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Poll: What is the main influencing factor when purchasing a CAT tool?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Aug 24, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the main influencing factor when purchasing a CAT tool?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Aug 24, 2017

Probably all the above factors if I ever purchase one…

 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:16
Member (2013)
English to Russian
No idea Aug 24, 2017

CAT tools are of no use to subtitlers.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:16
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
General applicability Aug 24, 2017

A CAT tool is of no use if none of your customers are using it.

FYI, Trados is the primary tool recommended - read 'demanded' - by customers here in Japan. Otherwise, I think I've been asked to use only one other tool whose name I can't remember because I disliked it immensely.

On a different note, why is it always assumed that all translators have to use CAT tools, anyway? And, what is the actual percentage of the translator population that use them? I'm running a poll right now in Facebook among JE translators and use of CAT tools seems to be the exception rather than the norm.

Edited last sentence

[Edited at 2017-08-24 10:53 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:16
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other Aug 24, 2017

A combination of:
- can it be used on a MAC without installing windows?
- price


 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
University recommendation Aug 24, 2017

When I was at University studying for my MA in Translation Studies the tutors recommended a particular CAT tool on the grounds that it was the one most commonly required by agencies. Accordingly, that was the one I purchased when the time for me to commence freelancing.

 

Jessica Ordman  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:16
Member (2013)
Italian to English


Posted via
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No CAT tools Aug 24, 2017

I dont use CAT tools except for with one agency that sometimes requires me to use theirs.

 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:16
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Other: 1. Agency market compatibility 2. Productivity gains through next-gen features 3. Compati... Aug 24, 2017

1. I agree with Julian in that agency market compatibility is very important despite the existence of TMX format (TM exchange file format) as many agencies nowadays need their existing document segmentation left untouched, which is not always all that easily possible between languages with utterly or at least significantly different word order, etc., where problems can arise at times between MemoQ and Studio AFAIK. Quite a few agencies still prefer Studio over MemoQ and this might be due to segmenting compatibility vs. number of quality translators owning the respective tool.
2. Some next-gen features to watch out for in a tool for when optimizing workflows for productivity gains include: typing aids like Autosuggest Dictionaries, term recognition, Adaptive Machine Translation (all of which Studio does offer), LiveDocs corpus (which as far as I know can at the moment only be found in a very small number of tools including MemoQ, but not in Studio)
3. Compatibility with our comprehensive, near-high end quality SDL Trados MultiTerm termbases organized by subject matter/field.
4. Support response and fixing times as well as, obviously, fixing ability/quality. No comment.
5. Support pricing. No comment.

[Edited at 2017-08-24 10:32 GMT]


 

satish krishna itikela  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:46
Member (2011)
English to Telugu
+ ...
I don't use them. Aug 24, 2017

In my eighteen years of career i never used any kind of CAT tool. I rejected some hundred of projects which insisted the use of CAT tools. I don't recommend the use of CAT tools, they really kill the talent and creativity of the translators.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Member
English to French
Client's recommendation Aug 24, 2017

That's why I bought Trados 3 in 2000. Agency customer went bankrupt.
That's why I bought MemoQ (4?) in 2008. I no longer work with that agency customer.

That's also why I used countless others, from proprietary to temp licences and from Across to SDLX.
I'd like to try Cafetran (as a Plus subscriber), but I never seem to fancy spending time sitting in front of a screen when I am not earning money.

As opposed to Julian, I find my CAT tool of choice helpful (all MT/termbase plug-ins disabled, always): even when not required, I always use it for every source text over a few paragraphs. I certainly find it more convenient than side-by-side or overwriting in an html/xml editor.
Or maybe my customers neither need "talent" nor "creativity"!

I currently do all my work with MemoQ 2013 R2 or a basic agency-developed CAT tool.
Trados 2009 is there for show only, and the occasional test that everything is in order for Trados-using customers/colleagues.

Philippe


 

Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:16
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
How can you be so certain... Aug 24, 2017

satish krishna itikela wrote:

In my eighteen years of career i never used any kind of CAT tool. I rejected some hundred of projects which insisted the use of CAT tools. I don't recommend the use of CAT tools, they really kill the talent and creativity of the translators.


... if you've never used one? Maybe you're confusing CAT tools with MT (machine translation), a "forbidden" word for some translators but a certainly useful technology in some circumstances.

I'd say CAT tools are an excellent way of guaranteeing terminological consistency (termbases), of recycling/leveraging your own work (alignment,TMs), and of dealing with layout (since the tool takes care of everthing related to fonts, sizes, indentation, tabs, tables of contents, codes, and many, many more things), so that you can focus 100% on that for which you're paid: translating. And as long as you're using (and feeding) your own TMs (translation memories), I don't think they "kill" your creativity. I believe they help you improve over time. I've been using CAT tools for almost a decade (since Trados 6.0), and presently I just can't live without them. And unlike you, I've turned down hundreds of projects for which CAT tools CAN'T be used, haha. I do understand, however, that for certain kinds of projects CAT tools may be useless.

IMHO, I think everybody should at least have a basic knowledge of CAT tools. It takes time to master them (if "mastering" them is at all possible), but in the long run, they are very useful. And I think that after all these years, they are here to stay. We'd better get used to them.

Alan


 

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:16
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Disagree Aug 24, 2017

Julian Holmes wrote:
A CAT tool is of no use if none of your customers are using it.
Edited last sentence

[Edited at 2017-08-24 10:53 GMT]


About 90% of my customers are end clients who have never heard of CAT tools.

I absolutely disagree with you on this point.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
+1 Aug 24, 2017

Laureana Pavon wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:
A CAT tool is of no use if none of your customers are using it.


About 90% of my customers are end clients who have never heard of CAT tools.

I absolutely disagree with you on this point.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Killing vs stifling Aug 24, 2017

Alan Corbo, CT wrote:
as long as you're using (and feeding) your own TMs (translation memories), I don't think they "kill" your creativity


They certainly stifle it though. They make it harder to be creative. You have to jump through more hoops. You're more likely to take the easy option.

But most translators, of course, don't just use their own memories, which is when these things really do get down to murdering texts.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other: for me it is the glossary function Aug 24, 2017

I have tried several CATs, and I always come back to Trados Studio, because I can use its Multiterm glossary function very flexibly.

I use it to avoid typing errors, or to insert chains of text like
Central Business Register (CVR)
or
Building and Housing Register (BBR) owner’s property return

at the touch of a couple of keys

To spell clients' names and trade marks correctly, automatically, every time, and to keep track of terminology generally.

Often there are not many repeats of whole sentences/segments in the work I do, but there are so many other features. What is critical for me is how the CAT inserts items from the glossary, and tags, and whether it is easy to rearrange the order if the target language is different from the source. I am a poor typist, so it must help, and not create dozens of extra typing strokes or force me to use the mouse all the time.

I have just struggled through several thousand words without a CAT, because the source document is a 'dead' PDF that cannot be converted with OCR to be machine readable... and I can't wait to get to the next job when I can use my CAT again!

I think it is vital to use a flexible CAT that accommodates the translator's workflow, which may be very personal, and may vary from one subject field to another - figures and formulae or comparatively 'straight' body text, or a combination of both.

Different alphabets will certainly affect the choice of CAT too, though I have never tried other alphabets in practice. (That could be partly why Trados is most popular for Japanese - handling the characters must be a challenge for the software developers!)

CAT stands for Computer AIDED Translation, and it can be a finely calibrated tool. It should certainly help.

If it is a pain in the B*** and distracts you, you are using the wrong one!


 
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