Poll: Translating without a CAT tool can produce equal quality at equal productivity as with a CAT tool.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:50
SITE STAFF
Mar 29

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Translating without a CAT tool can produce equal quality at equal productivity as with a CAT tool.".

This poll was originally submitted by José Mariño. View the poll results »



 

Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:50
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Depends on the type of text Mar 29

You probably wouldn't translate poetry or advertising slogans with a CAT tool.

[Bearbeitet am 2018-03-29 08:21 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't know Mar 29

The times I've tried CAT tools, my productivity plummeted. I consider myself a relatively fast and resourceful translator. I do much better work when I'm not tracking the words on the screen. I read a sentence, close my eyes, and let the translation flow through my fingers. This method yields a natural result with far fewer typos, often none at all.

When I'm reading through my final translation, the only tools I use are the MS Word spelling and grammar checkers and PerfectIt, which helps to ensure consistency in punctuation, capitalization, representation of numbers, etc.

Most of my work is documents for international organizations, which contain little repetition and sometimes require deep thought. I can imagine that other types of text might be better candidates for CAT tools. But as long as my clients are happy, I intend to stick with what I do best.

[Edited at 2018-03-29 08:37 GMT]


 

Eckhard Boehle  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:50
English to German
+ ...
Right! It depends on the type of text Mar 29

I am translating primarily patent text that have many repetitions, and for these kinds of texts it is really a blessing to work with a CAT tool as I do not have to type the same words over and over again.
It is also very good for consistency.


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:50
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
+1 for "depends on the text" Mar 29

Eckhard Boehle wrote:

I am translating primarily patent text that have many repetitions, and for these kinds of texts it is really a blessing to work with a CAT tool as I do not have to type the same words over and over again.
It is also very good for consistency.


Exactly. I voted "disagree", because the type of texts I translate often contain fixed phrases that have a fixed translation, or sentences or blocks of text that are very similar to text elsewhere in the document, or in previous documents for the same client. Consistency is very important there, and without a CAT tool I would probably miss this fairly often, and would have to do extensive searches and re-reading to avoid introducing inconsistent translation of terms.

For text that is more creative, less bound to templates and not very repetitive, I sometimes prefer a CAT tool to make sure I don't overlook sentences, but sometimes prefer to work without one in order to think more freely.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:50
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Mar 29

I know there was no 'other' but there should be.

It all depends on the text.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't know Mar 29

Like Muriel I've tried CAT tools and I must say that my productivity did not improve nor my quality (in my book quality is not synonym with consistency). Most of my work consists of transcreation jobs, texts of journalistic nature and documents for EU institutions and UN agencies and I continue to get all the work I need without using CAT tools. Anyway, I prefer helping my brain work well and improve my own memory than be confronted with text fragments.

 

Bora Taşdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:50
Member (2012)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Technical Translation? Yes, CAT Tool! Mar 29

If you are a technical translation, CAT tool is a must! Because as a full-time translator, you must work with several companies and you can't keep each term from different projects in your mind. You need a computer aid for that! CAT tools provide us with TM and TB functions which sustain consistency. Such technological assistances bring our services and lives to a new level! They allow us to translate more words in a specific time.

 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:50
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It all depends on the type of source texts. Mar 29

If my documents are not full of 'fuzzies', I will not use CAT tools, which is rare as most of my clients demand the use of a CAT tool.
I don't see problems in using such tools and they help in QA. However, the reading must be thorough as they break paragraphs into segments and segments into phrases and one might not notice the links between ideas, etc.




[Edited at 2018-03-29 11:52 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:50
Member (2008)
English to Italian
disagree Mar 29

I disagree because there are too many aspects to take into account.

Quality obviously depends on the skills of a translator, but if I translate a patent without a CAT tool, well quality CAN be affected. repetitions of long sentences are so common, that the risk to translate the same sentence in a different way is very high. Also the structure is so confusing sometimes, that without a CAT tool you might forget words, very easily.
Now, Obviously this can be avoided with a very careful double check... so you do not have the same productivity.
But if you translate a novel, a poem, a short story, an article, you do not need a CAT tool.
And anyway a lot of texts are translated without CAT tools.

But if we just concentrate on those translated with a CAT tool, you have a terminology database which highlights you words so you have a pretty good help. You can stick to one translation (when a very consistent translation is needed). So in my opinion you have a better quality (even small %) and a much better productivity.

[Edited at 2018-03-29 12:18 GMT]


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:50
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Missing option: Better Quality without! Mar 29

According to the questions, the quality that can be achieved without a CAT, compared to with a CAT, is equal at most. Instead, I am convinced that - with fair deadlines - better quality would be achieved without CATs in most cases.

Segmentation and coding can make it impossible to apply the final touch that would make a translation perfect. When I am requested to deliver a TM perfectly corresponding to the final translation, this often becomes a problem. Unfortunately, most agencies seem not to see it and do not want to hear about it - save very few evident cases where I can take the time to demonstrate how phrase-based segmentation can make it literally impossible to translate correctly.

[Edited at 2018-03-29 16:58 GMT]


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
Whatever happened to good old marble tablets? Mar 29

After taking calligraphy lessons, I was flummoxed to come across something called a 'typewriter'. I immediately summoned my fellow scribes and we took up arms against the confounded machines, but to no avail.

i have now come to terms with the abominable machine. Obviously my handwritten translations are much better and much more efficient, but the blasted clients continually complain they cannot read them.

To my horror, I then discovered there was such a thing as an 'electric typewriter', which apparently works using an extremely dangerous kind of metal string. Preposterous!!

What's a PC?


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 02:50
German to English
+ ...
Some missing options Mar 30

Above all, it depends on the type of material you are translating, and what type of translation you are doing. For some texts, the CAT tool would give you lower quality and lower productivity, or in the least, lower productivity. The point of CAT tools is to enable a person to translate large texts, generally of a technical nature, where terms must always be translated the same way. Additionally, that text must be in electronic form.

So if I translate a text that is creative in nature, where a same term will be translated differently, that feature of CAT tools will not help me. If my text is not in electronic form, I may need to jump through hoops to "prepare" it for the tool. If I have something like a driving license which sits on two sides of a laminated card, the CAT tool couldn't handle it at all. But if I created my own "driving license templates" (which I have) then I can translate that laminated document in quite a short time.

Were I to work on documents for which CAT tools are ideal, I'd be foolish not to use them: and vice versa.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:50
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Disagree, above all in productivity Mar 30

I belonged to the team that refuses to use CATs until 2014. In 2015, I reluctantly installed one to try. Only then I noticed how stubborn I had been until then.
It's not even necessary to mention all countless advantages a CAT allows. But a translator without a CAT these days is like a taxi driver without a GPS. There are many, indeed, but they are all technologically far behind their competitors.


 

Regi2006
Indonesia
Local time: 14:50
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
CAT tool for everything Apr 1

Gianluca Marras wrote:
But if you translate a novel, a poem, a short story, an article, you do not need a CAT tool.

I would translate them using a CAT tool simply because it is much more convenient for me to translate/proofread when I am able to see the source and target texts side-by-side.


 


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Poll: Translating without a CAT tool can produce equal quality at equal productivity as with a CAT tool.

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