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Poll: Do you think that translation memories and term bases make your brain and memory "lazy"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:42
SITE STAFF
May 4, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think that translation memories and term bases make your brain and memory "lazy"?".

This poll was originally submitted by Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.). View the poll results »



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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No May 4, 2016

The brain still has to work, especially when it comes to those "fuzzies". Plus, the brain is used for more than "just" translations, no?

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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:42
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Not at all May 4, 2016

These are only tools, the translator still has to do the work.

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:42
Member (2012)
Czech to English
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No May 4, 2016

because I seldom use CAT.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Maybe a difference between translator and interpreter May 4, 2016

Maybe interpreters need every word vying for position on the tip of the tongue, but translators don't. Maybe it's a good idea to free up some space in that part of our memory for other things. I certainly don't see it as a negative aspect of CAT tools.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 4, 2016

I don't need any assistance in that regard. I think my faculties are failing due to the natural ageing process, albeit probably helped along by years of systematic 'abuse'.

Having said that, I think there may be something to the idea, insofar as overuse of technology (Google being the prime example) may lead to overdependence on it, but I think the issue is more pertinent for the millennial generation than mine. For example, I know some educators are worried about the plethora of cheat systems available online, where several services provide ready-made essays on various subjects which students can download and tweak (if they can be bothered) before presenting them as the results of their own study and research.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:42
English to Russian
+ ...
Other! May 4, 2016

I am too lazy to use termbases, my memory holds on to it all anyway.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No May 4, 2016

If I can't use a CAT, I still have to write lists and make notes. I store them in the CAT, because it is an efficient use of my time.
I used to forget to look them up, and start all over again... or it was just too much hassle to search through all my little lists and references.

Far from getting lazy, with the CAT and termbase I have made it a habit to organise terminology and client details properly. The CAT makes it easy to update on the spot, so I make the effort instead of putting it off and forgetting to do it.

I can't remember everything, but I can make better use of my time and the way my brain works!


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Texte Style
Local time: 00:42
French to English
interesting question for once May 4, 2016

I definitely depend on the fact that I've made a note of a term somewhere, whether it's in a TM or a glossary or even both. I also depend on internet to tell me when the pool is open, the best way to get there on my bike, the time of my son's flight, etc.

I like to think this frees my mind up for other stuff. I remember a friend home-schooling three young children whose entire family depended on her to know where everything was. Her partner phoned while she was having a cuppa with me, asking where the cream was. She told him it was behind the butter that he himself had put away that morning.
She had come round to see me, all frazzled, hoping her kids would play with mine so she could offload. She told me she was insanely jealous of her partner who was painting and cooking without a care in the world, and who could blithely do so because he knew he could count on her to find the cream when he needed it. She wished her brain wouldn't retain such information, because then perhaps she could concentrate on her own paintings. Well I can't find the cream, but would never stoop to phoning my partner to ask, I'd rather ferret about or nip out for some more, but I don't paint. What does that say about my brain?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 4, 2016

I don’t know! Maybe, in the long run, there will be a difference between those who don’t use (or seldom use) a CAT tool and those who use it every day. Personally, I know a few translators (me included) who actually got a CAT tool and kept it in a drawer because at some point they were tired of thinking in segments and using CAT suggestions instead of their brain.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:42
Member (2006)
German to English
No, not at all May 4, 2016

But they speed up my workflow a heck of a lot though

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
English to Spanish
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Tools May 4, 2016

Vera Schoen wrote:

These are only tools, the translator still has to do the work.


Actually, the phrase translation memory is a misnomer. They should be called translation reminders because we are reminded of what we wrote before.

The phrase is termbase, a glorified bilingual (or multilingual) list of words, nothing more.

Perhaps the perception of laziness is an indirect (and pernicious) result of salespeak by those who hawk software tools (CAT tools, among others) as so-called productivity tools. The more you use a tool, the more productive you are (so the spiel goes) but then your brain doesn't have to “work” as much.

Tools are no substitute for skills and competence. No amount of paint and no variety of brushes will ever make you a better painter if you don't even know how to doodle.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:42
English to Spanish
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Thinking in segments May 4, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:

I don’t know! Maybe, in the long run, there will be a difference between those who don’t use (or seldom use) a CAT tool and those who use it every day. Personally, I know a few translators (me included) who actually got a CAT tool and kept it in a drawer because at some point they were tired of thinking in segments and using CAT suggestions instead of their brain.


Teresa, you should patent that phrase! Can I borrow it?



Using a CAT tool, whether it's Trados, Deja Vu, Transit, MateCat, Wordfast, etc., tends to have two very undesirable side effects:

1) You start thinking and writing in segments, as Teresa says; instead of going with the internal logic of a sentence or paragraph (as well as with its context and cotext —the text surrounding it), you just end up splitting your discourse and your translation ends up with an awkward, clunky, nonidiomatic feel.

2) You surrender your native language's own stylistic conventions and traditions (how to write a heading or a procedure, for example) because you have no access to the document's formatting while working with the CAT tool. The final text reads like an English-structured document with just Italian, French, Spanish, Swedish or Greek words inside, and it feels alien.

So maybe you get a bit lazy after all.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Please, do! May 4, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

I don’t know! Maybe, in the long run, there will be a difference between those who don’t use (or seldom use) a CAT tool and those who use it every day. Personally, I know a few translators (me included) who actually got a CAT tool and kept it in a drawer because at some point they were tired of thinking in segments and using CAT suggestions instead of their brain.


Teresa, you should patent that phrase! Can I borrow it?



Using a CAT tool, whether it's Trados, Deja Vu, Transit, MateCat, Wordfast, etc., tends to have two very undesirable side effects:

1) You start thinking and writing in segments, as Teresa says; instead of going with the internal logic of a sentence or paragraph (as well as with its context and cotext —the text surrounding it), you just end up splitting your discourse and your translation ends up with an awkward, clunky, nonidiomatic feel.

2) You surrender your native language's own stylistic conventions and traditions (how to write a heading or a procedure, for example) because you have no access to the document's formatting while working with the CAT tool. The final text reads like an English-structured document with just Italian, French, Spanish, Swedish or Greek words inside, and it feels alien.

So maybe you get a bit lazy after all.


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Karl H Pasch
Guatemala
Local time: 17:42
German to Spanish
+ ...
he other way May 4, 2016

Brain works like muscles. If you excerzise it, it works better every day. Instead of becoming lazy, it will be speeder.

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