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Poll: Which best describes your relationship with CAT tools?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:10
SITE STAFF
Nov 5, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which best describes your relationship with CAT tools?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 5, 2017

I like the one I use, even though I don't exploit it to its full potential. I'm not so keen on the others I've tried.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
They are like automatic transmission in a car Nov 5, 2017

I can drive a car with either manual or automatic transmission without making mistakes from taking one for the other (i.e. letting the engine stall from forgetting to press the clutch upon stopping, or pressing the brake hard with the left foot when it would be time to press the - nonexistent - clutch pedal).

Hence for me CAT tools are some kind of assistive automation.

Sometimes - yet not always - automation is really helpful, e.g. in heavily congested traffic, when the driver doesn't have to shift into first and then back to neutral several dozen times within a mile.

I use WordFast Classic because it preserves text formatting in MS Word. Anyone who has ever used Page Maker or InDesign knows that Word is - by far - the worst software ever for text formatting, albeit being the market standard for translation work.

What I hate about CAT tools is their use as the major selection criterion for some translation outsourcers, translating and other skills being relatively optional. Too many outsourcers demand Trados absolutely, for no sensible reason whatsoever, even when no CAT tool will be of any use.

They are like someone on the street who hails a taxicab, looks inside, and says, "Aw, this car uses a stickshift? Never mind, I'll wait for the next one."


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:10
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
An absolute must Nov 5, 2017

in technical translation

Documents to be translated can sometimes be in the 1,000's of pages spread over multiple files. Projects like these would not be possible without a CAT tool.

As for match rates, that's something I would prefer to live without.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I used to use them, but dropped them Nov 5, 2017

I used Trados for a while (one or two years) when I was working in-house and I've dropped it as soon as I started freelancing after my retirement.

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
I use them, I like them to a point Nov 5, 2017

Just like any other tool, they help me get most jobs done. I'm leery of them because I always need to keep the original open to view the context and flow of text, as well as other metalinguistic aspects. I am aware that CAT and TEnT tools can and do impact the way translators write, so I take measures to counteract that effect.

Overall, what I always remember about these tools is how ephemeral they are. Cut the power, or turn the computer off and they disappear. Software only exist in a powered computer screen.

icon_smile.gif


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Used Trados but ditched it Nov 5, 2017

I translate faster and better when I close my eyes and don't look at the screen. Every job I do is different and there's little repetition within them. I might feel differently if my work was repetitive.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Why so many negative options? Nov 5, 2017

Of course I can translate without them! And in my particular case I've never had a client require me to use them. But I find them helpful, so I use them.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:10
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Nov 5, 2017

Julian Holmes wrote:

in technical translation

Documents to be translated can sometimes be in the 1,000's of pages spread over multiple files. Projects like these would not be possible without a CAT tool.

As for match rates, that's something I would prefer to live without.


Same here, but this has tobe some marketing thing for ProZ!


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 5, 2017

I work with my CAT or no CAT. I depend very much on my CAT, singular, not CATs in general.
However, I can still translate without, if I am given a 'dead' PDF that Trados cannot open.

I have tried several, and disliked some more than others.
I disliked Trados too when I first used it, but that was back in the days when I worked in-house, and my employer was delighted with this new idea... It was more than my job was worth not to try it at least.

We started in fact with an early version of Deja-Vu, and several translators had problems. We changed over to Trados, and in general had fewer problems, although it may have had something to do with a new IT-expert who took over at the time and could give advice.

I admitted that Trados had its advantages, and although I was about to give up again when I had a faulty dongle, which went over to demo-mode and seized up unpredictably... Trados finally sent me a replacement, and I stayed with them.
But without my own accumulated TMs and glossaries, I sometimes feel I am back at the beginner stage, and if I have to use different short cuts and routines, it drives me mad.

I can understand people who dislike CATs, but CATs are here to stay, and I would recommend practising with one until you are happy with it, but not necessarily giving in to clients who insist on a different one.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:10
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I appreciate my CAT a lot Nov 5, 2017

but why only one positive (and too extreme) option, while the other options are negative?

Like I said, I appreciate my CAT tool a lot for many jobs, but it is not for all - and of course I could do without it, if I had to.


 

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:10
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
I could not agree more Nov 6, 2017

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I can drive a car with either manual or automatic transmission without making mistakes from taking one for the other (i.e. letting the engine stall from forgetting to press the clutch upon stopping, or pressing the brake hard with the left foot when it would be time to press the - nonexistent - clutch pedal).

Hence for me CAT tools are some kind of assistive automation.

Sometimes - yet not always - automation is really helpful, e.g. in heavily congested traffic, when the driver doesn't have to shift into first and then back to neutral several dozen times within a mile.

I use WordFast Classic because it preserves text formatting in MS Word. Anyone who has ever used Page Maker or InDesign knows that Word is - by far - the worst software ever for text formatting, albeit being the market standard for translation work.

What I hate about CAT tools is their use as the major selection criterion for some translation outsourcers, translating and other skills being relatively optional. Too many outsourcers demand Trados absolutely, for no sensible reason whatsoever, even when no CAT tool will be of any use.

They are like someone on the street who hails a taxicab, looks inside, and says, "Aw, this car uses a stickshift? Never mind, I'll wait for the next one."


May I wholeheartedly agree with the above...?


 

Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 14:10
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
I love my CAT tool because I need it. Nov 6, 2017

If you are translating 'boring' texts, like user guides or repair book, CAT is a magical touch. No need to say time saving and speeding up the translation.

But... It is not a must for interesting texts. What is the point of using a CAT tool in a novel translation? Of course, non.

Some outsourcers force translators to have a CAT tool. In some cases, you are obliged to have a training certificate. Nonsense!


 

xxxGitte Hoveds
Denmark
Local time: 13:10
Danish to English
+ ...
Other - it's an optional tool Nov 6, 2017

I've used Trados in its various versions for 17+ years and find it useful.
But that is not to say that I can't live without it, or even that I can't translate without it.


 

Allison Neill-Rabaux  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Useful but doesn't replace good common sense and sound methodology. Nov 6, 2017

I love my CAT tool but believe that common sense and a good methodology should always prevail. A CAT tool should enhance, not replace, your skills as a translator.

 
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