Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20] >
General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
French to English
+ ...
Point about AutoCAD Feb 19, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:
.. I wonder how many architects and engineers complain about having to pay about 1,500€ for AutoCAD...


Isn't it more common for engineers to have to submit/pass around files in AutoCAD format, though?

I guess the comparable case in our industry would be having to pay for Word (which is also a travesty) rather than a CAT tool.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:42
French to German
+ ...
OT: not advertising Feb 19, 2011

Lutz Molderings wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

I say, invest in durable tools - like this one: http://tinyurl.com/6fga88p

[Edited at 2011-02-19 11:25 GMT]


Sounds interesting. Any idea how often the blade needs re-sharpening?


There is a complete products range for sharpening, but the average "maintenance interval" is every 2 or 3 weeks.

http://tinyurl.com/5w6eokj

Other than that, a blade which is well looked after is built to last a lifetime.

[Edited at 2011-02-19 12:40 GMT]


 

Translation-Pro  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:42
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Please don't put words in my mouth:-) Feb 19, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:

Translation-Pro wrote:

Simone Linke wrote:

.. I wonder how many architects and engineers complain about having to pay about 1,500€ for AutoCAD...


...no one ever asked me for a rebate for using AutoCad or any other CAD software.


And if they would, what would your answer be?

Why boycott the tool if it's the tool user (agency or translator) who's to blame?


I'm not boycotting any tool.


 

Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 02:42
Member (2010)
Russian to English
+ ...
This is silly Feb 19, 2011

I really don't understand the point of protesting about the costs of the tools of the trade, the ones that make our work and lives easier. Seriously, compare the prices across the software market for other tools, they usually cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, but for some reason, I don't hear graphic artists complaining that they had to shell out $500 for Adobe Photoshop!

Sure, the CAT software isn't cheap, but nobody is forcing you to buy Trados. You can use one of the freewar
... See more
I really don't understand the point of protesting about the costs of the tools of the trade, the ones that make our work and lives easier. Seriously, compare the prices across the software market for other tools, they usually cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, but for some reason, I don't hear graphic artists complaining that they had to shell out $500 for Adobe Photoshop!

Sure, the CAT software isn't cheap, but nobody is forcing you to buy Trados. You can use one of the freeware tools or Wordfast. It's your choice and your business decision to invest in a tool like this.
Collapse


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:42
French to German
+ ...
Thumbs up! Feb 19, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

As I tried to hint at in an earlier post, I think the problem is that there are two more or less separate issues here.

(1) the price of a CAT tool, and whether that price represents a good return on investment should a translator of their own free will *choose* to make that investment;
(2) whether the CAT tool is free or costs a millioin billion squillion Euros, the issue of being *bullied* into using a particular tool, and/or bullied into pricing your services in a particular way because you use that tool, and also the dangers of a false impression being created that CAT tool X is "necessary to be professional".

I completely agree that for many full-time translators, 1000 Euros as a one-off investment is not necessarily a large amount of money and could represent an excellent return on investment, just like other things that we *choose* to invest in. I have personally *chosen* to invest in other things instead to improve my productivity, such as an expensive laptop with a large screen and powerful processor. That is the choice that seems right for my workflow at this moment. But I fully respect those who decide to invest in whatever tools, CAT or otherwise, that they decide will improve their personal productivity.

What I think it is important to resist is the issue (2). The segment of the translation market where a CAT tool is actually *required* is not the entire market and we shouldn't let "professional translation" be equated with methodology that doesn't actually universally represent the practice of translation. Not least when such tools are being marketed on the basis of mantras such as "You'll never translate the same sentence twice", which are just linguistically nonsense and advocate *bad* practice, not good practice.


I fully agree with Neil's post.

As per (2), I have the intuition - it may be somewhat of an apple-and-orange comparison - that this situation is comparable to some kind of franchising, but without the advantages that can come with franchising.

[Edited at 2011-02-19 12:57 GMT]


 

Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not sure Feb 19, 2011

Neil Coffey wrote:

Simone Linke wrote:
.. I wonder how many architects and engineers complain about having to pay about 1,500€ for AutoCAD...


Isn't it more common for engineers to have to submit/pass around files in AutoCAD format, though?

I guess the comparable case in our industry would be having to pay for Word (which is also a travesty) rather than a CAT tool.


I wouldn't think so. AutoCAD is just the standard choice, but there are also lots of free or cheap programs out there (as far as I know) that can be used to create the same things.. but maybe not as efficiently?

I think this thread is suffering from the same generalization like many other threads before. There are those who do legal or marketing or literary translations and who don't necessarily need any CAT tool at all (though a glossary and TM might help use consistent translations for company slogans or the like). As someone already said: if you invest in a tool that's no good for you, blame yourself.

However, I'm working in fields where I can't imagine working without CATs at all sometimes. And just this week, I was able to compare my productivity in a situation with and without CAT:
- One of my clients asked me to translate parts of their software. Now, part of the software had already been translated by other translators - without CATs. And worse, this client uses his own online translation system, where each individual string of the software is shown together with a screenshot. That means I have no TM, no glossary, nothing. Just a string to translate and a screenshot. E.g. there are instances in which I have to translate the label of a button without knowing what the other translator chose as the translation for this label before. This means, I have to go back and forth, find previous translations, and if I decide to change something in my own translations when I'm halfway through, I'll have to go back and forth again and do even more manual clicking and searching. And if I were to use Word for this, we'd have to copy all the strings and screenshots into a Word document - very bad idea.
It's terrible and if this was a regular job, I wouldn't do it because my hourly rate would suffer heavily.

- On the other hand, I have clients that send me little updates of existing (software) translations with the associated TM and glossary etc. Overall, these jobs are easy as pie and my hourly rate is just fine - even with fuzzy match reductions. That makes my client and me happy.

So, I don't agree with boycotting tools just because they seem a little expensive or useless. You just have to analyse what you need, and if the agency claims you need something else, don't give in!

Thus, I do agree with boycotting agencies that insist on you purchasing certain tools that you're not comfortable with (or that won't be of any use in your projects). But I wouldn't want to work without a decent CAT tool myself (not necessarily Trados, by the way).


And by the way, given how often the translator is compared to a plumber, I think it's only fair to compare the translator to an architect or engineer every now and then as well.


 

Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
ok Feb 19, 2011

Translation-Pro wrote:

Simone Linke wrote:

Translation-Pro wrote:

Simone Linke wrote:

.. I wonder how many architects and engineers complain about having to pay about 1,500€ for AutoCAD...


...no one ever asked me for a rebate for using AutoCad or any other CAD software.


And if they would, what would your answer be?

Why boycott the tool if it's the tool user (agency or translator) who's to blame?


I'm not boycotting any tool.


Sorry, if this was misleading. I was referring to the original poster and thought you agreed with him.


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:42
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Agencies don't "bully" you into using CATs Feb 19, 2011

Well, some do, but those are special cases. CAT requirements are there to enable workflows that go beyond Freelancer X and Agency PM. Different CATs use slightly or very different segmentation, which results in incompatible TMs and inaccurate analyses. If you don't have a required CAT tool, you can't collaborate effectively and your output is likely to cause technical problems for other people.

 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never ceases to amaze me Feb 19, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I am not, and will not, be on strike against tools that cost more than 100 euros, quite simply because developers also deserve to buy a car, feed their children, and enjoy a reasonably good wine a couple of times a year.


How many postings there are in the forums about wanting free tools to do X, Y and Z in order to earn money doing translations.

BTW - I find it a bit strange that this thread was started by someone working in high paying language pairs. I imaging that pt > sv must be a somewhat unusual combination which should give you a lot of leverage when negotiating with potential clients. Even the more usual combination of en > sv affords you that negotiation advantage.


 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Swedish to English
+ ...
All you really need is a pyramid and just a little luck Feb 19, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Lutz Molderings wrote:
I think I'd rather organise a strike against the cost of quality shaving blades, but it would be just as pointless as a strike against CAT tool prices.

Indeed! They money I pay in blades every year is very probably more than one license of a top-notch CAT tool. And I wonder why they are so expensive. After all, for thirty years all the improvements they have made is to add more blades...

I completely support a "beard strike"!


"You can keep the edge of a razor as sharp as an
Eagle's eye, you can grow a hedge that is vertically straight over
Ten feet high, all you really need is a pyramid and just a little luck"

Alan Parsons Project

http://www.lyricsg.com/74308/lyrics/alanparsonsproject/pyramania.html


 

Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
How's your business model? Feb 19, 2011


What do you think? Would a strike be justified? Would it have any sort of effect? Is the definition of an expensive CAT tool reasonable and justified?


Hi, Thomas,

I find this thread fascinating and I would be interested to what your business model is.

I mean, how much does it cost you to keep business running?

Could you break down your costs? How much do you pay per year of use for each of this items?

You need:

- Office space. ???$

- Furniture: ????$

- Software (Microsoft Word, Electronic dictionaries): ????$

- Hardware (Computer, printer, screen, keyboard, mouse): ????$

- CAT tools: ?????$

- Consumables (paper, ink, toners): ?????$

And then, what's your average yearly income?

I am not a freelance any more but back into the 90s, when I was a freelance, my gross (before taxes and before deducting the above costs) yearly turnover was about 50,000$ using CAT tools and charging CAT discount rates for repetitions, fuzzies, etc.

It was not a very high income but ample taking into account I was only starting up my career as a freelancers.

In that context, a tool which costs about 600$ - 1000$ is not such a large cost, I think. It is more or less the same that you may have to pay for MS Office Professional.

Nobody ever complaints about the price of MS Word, for some reason. Maybe CAT tools are better protected against software piracy.

Why you think that more than 100$ is expensive? What's your yearly gross income? Why don't you just increase your rates to cover your costs? That would be more effective, I guess?

Daniel


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:42
Member (2004)
English to Italian
You keep saying this, Laurent... Feb 19, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

As Tony put it, this is a permanent strike - or better, a declaration of independence.


Independent from what? You already are a FREElance, so you have your independence. And as far as "expensive" CAT tools are concerned, again, we are FREElance so we are FREE to say no and not to use them or to choose an inexpensive one... it gets a bit tiring seeing this employee mentality amongst people who are supposed to be businesses, but think in terms of "slavery"... get a grip!


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:42
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Not really... Feb 19, 2011

Translation-Pro wrote:

Simone Linke wrote:

.. I wonder how many architects and engineers complain about having to pay about 1,500€ for AutoCAD...


...no one ever asked me for a rebate for using AutoCad or any other CAD software.


Use of CAD does not affect rates? Just read this:

http://arch.designcommunity.com/post-3293162.html

and this:

http://www.archinect.com/forum/threads.php?id=64073_0_42_0_C

Especially the part about "CAD monkeys"... The similiarities between that and our discussions about CATs are striking - they have everywhere there, complete with the mandatory comparison to lawyers!

Any productivity advance sooner or later trickles down to the end client as a price reduction. The providers just use it to gain competitive edge or, later on, to keep up with the market. CATs are not an exception here...

Would you charge the same for hand-written translation as for a computer printout? Of course not... Does that mean that use of a computer drives down the rates? In a sense, yes - but this does not mean that refusing to use a computer makes you a rich translator!

If you have found a niche where you can exist without a CAT tool, good for you! Congratulations, you are the equivalent of a bespoke tailor. But to interpolate that experience to the whole industry is a bit silly - you might as well call to abolish the clothing industry (sabots, anyone?).


 

IPtranslate (X)
Brazil
English to Dutch
+ ...
misplaced sarcasm Feb 19, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:

Make sure you bring your sabots...

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


The sarcasm is indeed misplaced, as I am also fed up with agencies imposing what (if any) CAT I should use. The next step will be that they will decide what brand red pen I need to use for proofreading. If they want to make a heap of money by extracting knowledge that I have put into a TM, let them be so kind as to do some own work for it. I don't have to make their life any easier by using their preferred CAT. And the day that they will impose what computer I have to use, will be the day that doing something similiar indeed would be a possible idea.

All this, of cours, under the assupmption that you don't own shares in the companies that produce these (often not working properly) CATs. If the answer to this question is positive, then the comment all of a sudden does make sense.


 

Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:42
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
CAT tools become free ... Feb 19, 2011

Nadejda Vega Cespedes wrote:

A CAT tool is an investment like any other. If the ROI justifies the purchase, it is not too expensive. If it doesn't, but you invest anyway, you should strike against your own lack of basic business skills.


Correct!

In my opinion, CAT tools like TRADOS and many other so called "expensive" software become for free if we could get jobs equivalent to their acquisition prices.

After I purchased TRADOS, two or three new jobs paid me its purchase. Now I earn much more with it than at times without it.

At the great depression on 1929, an american citizen, called Daniel K. Ludwig, without a penny, found two ships for sale with a very low price; he owned them and asked to pay in 6 months, during this time he found a freight to send from New York to France; this freight paid his two ships, and after this he owned many more ships during his life.

Maybe a good idea to do a strike against CAT for CAT users who don't participate - they became more jobs!


 
Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search