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This trend of agencies deciding which tools the freelancer should use...
Thread poster: Alison High

Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 14:19
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 27

I'm increasingly getting jobs for which agencies specify I need to an online version of their preferred CAT tool i.e. use their tool or don't get the job.

I have a long list of points on what I think about that, but I'm interested to hear what other translators out there think about this trend.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
I do not quote - I refuse such jobs Apr 27

Dear Alison,

Thank you for starting this interesting topic.

I have the policy of either refusing the job or not replying.

Have a nice day.

Ritu


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 14:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
Technologies moving too fast - not business-friendly. Apr 27

By the time you get your head around a tool, that tool will either be upgraded or a new one will emerge, and then you are faced with everything all over again. It's moving faster than your time. From business standpoint, it's VERY expensive and I don't mean just the money but also the time taken to learn something that will not last for very long nor have some long-term value in terms of skills or competitiveness.

This was just a general opinion on tools, apps, but of course can be applied to what's said in the OP as well.


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Janet Ross Snyder  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:19
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Not a fan of CAT tools Apr 27

I do not accept jobs that require the use of CAT tools. Almost all my source documents are dead text pdfs and I translate them using WORD.

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Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 14:19
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Not only me! Apr 27

Janet Ross Snyder wrote:

Not a fan of CAT tools

I do not accept jobs that require the use of CAT tools. Almost all my source documents are dead text pdfs and I translate them using WORD.


Oh! I am relieved. I thought that I am the only one who does not work with the CAT tools!

When I even think to earn/learn some CAT app. I wonder what can be done regarding this issue:

Lingua 5B wrote:

From business standpoint, it's VERY expensive and I don't mean just the money but also the time taken to learn something that will not last for very long nor have some long-term value in terms of skills or competitiveness.


I agree with Lingua 5B but can not find a convenient answer or solution.

[Edited at 2018-04-27 12:23 GMT]


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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 14:19
Member (2016)
English to German
The customer is always right Apr 27

The customer is always right. The agency is my customer. When the agency wants me to use MemoQ, Trados, Memsource, Across, Transifex, Crowdin, MotionPoint, Qordoba, Smartling, GTT or any obscure or selfmade platform, I will do it, as long as the thing works and does not hamper me in my work, and as long the agency pays me a professional rate. It's their call. I just need to know the basics, like how to confirm a segment, how to copy source to target, how to do a concordance search or insert tags, and some other keyboard shortcuts, and then I'm all set.

Do you still use the same tools that you used ten or twenty years ago? I don't. You have to be prepared to learn something new every other day, this is particularly true for a translator.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me too Apr 27

Morano El-Kholy wrote:

Oh! I am relieved. I thought that I am only the one who does not work with the CAT tools!



I don't work with CAT tools either.

We non-CAT people just get on with our work. Presumably that's why we don't have a big presence in the CAT discussion forums.



[Edited at 2018-04-27 12:32 GMT]


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Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 14:19
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Keeping things on track Apr 27

Just to clarify the question isn't CAT tool or no CAT tool, it assumes you are already using one or two CAT tools, but the agency wants you to use their online CAT tool, so something you're probably not used to using.

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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 14:19
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
I'm perfectly fine with it Apr 27

Alison High wrote:

I'm increasingly getting jobs for which agencies specify I need to an online version of their preferred CAT tool i.e. use their tool or don't get the job.

I have a long list of points on what I think about that, but I'm interested to hear what other translators out there think about this trend.


Translation is a wide field, and I am well aware that there are projects where a CAT tool may be of little or no use.

But I myself, for the projects that I generally deal with, find it perfectly reasonable for an agency to dictate the tool that's to be used. Why shouldn't they?
CAT tools don't only change the translator's side of things -- they also offer various advantages on the administrative side.
For a large project consisting of several files that are to be translated into numerous languages, an agency would have to be stupid not to use some sort of server-based CAT solution. It centralizes the project, which is much easier than juggling, let's say, 57 documents with 134 changes occuring at various stages during the project between 26 translators and 13 reviewers for 13 languages in 7 different time zones.
If I were an agency, I would do it, too.

I suggest you get with the programicon_razz.gif


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 14:19
English to Croatian
+ ...
Usually no time to do it. Apr 27

Alison High wrote:

Just to clarify the question isn't CAT tool or no CAT tool, it assumes you are already using one or two CAT tools, but the agency wants you to use their online CAT tool, so something you're probably not used to using.


Presuming learning about the tool will take me time and I'm never sure how much work I will get from this agency (promises don't count, only real work), no I wouldn't do it. It's risky to waste my time like that.

If I pursued each tool I was offered to pursue, that would be all I'd be doing. I would be a full-time CAT tool tester (for free), because they usually never send you any work just ask you to test the tool (or maybe send a one off project at best).

[Edited at 2018-04-27 13:56 GMT]


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Valérie Ourset
Spain
Local time: 14:19
Member (Feb 2018)
English to French
+ ...
This is the trap one should not fall in.... my humble opinion... Apr 27

Lingua 5B wrote:

Presuming learning about the tool will take me time and I'm never sure how much work I will get from this agency (promises don't count, only real work), no I wouldn't do it. It's risky to waste my time like that.

If I pursued each tool I was offered to pursue, that would be all I'd be doing. I would be a full-time CAT tool tester (for free), because they usually never send you any work just ask you to test the tool (or maybe send a one off project at best).

[Edited at 2018-04-27 13:56 GMT]


This is what worries me most when I am asked to use new tools. I am always willing to learn and I like to see new tools but I would rather spend my time marketing new clients than learning on the 101th new tool.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I try to say no Apr 27

Alison High wrote:
I'm increasingly getting jobs for which agencies specify I need to an online version of their preferred CAT tool.


Most online CAT tools are rubb^H^H^H^Hunproductive to use, but there are often ways to get the text, translate it in your favourite CAT tool offline, and then import or paste the translation again. This extra activity takes time, to be sure, so sometimes it's not worth the trouble, but sometimes it is.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:19
Member (2008)
French to English
Offline only Apr 27

I will do it as long as I can download the file and work in MemoQ, which I do all my work in. So for example, I don't mind working in Memsource, because I can download the mxliff file, work on it in MemoQ, and upload the completed file. But I refuse to work in XTM, which has no such option and requires working online in their platform. I tried it for a while for one client and had no end of connection problems, slow responses, etc., and finally made the decision not to do it. And I haven't regretted it.

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mariealpilles  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:19
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
CAT tools chosen by the agencies Apr 27

I refuse to work with CAT Tools whether those chosen by the agencies or any others. It is up to the translator to use the tools he/she prefers - online dictionaries or resource material, etc. When you go to the butcher do you dictate which knife he should use to cut your piece of meat? Why should it be different for us? CAT Tools are only for them to pay less for twice as much work.

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Daniel Frisano
Monaco
Local time: 14:19
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Help Apr 27

Somebody please name another profession in which the client dictates which tools the provider should use. I can't think of any.

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