 period I was a pretty busy translator, and I wasn't using any CAT tools at the time.

Here's a poll I'd like to submit someday:

Has your IQ dropped to the single digits after answering 5 or more quick polls?

And yes, this kind of poll makes me cranky before breakfast.




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Georgia Morgan  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:52
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Sure I would get more Apr 12, 2016

I don't bid for a lot of the jobs because I don't use CAT tools. A lot of these jobs wouldn't interest me anyway, as they are technical stuff and I like literature and academic texts and I do a lot of editing/proofreading for which they are not designed.

If I were younger and/or more desperate for money, then I would consider using them. As it is, I won't. I have attended a few of the free webinars on CAT tools and they make my head spin!


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Looking at it the other way Apr 12, 2016

I've definitely received fewer job offers since some of my *clients* purchased CAT tools

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Sharon Toh, MITI MCIL
Singapore
Local time: 00:52
Member (2009)
Chinese to English
+ ...
No idea Apr 12, 2016

I am using a CAT tool almost all the time, but the majority of my clients don't send me files prepared using a CAT tool. All they need from me is the final translated file. I don't know whether they know I am using a CAT tool or not. So I have no idea whether they engaged my services because I am using one.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:52
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Same here Apr 12, 2016

Sara Maghini wrote:

I have never worked without CAT tools, so I wouldn't know...


I use my CAT for eveyrthing except 'dead' PDFs that it cannot open. I have even typed the text and formatted it on occasions so that I could use the CAT. I know at least one bureau has done that before sending me the text.

The answer to the question is probably 'yes', because most of my clients send me packages and prepare the texts for the CAT, or ask me to do so and send the translation memory or the equivalent of uncleaned files.

However, it has to be my CAT. I have tried several over the years, and like some a lot better than others. So I miss out on a few jobs when the client recommends or demands a different CAT.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oh yeah, that's for sure! Apr 12, 2016

Chris S wrote:

I've definitely received fewer job offers since some of my *clients* purchased CAT tools


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 17:52
French to English
+ ...
Missing answer Apr 12, 2016

I've never not used CAT tools.

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 10:52
German to English
+ ...
a different answer Apr 12, 2016

I have always received job offers on and off that required the use of CAT tools, and whether or not I purchase a CAT tool in the future, I will continue to get such job offers. Actually the question does not make much sense to me. People contact me for translation because they know:
- I am a translator (I'm listed in the ATIO and on two translator discussion forums)
- in the language pair I am after
- show evidence of training and experience in translation

They contact me because they need a translation done, and I do translations. Just like I contact my accountant for those needs, because he is a qualified and experienced accountant. I haven't a clue what kind of software, or calculator or pencil and paper he uses to carry out the task.

I purchased a cool new office chair recently which has done wonders for my back as I work. Have I received more translation job offers since I got the new chair? Well no, the fluctuation of translation requests is not related to the tools of my trade, but rather, to the needs of my clients. How would they know about my chair, or my software ... or care?


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:52
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I must agree Apr 13, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:
Chris S wrote:
I've definitely received fewer job offers since some of my *clients* purchased CAT tools


Yes, this is surely happening, Chris and Teresa, and we know the agencies only pass to us what they are not able to do in-house. So this is expected.

As to the question itself, I voted "yes", but I'm not sure to what extent the CAT tool has influenced on that against the fact that I have acquired more experience, got in contact with more agencies, improved my profile in the translation sites, and became more known to the international translators community. I surely believe the second set of factors has certainly influenced a lot more that the fact that I started using a CAT tool.

But I must admit some clients only hired me because I use the CAT tool, and would not have included me in the team if I didn't. It seems to be almost mandatory these days.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:52
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A guess Apr 13, 2016

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

...They contact me because they need a translation done, and I do translations.

...Well no, the fluctuation of translation requests is not related to the tools of my trade...


I would guess you do not work for translation agencies? Lucky you, if you can work only for direct clients. I wish I could too.

But since I have to work for agencies to fill my working hours, since my direct clients are not close to that, a CAT has become practically mandatory. Most agencies nowadays request you to use a TM/TB they provide, and to provide them a copy of the amended TM/TB once you deliver. If you don't need agencies (again, lucky you), you can keep on the same track. If you do, however (my case), you will not survive for long in the market, as more and more agencies require the TMs and the use of CATs. Only small and new agencies still don't.

Actually (I'm adding this PS now), I just thought of many agencies that import the original document and your translation to their Live Docs (or similar feature) and generate their own TM segments. So what I said above may not be true to many agencies. They do not have to require the use of CATs or TMs from the translator. I'll take that back.

[Edited at 2016-04-13 05:17 GMT]


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