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Poll: Do you use CAT tools? / What is your age range?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:36
SITE STAFF
May 14, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you use CAT tools? / What is your age range?".

This poll was originally submitted by Elías Sauza

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:36
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Age and new technologies May 14, 2006

I wanted to know the relationship between the translators' ages and the use of CAT tools. I have always thought that, on the whole, as people grow older they show less interest in the new technologies. Maybe this is not true for translators?

Best regards,

Elías


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Interesting poll May 14, 2006

Hi Elías

I think thast it's a very interesting poll. I have been thinking about this topic for a while because I meet translators who don't even use the Internet resources, have never heard of CAT tools, or have heard about them and think that it's too late for them.
Those who started with mechanic writing machines and thought, once they had an electronic machine that they would never find something better...Those who fight with e-mail attachments or Word's options...They are not answering this poll.

Maybe there's not a narrow relation with the age or maybe there could be another poll that asks at once "For how many years have you been a translator" and "Do you use CAT tools"?

Claudia


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Joanna Krahelska
Local time: 00:36
Polish to English
+ ...
angry or laughing? May 14, 2006

both, actually

in a way, this poll has made me (over 50, FYI) just a little bit angry... the idea that people over 40 hate new technologies

come on, I've been using all those "new" technologies from the start
BTW, is it still OK to call computers and the Internet "new technologies"? the same goes for the CAT tools, which I do not use simply because I can manage on my own with that terribly old and fragmented hard disk, I mean of course my brain - a gigantic TM after 30 years of translation

at the same time, LOL or even ROTFL (OK, make it ROTFLMAO): what a funny idea, that! do the young lovers of new technologies really believe that no person over 40 can use a computer? let me see... how old is the PC...?

but seriously: the value of this poll is rather limited - unless, of course, you have access to personal data of users/members of this site
I would say that a vast majority here are actually under 40...

anyway, many thanks for the poll! being angry does wonders to blood circulation in an old lady's veins, and a good laugh is always welcome (whatever the age)

the best, jk (actually, I will be 52 this Wednesday... OMG, looks like I'm older than I ever planned)


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:36
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Problem May 14, 2006

Hi Elias,

I think there is a problem with evaluation of the results: it seems that about 70% percent of the respondents are below 40

Indeed, take a look at the figures:

I do, I'm below 40 49.1%
I don't, I'm below 40 20.1%
_________________________
= 69.2% respondents are below 40

I do, I'm over 40 22.3%
I don't, I'm over 40 8.5%
_________________________
= only 30.8% respondents are over 40

How will you evaluate the results obtained? From the point of view of statistics, the sampling for the first group is twice as large as for the 2nd group. You should probably run two independent polls for two age groups.


BTW, at present the ratios are practically equal in both groups, 2.23 vs 2.24



[Edited at 2006-05-14 22:49]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very close to the same May 14, 2006

I was thinking the same as Natalie but it is not necessary to have two polls. If you adjust the percentages referring to the overall universe to reflect for the relative size of each sub-universe (over 40 and under 40), then the two age groups are very close to the same numbers.

From that it would appear so far that age is not a factor in the use of such technology.

Of course I am well over 40 and replied no. I have no aversion to technology. I just can see no way at all that any CAT tool could possibly help me in any of the work I do. Rather, it would be tremendous bother and a waste of time.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:36
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Not age but subject is probably the discriminating factor May 14, 2006

Looking at the results of this polls, while it is still running, it appears that age alone is not a discriminating factor for using or not using CAT tools. Nice to know, just in case somebody had the idea that older translators cannot cope with new technologies.
The important factor is possibly the main field into which we translate.

What about a poll structured as follows:

- I am a technical translator. I use CAT tools.
- I am a technical translator. I don't use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I don't use CAT tools.

Where "technical" may include any field where recurrent terminology and repetitive segments are common, and "non technical" will include any field based more on creative writing, literature, fiction, marketing, speeches, humanistic, etc.


Gianfranco


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 20:36
SITE STAFF
Nice idea GF May 14, 2006

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

What about a poll structured as follows:

- I am a technical translator. I use CAT tools.
- I am a technical translator. I don't use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I don't use CAT tools.

Where "technical" may include any field where recurrent terminology and repetitive segments are common, and "non technical" will include any field based more on creative writing, literature, fiction, marketing, speeches, humanistic, etc.


Hi friends,

In fact Elias has defined the threshold at 30, I took the freedom to raise it to 40, as I felt everybody below 40 would have been more or less equally exposed to the computer revolution.

Gianfranco's suggestion is a nice one, we can run this one on Tuesday (I keep the same poll on Sunday and Monday).

If you can think of other interesting combination we can run it this week as well.

For the record, I do and I am 53

Enrique


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Rebecca Barath  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:36
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Ahem.... May 14, 2006

When I went full-time as a translator I had turned the "oh -my- god- she- is- over- the- hill" dreaded 40. Now, I have been using a PC for for nearly 10 years, I love technical gadgets and I am the one in our close old fart friends group that always encourage my other old fart friends to get better and more improved gadgets. I reacted with both irritation and laughter when I saw the poll, what the blazes does my age have to with any of this??
On the contrary, when I did decide to go full time my age and income enabled me to purchase the CAT tools I felt was needed to get ahead in this profession, and I can guarantee you I have spoken to other translators, many much younger than I, that did not have the opportunity to spend the kind of cash I did when I took the plunge and started full time. As a matter of fact, last year (Nov) when I did this I spent much more cash that I actually brought in. This year has been a different story! But the use of CAT tools has enabled me to take on more jobs, all the other software I in my old age decided was needed has also helped this. From Word 2003 to Abbyy 8.0 and Adobe Pro AND a new and improved PC ( you do the math).
Sorry if I am sounding miffed, but as an "older" translator I might also want to point out that your average kid straight out of school are so loaded with student loans that purchasing a CAT tool is out of the question until they get established and are actually bringing in the money.

OK, I know I sound more than miffed, but this really is laughable, age really has nothing to do with this. I have been bi-lingual all my life but it wasn't until I turned 40 that I had the nerve to quit my "civilian job", go full time and feel that I was mature enough and have enough self-discipline to do this.


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, I use Trados / I am over 40 May 15, 2006

Elías Sauza wrote:

I have always thought that, on the whole, as people grow older they show less interest in the new technologies. Maybe this is not true for translators?

Best regards,

Elías



Unfortunately, this is my case.

Au


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:36
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A single poll is not enough May 15, 2006

First of all, thanks for your replies so far. We all know that the format of these polls does not let us room for much. Natalie's and Giafranco's points are very interesting and a further poll will be of help.

Please don't take this poll wrong. It is just for mere curiosity. By "new technologies" I mean anything new you can see nowadays. I'm 45. A week ago I bought me a new cellular phone. I know nothing about it except to dial a phone number while my kids take pictures, listen to the radio, and are able to do a good number of "other things" with it.

I'm just curious to know if the new kids in translation do the same.


Best regards,

Elías


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 00:36
English to German
+ ...
This poll doesn´t make much sense to me May 15, 2006

I am slightly over 40 and use a range of not only CAT tools, but tools generally for various purposes and I am constantly either on the search for better performing tools or doing the coding in my own small way. What does the age make of it. I think it is basically a wrong assumption that people over 40 either tend have slow reflexes or even go lethargic. Best Brandis

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Antje Harder  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:36
Swedish to German
+ ...
over / under ? May 15, 2006

I'm missing the option "I do, and I turn 40 today."

(I didn't know that this was such a big deal, turning 40, that is...)

Regards from Sweden
Antje


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JackieMcC
Local time: 00:36
French to English
if not why not? May 15, 2006

Although I don't use any CAT tools at the moment, I have in the past - I used one of the biggest selling TM programs for 2 years until deciding it just wasn't worth it, for several reasons (including the fact that it wasn't best suited to the kind of documents I translate, I type very fast, and as Joanna said, already have 20 years translating experience stored in my brain).

I do wonder though how many "young" translators rush into using CAT tools without even considering whether they are really useful or worth the investment - because a) they are fashionable, b) they have learnt how to use them while doing their translating studies, c) everyone else is using them .....

Jackie


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
French to English
+ ...
two interesting points May 15, 2006

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

Looking at the results of this polls, while it is still running, it appears that age alone is not a discriminating factor for using or not using CAT tools. Nice to know, just in case somebody had the idea that older translators cannot cope with new technologies.
The important factor is possibly the main field into which we translate.

What about a poll structured as follows:

- I am a technical translator. I use CAT tools.
- I am a technical translator. I don't use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I use CAT tools.
- I'm not a tech. translator. I don't use CAT tools.

Where "technical" may include any field where recurrent terminology and repetitive segments are common, and "non technical" will include any field based more on creative writing, literature, fiction, marketing, speeches, humanistic, etc.


Gianfranco


Gianfranco has a very good point. I use CAT tools for the few translations I do that warrant them. Otherwise, I am a literary translator, and also do a lot of marketing texts, ads, speeches, etc. where these tools are more of a hindrance than anything.

But the other important point to consider is that if translators are not into "new technologies", then they are probably not logged on to Proz and answering on-line polls


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