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General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 03:04
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
fine Mar 2, 2011

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

Thomas Johansson wrote:

I think April 4 seems to be a good date to set the strike.

It's the first Monday of the month and gives sufficient time for basic preparations.


I think April 1 would be so much more appropriate.


As that's when employees generally march down the street. (US citizens will of course have to wait until September.)


Sure, go on, just ridicule things. No problem.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:04
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You still don't get it, Thomas Mar 3, 2011

April 4, strike day


You mean boycott?



What is the difference between a boycott and a strike?

A boycott occurs when customers refuse to patronize a business, buy their product or use their service for whatever reason. A strike is when a business's employees refuse to work, usually over a contractual dispute.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_a_boycott_and_a_strike#ixzz1FV3eQrCW


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:04
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
One year/one person, anybody? Mar 3, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

Sure, go on, just ridicule things. No problem.


I notice that when an actual CAT developer comes out with hard data on what really is involved in developing a CAT tool, Thomas fails to answer.

Maybe because actual experience flatly contradicts his estimate of one person developing for one year to come up with an usable CAT tool?


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:04
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Of course! Mar 3, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
I notice that when an actual CAT developer comes out with hard data on what really is involved in developing a CAT tool, Thomas fails to answer.


Oh, but he does not answer any arguments which contain a bit of substance... or point out the glaring flaws in his logic. Instead, he just makes another straw man and gives him a good beating.

Thomas Johansson wrote:

Sure, go on, just ridicule things.


No need to - things got ridiculous quite nicely on their own. Actually, I suspect that it's the entertainment value that kept this topic so long...


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just say no. Mar 3, 2011

I used to use Wordfast frequently, but as I gradually abandoned working for agencies so my use of Wordfast declined. Eventually the licence expired and I decided not to renew.

Yesterday one of the agencies I used to work contacted me with a job. I told them I couldn't take it because I no longer used any translation software.

No problem, they immediately replied.

Perhaps it is simple as that. Just tell agencies that you don't use Trados, Wordfast, or whatev
... See more
I used to use Wordfast frequently, but as I gradually abandoned working for agencies so my use of Wordfast declined. Eventually the licence expired and I decided not to renew.

Yesterday one of the agencies I used to work contacted me with a job. I told them I couldn't take it because I no longer used any translation software.

No problem, they immediately replied.

Perhaps it is simple as that. Just tell agencies that you don't use Trados, Wordfast, or whatever - and see what happens.

This edit has been added an hour after the original posting.

The agency has just sent new a new and higher value PO. The document now excludes 100% matches and there is no repetition discount applied. By not using Wordfast, I now earn more money for handling fewer words.






[Edited at 2011-03-03 09:23 GMT]
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Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:04
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Who knows what he means Mar 3, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

You mean boycott?



Actually, Thomas does not propose to abstain from buying CATs - even he knows that would be completely ineffective. Instead, he wants us to refuse work from agencies who ask for specific tools. When everyone refuses to work, agencies will see the error of their ways, revise their working methods and will hand out jobs which we will be able to do any way we want, pretty please.

But oh! The enlightenment strikes!

On April 4th, while we are sitting on our hands, Thomas swoops in and grabs all the jobs we refused! He gets rich instantly and can buy any tool he wishes!

Pretty clever, Thomas! I knew there must be method to this... this strike.


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not exactly Mar 3, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:

Actually, Thomas does not propose to abstain from buying CATs


As I understand, he does actually propose to abstain from buying CAT programs that he considers overpriced and respectively from undertaking jobs that require such programs:

Let's call a strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools.



But yes, his ideas are somewhat chaotic.

[Edited at 2011-03-03 08:49 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:04
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
CAT among the pigeons Mar 3, 2011

Punchy stuff. I have done a little hands-on market research in relation to the Day Of The Strike - currently pencilled in as Monday 4 April, is it? - (or April 4 if you really must) by simply announcing it in good time to all my customers. CATS Day, I told them (at this point I could buffoon around, as is my occasional wont, with absurd misunderstandings on the part of said customers among CATS - Computer-Assisted Tools Strike, Cats the musical, and even cats our furry feline friends, but let's ... See more
Punchy stuff. I have done a little hands-on market research in relation to the Day Of The Strike - currently pencilled in as Monday 4 April, is it? - (or April 4 if you really must) by simply announcing it in good time to all my customers. CATS Day, I told them (at this point I could buffoon around, as is my occasional wont, with absurd misunderstandings on the part of said customers among CATS - Computer-Assisted Tools Strike, Cats the musical, and even cats our furry feline friends, but let's give it a rest, shall we?). CAT Strike?, they said, when I demurred about their huge project coming up on Monday 4 April. What do you mean, exactly? It's all Thomas's idea, I continued earnestly - yes, do you know, he literally sat down and worked it all out and according to Thomas, in fact, we've been literally cheated by the whole lot of them literally for years, they've literally been robbing us blind, literally blind, daylight robbery, literally robbery in broad daylight, you know, literally, and the long and the short of it is that I just have to literally refuse to use any CATs on Monday 4 April.
Consider yourself fired, then, the first customer said. Literally.

Jeez. Rough tough world out there.
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EKNXTM
Local time: 09:04
Follow up Mar 3, 2011

@Katlin and Jabberwock, thank you for the balanced and professional commentary.

@esperantisto -

"Very simple: all this stuff is irrelevant. The fact that they spend lots of money for their Ferraris and Maybachs does not mean that I should buy their product, does not justify the price. And I guess, I am not the only to thinks so, otherwise that XTM would be the market leader."

Please qualify and clarify this statement, it seems a tad specious and perhaps a l
... See more
@Katlin and Jabberwock, thank you for the balanced and professional commentary.

@esperantisto -

"Very simple: all this stuff is irrelevant. The fact that they spend lots of money for their Ferraris and Maybachs does not mean that I should buy their product, does not justify the price. And I guess, I am not the only to thinks so, otherwise that XTM would be the market leader."

Please qualify and clarify this statement, it seems a tad specious and perhaps a little fragile. There are many factors interplaying and the sentence submitted by you is reductive. The economic context that XTM exists in is highly competitive and saturated by a single developers tool, please note it has taken some 20 years for the market leader to be where they are. Considerable effort and persistence, coupled with conducive market conditions and human need have grown the market leaders to where they are. One would be remiss not to at least "tilt ones hat" at the marketing efforts and business development of the current industry leader.

However, there is still room in the market for alternatives, and why not? Every developer working on such tools is adding to the knowledge of the industry and humanity as a whole. Software data is shared and bought. Software development is like the fashion industry, in that it has no end to it, it is continuous as new ways to work are discovered and different methods and applications are found. The end result of all this is to provide totally intuitive software for all types of uses. When a good piece of software finds its "zen" it will keep that and usually slow down development of new features, once the feature set is rich and most contingencies are covered.

At least, our aim with XTM is to develop a "living, breathing" CAT tool, adapting to our customers needs, adding to the feature set and providing what is required in the most sensible and intuitive way.

In the process and I suppose one could say as a happy byproduct; there is a team of humans gainfully employed, doing work they enjoy and which challenges them. Providing food and shelter to their loved ones and attempting to sustain balance in their lives in the mine field that is human reality.

That is all.
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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:04
Member (2004)
English to Italian
1st of April... Mar 3, 2011

seems more fitting...

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:04
French to English
+ ...
Why is the cost of the CAT tool the most significant factor...? Mar 3, 2011

I'm curious about why the focus of the problem is the raw sale price of the CAT tool. I especially don't understand the assumption that "number of lines of source code per dollar" is the way to measure the value/worthiness of that tool. That's a bit like judging the value of a painting in terms of the number of molecules of paint used.

Some key implications of CAT tools aren't really related to the raw price but are a big concern as I see things:
- the way they are used for pr
... See more
I'm curious about why the focus of the problem is the raw sale price of the CAT tool. I especially don't understand the assumption that "number of lines of source code per dollar" is the way to measure the value/worthiness of that tool. That's a bit like judging the value of a painting in terms of the number of molecules of paint used.

Some key implications of CAT tools aren't really related to the raw price but are a big concern as I see things:
- the way they are used for pricing purposes promotes a vision of translation work as though it were mass-production manufacture
- they promote a workflow that effectively grants agencies and clients a free licence to translators' intellectual property
- the strive for "consistency" and lowering the price by "never translating the same sentence twice" may (a) dilute the consideration for context in each case and (b) perpetuate previous translation errors, and thus reduce the quality of translations overall

As I said before: whether the tool itself was free or cost a thousand dollars, I'd essentially still be concerned about these issues.


P.S. Re the "lines of source code" data:
A million lines of code-- accepting the fact that there's no really meaningful definition of 'line of code' in any case-- sounds about typical for an application of moderate complexity, although I think other measures such as the number of classes would be more meaningful. Note that modern operating systems tend to have *tens* of million lines. Open Office is reported to have around 9 million, for another a point of comparison (according to their FAQ-- I haven't counted them, but I've no reason to doubt this figure as it's open source anyway so they'd have no reason to lie...)
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Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:04
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Neil Mar 3, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:
Some key implications of CAT tools aren't really related to the raw price but are a big concern as I see things:
- the way they are used for pricing purposes promotes a vision of translation work as though it were mass-production manufacture


There are different market segments, and a single translator can work in many such segments. For example, subtitling, marketing, literary or scientific translation is not mass production. But then, there are mass products that have manuals and help files. Those are mass-production, because no one will read them for pleasure and be willing to pay more for them.


- they promote a workflow that effectively grants agencies and clients a free licence to translators' intellectual property


All agencies I have ever worked with require a transfer of that intellectual property. And it makes a lot of sense, because I can't imagine an end client asking your permission to reuse your translation for another version of their product. Again, there are many market segments, and things probably look different e.g. in literary translation.


- the strive for "consistency" and lowering the price by "never translating the same sentence twice" may (a) dilute the consideration for context in each case and (b) perpetuate previous translation errors, and thus reduce the quality of translations overall


Yes. That's true. But this is not because of bad CAT design but because of the way some people use them. When you get to update a file manually, with no CAT tools, you run into similar problems. But again, you can edit 100% matches and be paid for it - it all depends on the arrangement with your client and theirs.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:04
French to German
+ ...
A wild guess... Mar 3, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

I'm curious about why the focus of the problem is the raw sale price of the CAT tool. I especially don't understand the assumption that "number of lines of source code per dollar" is the way to measure the value/worthiness of that tool. That's a bit like judging the value of a painting in terms of the number of molecules of paint used.
(.../...)


Because the price/rate issue has been overkilled for years in every shape and colour in each and every translators' forum?


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 10:04
English to Czech
+ ...
@Adam Mar 3, 2011

You've taken those words straight out of my mouth. Couldn't agree more.

 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:04
German to English
+ ...
Increase your savings and professional exclusivity! Mar 3, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:
Oh, by the way, a computer is more expensive than a pen. You could strike against that as well.


And a twig stylus and tablet of dried mud are cheaper still. Down with pen and paper!


 
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