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@Seasoned "Proz": What software is vital in your business as a freelancer?
Thread poster: Jillian Pandor

Jillian Pandor
United States
Local time: 20:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 25, 2013

Hi "Proz"!

A long time ago I had seen some posts about incredibly useful software for freelancers, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

I figured that through this forum I would be able to get in touch with the seasoned "proz" and find out what software you all consider to be the best investment.

I currently use Trados Studio 2011...and that's it!

I would love to hear your comments about other types of translation software, and even beyond that, I really want to know what good software-based resources exist out there that can work wonders for organization/billing, etc.

Does anyone have any insight on this?

What software could you "not live without"??

Thanks so much in advance! I look forward to hearing all about your software!!

Jillian


PS. If there are any programs that can be run in Mac, that would be a bonus (but definitely not a requirement as I run Windows through a virtual machine).


 

Enza Esposito Degli Agli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:30
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation Office 3000 Oct 25, 2013

Hi Jillian,

I believe it is Translation Office 3000. It is an administration and accounting software for freelance translators. In other words, it handles the business portion of freelancing in the industry.

Very useful indeed. I have it!

Enza


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:30
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The ones I love Oct 25, 2013

and use daily are:

1. Nitro PDF Pro
2. Dragon Naturally Speaking

Wordfast would come in third, but I don't use it that often.

There are so many articles and websites collecting entire lists of various tools, you just have to test them and make up your own mind icon_smile.gif


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:30
Member
English to French
A past thread Oct 25, 2013

http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/224729-start_up:_what_will_i_need.html

Vital for me, i.e. used every working day:
Windows, Bitdefender, Chrome, Outlook, TO3000, MemoQ or Trados, Office, Copernic Desktop search, Steganos password manager, DNS

Philippe


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:30
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Total Commander Oct 25, 2013

A file manager, probably the best one. It's incredibly useful for any file operations: searches, previewing, zipping and unzipping, copying, moving, sorting, renaming etc. It works best when you've memorized a few keyboard shortcuts. It was among the first programs I bought as a freelancer even though you can use it as a demo forever, and it gets opened on my computers right after Outlook.

 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:30
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Various programs Oct 25, 2013

Jillian Prevost wrote:

What software could you "not live without"??



Translation (CAT) tools: SDL Trados Studio and MemoQ (Commercial)
Translation QA and terminology: Xbench Pro (Commercial. A freeware version is also available)
Translation QA: Change Tracker (Freeware)
Notetaking: Cinta Notes (Freemium)
Pdf reader (and annotation): Foxit reader (Freeware)
Screen capture: Gadwin Print Screen (Freeware. A commercial version is also available, with more features)
Imaging management: Paperport (Commercial)
Text editor: Notepad++ (Freeware)
Backup: FreeFileSync (Freeware)
Communication: Skype (freeware)
Search and replace: Replace Studio Professional (Commercial)
Writing: Write Monkey (Freeware)
Brainstorming and mind mapping: Free Plane or Freemind (Freeware)
Time tracking: Toggl (Freeware. A commercial version is also available, with more features)
Zipping: WinRar (Commercial)
Cloud storage: Dropbox
Cloud shared applications: Google Docs




[Edited at 2013-10-25 21:28 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-10-25 21:29 GMT]


 

Huasha
China
Local time: 08:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
Many Oct 27, 2013

CAT tools: Trados 2011, Xueren (for small and simple ones), Worfast anywhere (not often)
PDF convertion to Word: Abby Finereader (really powerful, esp. for Chinese)
Editing and other: Microsoft office suite, Libreoffice, Foxit Reader
Cloud storage: google docs
Operating system: Windows, Ubuntu (in USB, just in case)
If you search online, I think there'd be a lot on this topicicon_smile.gif


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:30
Russian to English
+ ...
Only one software is really essential for me: Oct 27, 2013

Microsoft Office, and more precisely, Microsoft Word. I don't anything else is really essential. Some programs might be helpful, especially in medical and technical translation -- certain CATs, but not essential.

All you really need is a word processing program, and full access to the internet, so you can check various dictionaries and make research online -- as to the word definitions and usage.

Also subtitling and transcription programs are essential for me. I am not sure which one to recommend because I just started using another one, but they are essential if you do subtitling.

PDF conversion to Word programs are also very important. In my experience PC is better for translation purposes than Mac -- I have both, but I like Mac mostly for graphics and videos.

Various anti-viruses are very important as well, and websites translating software, which helps to organize websites translation. It does not actually have to help with the words, but rather text management. The text layout when translating websites may be very confusing, when you don;'t use any special software.

[Edited at 2013-10-27 13:32 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No software is VITAL, needs change a lot Oct 27, 2013

Some translation agencies insist that all their translators must have Trados. Many of these don't seem to care much whether the Trados owner can read or write properly in any language. Once these fanatics are brushed aside, it will depend a lot on each assignment.

For regular text translation MS Word is the market standard. Word was never any good as a text processor, however it's the only one that has been consistently updated and enhanced to match current technology.

CAT tools should be a personal choice left to the translator to decide. Their intended purpose, as its name says, (CAT = Computer Aided Translation) is to aid translation. Receiving/providing compatible TMs is additional work, which should be equated to, for instance, DTP, where the output files from most - if not all - software are in some proprietary format, incompatible/inconvertible to others.

Since I mentioned DTP, until not so long ago, a translator who got into DTP would have to own and master some specific apps, compatible with each client's files. More recently, as originals on paper finished tapering off, I moved to serve all DTP in PDF format with Infix Pro. After all, a translator is not required to create layouts; all that is expected from a translator in these cases is to fix cockeyed layouts resulting from text swell/shrink during translation.

A graphic editor like Photoshop is very useful, however since graphic files are always within a finite array of standard files, many other programs will do it. As long as it works, I use an ancient version of the defunct PhotoImpact. Many Photoshop power users were impressed with the speed and ease I get the same results from it.

Video is an entirely different realm. You'll find thousands of utilities to do most everything, and there is plenty of top quality freeware and cheap software, often debunking very expensive programs. For some specific operations, however, there is no cheap solution that will deliver acceptable results. The way out is to keep trying all possible options before buying any.

The conclusion is that each translator must check what is the truly vital software for the type of work they intend to do. Results will be quite different from one to another.


 

silviacasilli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:30
Italian to English
+ ...
I tried some and then decided for Fluency 2013 Oct 28, 2013

I use a variety of softwares such as Word, PDF, Photoshop, In Design, but what I really consider useful is the online access to a variety of dictionaries I collected in the course of the years. Considering that agencies often ask for a cat tool, I recently made some experiments with Trados and Wordfast. I have to say I was not satisfied - Trados is really clumsy, maybe I did not find the right key to appreciate its tools; Wordfast is easier to use, but it is little reliable.

Than I tried Fluency 2013 and after few days I decided to buy it. It is really friendly to use, easy in the concept and it can also be personalized under certain aspects. The assistance is great and I have to say I was really puzzled by the way the TM is created. You also have a direct access on the page to external resources you can choose and customize.


 

Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:30
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Consider gimp for image editing Oct 28, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

A graphic editor like Photoshop is very useful, however since graphic files are always within a finite array of standard files, many other programs will do it. As long as it works, I use an ancient version of the defunct PhotoImpact. Many Photoshop power users were impressed with the speed and ease I get the same results from it.

Video is an entirely different realm. You'll find thousands of utilities to do most everything, and there is plenty of top quality freeware and cheap software, often debunking very expensive programs. For some specific operations, however, there is no cheap solution that will deliver acceptable results. The way out is to keep trying all possible options before buying any.

For editing images, I use the open source Gimp which I find to be great.

Also, José you are right about anything dealing with video - I did a subtitling project this weekend and found such an alphabet soup of formats just for subtitles! OY...


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Subtitle files simplified Oct 28, 2013

Tim Friese wrote:

Also, José you are right about anything dealing with video - I did a subtitling project this weekend and found such an alphabet soup of formats just for subtitles! OY...


I can cover 50+ of these formats with Subtitle Workshop v6 (freeware) alone.

The choice is very simple:

1. If the client requests only the subtitles, they'll tell you which file format they want. If it is a "proprietary" format, usually only one or two programs will deliver it. Either have it or dodge the job.

2. Check what is the format (usually just one or two) supported by the software you'll use to either burn the subs or author the DVD.

3. Ignore all others.


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:30
English
+ ...
Only MS Word (for Mac) Oct 29, 2013

LilianBNekipelo wrote:

All you really need is a word processing program, and full access to the internet, so you can check various dictionaries and make research online -- as to the word definitions and usage.



Yes.


 

Paz González  Identity Verified
Chile
English to Spanish
Word, Fluency and Adobe Acrobat Oct 30, 2013

Till two years ago I used to work in the old way with paper dictionaries, glossaries and encyclopedias, a PC and internet.

Now, I´m working like all of you and I think that the most important tools for me are a good PC, internet and a lot of on-line dictionaries, glossaries and encyclopedias.

About programs, I think that Word is the one, Adobe Acrobat is really great and help me a lot. As I am not so good with drawings and things like that, I like to work with the old and famous Paint, for me it is enough. And, I have decided to work with Fluency because it is so friendly and all the reasons that silviacasilli mentioned before.


 

Jillian Pandor
United States
Local time: 20:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Online Dictionaries Nov 4, 2013

Hi everyone!

Thanks SO much for all of the information! I've compiled a list of all of the programs that you have mentioned and I am going to do my researchicon_smile.gif.

Would anyone have any suggestions are far as online dictionaries? I tend to use wordreference.com and linguee (which I don't particularly like), as well as monolingual dictionaries like merriam webster, etc. Anyone else have some food for thought on this topic??

Thanks!
Jillian


 
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