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Am I just a dinosaur resisting the machines? Editing issue.
Thread poster: Suzette Martin-Johnson

Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
French to English
+ ...
Aug 19, 2010

Hi guys - just writing to check something and perhaps vent a little. After resisting CAT tools for some time (I dabbled with Multitrans for a bit a few years ago, but never bought my own version) I finally got into Wordfast in 2009 after being told how user-friendly it is. It was also really inexpensive. Now I love it - particularly the TM aspect. Clicking through those segments makes my life so much easier.icon_smile.gif

However, once I have a rought draft or maybe a second draft I like to do the quick clean and do my headers and footers and final read/editing in the clean version - I feel a get a better view of what the client will see when I just see that final version in Word. It's also easier on my eyes. However, I get the impression that seasoned Wordfasters do everything in Wordfast including their final editing. Am I a dinosaur and are there any tips you think I should know about in terms of choosing to do my final editing in Wordfast - especially if I want to collaborate with other translators and merge large documents (ie coming off my own little "island" a little bit!)

Sigh. This is important for two reasons - this being the age of technology, and my age:

(1) I notice that it is increasingly difficult to say no to Trados and I may have to end up buying that as well. I obviously have CAT resistance issues. It is made worse by the fact that some agencies seem to be using them to exploit us and give us lower rates. Yuck!! All these geeky sci-fi references are racing through my head, among them are the Terminator movies and resisting the machines, as well as the Borg on Star Trek announcing that "resistance is futile" while the human hero hides behind some corner on the mothership to make his last stand! (I clearly need to get out more.)

(2) I'm only in my mid-thirties and do not have the luxury of knowing I am near retirement age!! So I just don't have the authority to be Frank Sinatra and say I'll do it my way. Sigh.

Thanks for listening to this 21st century Luddite. Any encouraging suggestions or comments on final version editing in Word (fast) would also be appreciated.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
30 years is a long time! Aug 19, 2010

islander1974 wrote:
(2) I'm only in my mid-thirties and do not have the luxury of knowing I am near retirement age!! So I just don't have the authority to be Frank Sinatra and say I'll do it my way. Sigh.

Being in my mid-forties, 25 years is a long time too! Just think of how technology has evolved in 25 years. 25 years ago, a lot of translators were still using a typewriter!

OK. I agree: technology makes us technology-dependent. Having a toaster at home makes us used to the idea of eating toasted bread every morning (a totally "anti-green" thing if you think about it), but isn't it nice when bread is warm and crunchy? I can only encourage you to embrace CAT tools as a technology that is here to make your life easier, not to torture you.

Yes, of course using more CAT tools (it does not have to be Trados anymore) might bring around filling-the-gaps jobs you dislike, but these tools will be a big help in your work in general. You just have to learn to use them properly, ideally via formal training with the manufacturers or training centers. You will be happy to you did, since this way you will exploit the tools to your advantage, and not just the agencies'.


 

Lars Jelking  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 09:21
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
But there is! Aug 19, 2010

Assuming you use Wordfast Classic: With the bi-language document open in Word Click Ctrl+, (comma) twice and voila, the "final clean" version is there for editing.

Just be careful with the first character in a sentence (=segment). If you insert something in front of it the formatting is that of Wordfast separator characters. You can proof and correct your entire document and, when, done clean it as usual. Any time during the editing you can of course revert to the bilangual view by pressing Ctrl+, again as a toggle function. Eventual corrections will be entered in the TM if you select the update option in dialog box.

Try it! It made my life a lot easier after “discovering” it in one of ProZ.com forums.


 

Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks guys! Aug 19, 2010

Lars, I will definitely experiment a bit more with the Ctrl+ function and see what I can get from it. I guess it's like peeling an onion - more and more layers of understanding as you go along and use tools to do everything they can do.

Tomas - you are right - I need to let the tools work for me more rather than seeing it as an obligation put in place by agencies. And as I have admitted, I really do love what a good TM can do in Wordfast - so much time saved!!

I guess this will be like my BlackBerry. After seeing people with them for years, I didn't see the point, but after I got one for Christmas in '08, it has come to the point where I can't imagine life without it.


 

Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:21
Italian to Danish
+ ...
From another dino... Aug 20, 2010

I truly enjoyed reading your post and the comments to it - being in the same condition but some thirty years older. Actually, I adore my Wordfast Classic, can't even think about how complicated everything was before I got it some 5 years ago. But I need to make the step up to Wordfast Pro, since it can do whatever Trados is doing, but still at a lower cost and with - almost - the same user-friendliness as the Classic version.

And if I can do anything that Trados can with my Wordfast Pro, I can also indulge myself in my resistance to give in to the "market oppressor" - SDL Trados - and THIS is the part of it, that I really love!

I still think most agencies are being narrowminded, since they are insisting on Trados, and that is regardless of whether another product can deliver the same results. But I'll deal with those agencies and eventually just give them up. If I can overcome the technological barrier and accept to see things from another perspective (actually, I'd love just going on with my Wordfast Classic), can I then not also expect my agencies to be as openminded?

I'll invest in a little training with Wordfast Pro, so that I know my way around it, and I know a few agencies of mine will make a big sigh and say "It was about time, too!".

icon_wink.gif


 

Tony Keily  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
Italian to English
+ ...
All good points Aug 20, 2010

I agee with Dinny that this is a good post indeed. Like her, I'm a good deal older than you and to date have survived without CAT tools. But it won't last. I'm living in Italy, so given the pension system here, I'll never be able to retire. I'll have to leave translation feet first!

One of my main clients is suggesting I get MemoQ (not insisting at all, mind). I tried the trial version and had a generally negative experience. I'm sure that was all my fault, but among other issues I had was the fact that I was convinced I was producing segments that were as least as good as what I'd write into a Word document, but that wasn't the case at all. Maybe it's a question of spending more time with the programme.

Another issue I had was that I just didn't like the manuals and support on offer. I've done a good deal of video editing, using a variety of profesional-level applications, so I don't consider myself a technophobe. But I just didn't find this CAT tool user-freindly and would have the same gripe with others I've looked at. One thing that was missing was a good glossary.

I've also had some agencies (not the good ones) try to chip away at my rates with TRADOS. Soon I'll have to invest in a CAT Tool and I'll be sure to pass on a hike for capital investment and training to these guys!

And stop SIGHing! You're in your mid thirties! It's the weekend - kick back and have some fun!


 

Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Learning to adapt! Aug 20, 2010

LOL. This is why I love to reach out on ProZ - where else can I get such a great range of views from translators?

I think the idea of formal training sounds like a good idea to kick start my self-taught mode, and to be honest, Wordfast has been really user-friendly so far so I should just go deeper. Maybe we will bump into each other at an intermediate or advanced Wordfast training session sometime next year!

The main villain of the piece here actually seems to be SDL Trados (assisted by some agencies in the rate chipping) and its attempt to hostilely monopolize the market and take away individuality. Sadly, it may be succeeding....

I will also make sure to stop sighing and go out this weekend and enjoy the last of the summer before the Calgary winter kicks in. The transition between winter and summer here (known as fall or autumn in other places) can be quite abrupt!

Okay, back to the grindstone...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:21
Member (2008)
Italian to English
no time Aug 20, 2010

Tony Keily wrote:

Maybe it's a question of spending more time with the programme.

Another issue I had was that I just didn't like the manuals and support on offer.


Anything that requires me to refer to a manual or go through a training programme, is not something I have time for.

This is the 21st. century, after all. Good computer applications are intuitive. It must be 10 years since I had to study a manual to learn how to use a computer application, or train for it.

I haven't yet found a CAT tool that is intuitive. You know, one you just jump right into and start working with it on your real projects, learning as you go. Not doing step-by-step "lessons" that promise you things are going to get more and more complicated the further you go - and that require you to take time out from your work.

As soon as somebody invents an easy one, I'll buy it.

[Edited at 2010-08-20 17:07 GMT]


 

Adrien Esparron
Local time: 08:21
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Dinosaurs' end Aug 20, 2010

Be careful, could happen again !

Adaptation lack ?

Could be.

So, do what is here and now required : a computering licence (with a lot of options).

Just like a driving licence, it takes involvement and time (you have that time, it is a necessity).

A post sixties Papy with more than 42 translation years !

Kind regards.

AC


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No time available? Then you desperately need the training! Aug 20, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
Anything that requires me to refer to a manual or go through a training programme, is not something I have time for.

This is precisely why you need to attend training about your main tools. By learning how to exploit them better, you will have more time to A) make more money translating more words in your day, or B) enjoy more free time.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Why do they demand Trados so obsessively? Aug 20, 2010

For starters, I use WordFast... as a tool! All the good translation agencies I work for don't require any CAT tool, and don't care if I use one, as long as I don't leave segmentation traces on my deliverables.

However I've grown a grudge against PMs that simply don't care if I can translate decently, all they require from me is that I have and use that pesky Trados... even if the job is about translating handwritten notes or audio/video files.

It gives me the impression that the Trados maker is giving away free cruises on the Caribbean to all PMs who bluntly refuse to talk - even socially - with translators who don't own Trados.

It sounds to me like someone who buys some high-tech equipment, and couldn't care less about performance, durability, quality, reliability... as long as one single requirement is met: it must be delivered with a truck of a certain specific brand!


 

xxxNMR
France
Local time: 08:21
French to Dutch
+ ...
Answer from another dinosaur Aug 20, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Why do they demand Trados so obsessively?



Aside from the discount aspect induced by the use of Trados, for some people, especially the last generation, educated with Trados (in some cases even at university), a translator who doesn't use Trados is simply not a professional translator, because he didn't invest in this highly essential software and in time to learn to use it. So he doesn't have any experience or is someone who translates as a hobby.
You know, the reaction (highly amazed): "How does it come that you don't own Trados???".
I prefer the others, those who know. But I lost my best client like this: for years he sent me all kinds of legal and marketing files, then two nearly identical manuals, I delivered bilingual Word files and a TM, and it was the last job I did for him.

As for the original question, I do marketing and use WF as a supplementary brain to remember what I said before (Alzheimer is there, maybe...), and feel free to ediit after cleaning up.

[Modifié le 2010-08-21 08:18 GMT]


 

Tony Keily  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
Italian to English
+ ...
Damn right Aug 21, 2010

Couldn't agree with you more JHL. I had a proposal for a very complex project a couple of weeks ago and gave the PM my preferred deadline - 4 days. I got a TRADOS-generated table back telling me I should only need 2.7 days to do the job. I let TRADOS take the work!

 

Tony Keily  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
Italian to English
+ ...
Dinosaur Jr Aug 21, 2010

Adrien Casseyre wrote:

Be careful, could happen again !

Adaptation lack ?



I'm post-60s too so I guess we're all doing time in the same direction!

But come on AC, whose posters do our kids put on the wall? Zebras? Cro-Magnon Man? DINOSAURS! They rule!

[Edited at 2010-08-21 07:31 GMT]


 

Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aggresive marketing Aug 21, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote

It gives me the impression that the Trados maker is giving away free cruises on the Caribbean to all PMs who bluntly refuse to talk - even socially - with translators who don't own Trados.


Indeed. Their marketing is so aggressive and abrasive (with a clear attempt to monopolize the market) that it wouldn't surprise me!!


 
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