How many tools I need to have to be accepted by translation agencies
Thread poster: Olga Tammjarv

Olga Tammjarv
Local time: 20:54
Swedish to Russian
+ ...
Nov 6, 2007

I,m "oldy" - when I started in this trade, I never used CAT-tools, because they wasn,t created on that time. It was time before Computers.....Two years ago everybody was stil interested in my service, but not anymore.......I know, I need to invest money in my PC buy a CAT-tools. But what kind of them? When Word Fast is cheaper and even better, than TRADOS, why Agencies requirement is always TRADOS? And now arrived a new one: MemoQ - in three version, the last one cost even more, than TRADOS 2007? I know, that there are more than 2 dozen programs (different Soft), used by modern translators, please tell me, where I should start . Who can make me a list of tools, I should have on my PC to make comeback and be accepted by the translating agencies. I really want come back and become a full member of Your nice community. Do note tell me, that I need Microsoft Office.......:-)). And one question more: I want to replace my Desktop with a Laptop, would be Windows XP professional then better, than Windows Vista or the last Windows version is the best?
Thank all of You!


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
It really depends, and some of it depends on the agency Nov 6, 2007

Trados might be preferred by way of CAT because of its format flexibility and applications, but I know a lot of people who get by with Wordfast as well. Likewise, there are agencies who consistently use CAT tools and agencies who do not, or only do so occasionally. A third (but not least important) consideration is your market; i.e., how dependent your combinations and specialty areas are on CAT tools. (For example, they are almost useless for literary translators, and only partially useful for legal translators). I suggest you study your market first. Run a directory search in your combinations and take note of how available CAT tools are in your fields of work/interest. Where there is little competition, they might not be THAT necessary. Certainly, it wouldn't do to buy everything on the market.



Margreet Logmans (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
English to Dutch
+ ...
Start with what you have Nov 6, 2007

Hello Olga,

If you have a PC now, do you have Microsoft Word? Otherwise, you will have trouble with Trados anyway. (Trados Workbench works with Word). Trados Tag Editor should be fine.

Why don't you download a few trial versions? They're usually free. A friend of mine downloaded Trados Trial Version, used it for an assignment and made enough money to buy the full version....

Personally, I work with SDLX Trados and Star Transit, plus Windows XP (and Vista -I have two computers) and Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. (Yes, they are in Office).

Don't buy anything too soon. Perhaps you could try to contact some agencies by phone or email to find uit what their requirements are... an agency in need of someone with your language pair might even help you get what you need.

If you are an 'oldy', your years of experience should make a good impression.
Write a good CV/resumé too, send it around, see what comes your way.

For the rest of it, I totally agree with Parrot.

Good luck!


patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
You may not need a CAT tool... Nov 6, 2007

As Parrot said, it really depends on what kind of work you do. I have been using the free Wordfast download for quite some time...the only restriction is the size of the job you use if for. I can't remember what that is unfortunately but I've used it for about 14,000 words without a problem.

I only need it for about 2 clients, otherwise I leave it alone.

"Do note tell me, that I need Microsoft Office...). " I wasn't sure whether you meant you already have this or not, so forgive me if I'm stating the obvious....You do need this.

As for Vista, I'm told it's really only eye candy, and there's no significant advantage in the way it operates. At least not for my needs, anyway.

Another program you can download for free is "adobe reader" which allows you to read PDF files. Quite a lot of translations are presented in this format, but they almost always want the job back in Word, so you don't need to buy the full version which allows you to edit the PDF itself.

For transcriptions I use Express Scribe which you can download free from . I only got this recently thanks to a client and it's really very good.

As you can see, much of what we need can at least be tried for free, if not used indefinitely. So, try out with freebies first...and then buy later, if you need to, according to your clients and their/your needs...and you will have clients, trust me! icon_smile.gif

Good luck...let us know how you get on.icon_wink.gif



Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Really Nov 6, 2007

Are you sure you lost your former customer because of a missing CAT-tool? I do mostly technical translations. but only few of my customers insist on a special tool. Mostly you can get around with Wordfast. There are conversion macros for ttx (Trados), itd (SDLX) and PXF (Transit).
And many customers talk about Trados but have not the slightest of idea what it means and what it involves. Last week one customer announced: Translate with Trados, but first did not want to send me her translation memory. Then I deliverd cleaned files, but she did not protest. So I wonder what's going on in the head of such people.
It's only when you get dtp-files straight from Framemaker, Indesign etc. that you really need Trados or the like, but many manage even then with Wordfast.


Olga Tammjarv
Local time: 20:54
Swedish to Russian
+ ...
Thank You for giving me back my self-confidence. Nov 6, 2007

Thank You all, my Dear!
You have right - no one machine could replace human brain. I hope, we all survive in translation business. Yes, I have Windows XP home Edition, improved with a bigger Memory and addiction of Microsoft Office Word, Exel and Microsoft Office Power Point (the last one never used before)......I have Latin letters and Russian letters on my keyboard, also Estonian Language as well - I didn,t worked seriously during last 3 years, because lots of moving between UK and Estonia and in UK I used to live as a housewife, because of small children and because I was interested not so much in Money, but in Language - so I used every free Minute to read something and increase my English vocabulary.....I had great ambitious to became in English almost Native.....but I still don,t have confidence to translate from English anything else, except literary, but I never met some job opportunity with literary translation. I really enjoy to read English books, fiction and non-fiction, but where to look for work? I have tried to make research in Russian Internet (because Russian is my first Native Language), but there wasn,t any vacancy for: литературный переводчик. My kids are still small: 13 and 5 and I,m registered as self employed in UK, because I,m moving there for a long time now....and with all that family on Your Mind is difficult to keep deadlines........or I should employ a housekeeper? Yes, in my situation literary translation would be right, but where to find them, does anybody has opinion with Edition Houses in Russia or another country, but who use Russian translators?
Thank You!

[Редактировалось 2007-11-06 16:23]


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:54
English to German
+ ...
A good agency will provide the software Nov 6, 2007

Maybe I am a dinosaur myself, only two clients (both of them use highly involved TQM procedures, which I appreciate) asked me to use CAT-tools to make sure that all of their regular freelancers use identical software (editors and translators are supposed to work closely together and the software must be compatible). Both of them provided the software, so except investing my time to learn this stuff I didn't pay a cent and I received wonderful and patient tech support.

I am working with Workbench and SDLX Trados, which I like a little bit better.

When I receive inquiries from new agencies I don't even mention CAT-tools and I receive projects anyway.

After all, the use of CAT-tools is supposed to simplify the work for the translator, rather than giving discounts.

Works just fine.

It is a good idea to practice a little bit with trial versions, though. I used Workbench for the first time while doing a largish job with a tight deadline. I managed to kill more than 6000 words and I had to put in a night shift to remember...



Olga Tammjarv
Local time: 20:54
Swedish to Russian
+ ...
How many tools I need to have........ Nov 6, 2007

Thank You, all of You my Dear colleagues,
You have right. All Yours comments were very useful. Thank You for boosting up my self-confidence! I wish You great success in You work.


Mirella Soffio  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
11 tools Nov 6, 2007

Your fingers and your brainicon_smile.gif



Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Three types of tools Nov 8, 2007

Olga Tammjarv wrote:
Who can make me a list of tools, I should have on my PC to make comeback and be accepted by the translating agencies.

Get Wordfast (demo, shareware)
Get OmegaT (GPL)
Get MemoQ's old free version (postcardware)

This should give you an idea of the types of CAT tools out there.

I want to replace my Desktop with a Laptop, would be Windows XP professional then better, than Windows Vista or the last Windows version is the best?

I suggest getting XP instead of Vista, but many laptops are "Vista ready" or "Vista compatible" these days, which makes it easier to upgrade to Vista if you ever need to.


Haiyang Ai (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
Vista plus Word 2007 plus Trados 7.5 Nov 18, 2007

Because of the cache mechanism, Word 2007 boots really fast in Vista. With a good processor and 2G RAM memory, it starts within two seconds. I don't know if this would be a consideration for your upgrade. Many agencies want their translators to have Trados, some specify exact version. I would suggest you to go Trados 7.5 or later. Hope it helps.

English Chinese Translator


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