Do you agree with the usage of CAT?

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Do you use a CAT tool? Do you agree with the usage of these tools?

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Total Votes : 1

Do you agree with the usage of CAT?

Post by Kangas on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:43 pm

Hi everyone

For most translators this is a very complicated question. Should we or should we not use a CAT (Computer Aided Translation) software?! Sad

I've read a lot of different opinions about this issue. Some colleagues say it is a very important tool that helps a lot with our work. Others believe it is another very expensive way of exploiting us even more.

Well, to be honest with you, I'm still trying to understand what these programs really do for you. I don't use one, and I don't even know if I will do so in a close future. At school I was told that having a CAT (like Trados, Dejá vú, etc) is crucial to work as a freelance translator. I must confess I felt a bit intimidated by being almost forced to use a software to do my job.

I tried to find one and when I found it I realised it was so expensive that it was almost impossible for me to purchase it as I was not working at the time. Then I started looking at the several job adds I receive everyday and noticed that most of them require you to have this type of software, and I thought I really needed to get one. Sad

But then I read the opinion of colleagues that are in our industry for 20 plus years and I simply couldn't make my mind. Some of them don't use a CAT, have clients and a very successful career. So why wouldn't I?

One of those colleagues believes CATs are just another way of big Translation Agencies ripping us off. And after reading what he says, I must confess it made sense to me.

A CAT is a program that creates a database every time you have a new project. It retains every word you translate, so the next time that world appears it translates it automatically. Well, I agree with some other colleagues (even those who are against CATs agree on this) that CATs are a very important tool for "bulky jobs", as it gives you the opportunity of creating a Term base that will shorten your work.

However, this may be a "poisoned gift". If you use a CAT you will obviously need less time to do the job, so the client can claim that you have a CAT so your rates should be way lower, and your deadlines way tighter. Would this be positive for us?

I'd like to hear from you.

Do you use a CAT? Do you agree with them?



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