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Technically challenging test translation
Autor de la hebra: Marion Plath

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:16
chino al inglés
Seconded Nov 9, 2013

hermione08 wrote:

The "funny" thing is that for the DipTrans you are not even allowed to use the internet, let alone CAT tools. And yet nowadays it seems the only way to be a translator is to also have diploma in IT.
Just saying


I find this aspect tough as well. But I also think we all have to get used to it - computers aren't going away.

@Marion
I personally would ignore all the extraneous files associated with the test. I have never worked on an online system quick enough to make it efficient, so I would ignore their online TM. I'd do the test, send it in with an explanation of what I'd done, and they can either like it or lump it. If an agency wants me to learn its IT systems, it will have to demonstrate to me that it has plenty of work first.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 15:16
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
A test for what? Nov 9, 2013

Phil Hand wrote:

hermione08 wrote:

The "funny" thing is that for the DipTrans you are not even allowed to use the internet, let alone CAT tools. And yet nowadays it seems the only way to be a translator is to also have diploma in IT.
Just saying


I find this aspect tough as well. But I also think we all have to get used to it - computers aren't going away.


We've all been using computers for a long time and many of us use CAT tools and learn more about them every year.

I use the tools I have learned to use and if there are questions I ask.
But when it comes to tests or real projects, I am wary of too many technical requirements, especially online wonder software. The support they're supposedly giving might turn out to be a dud.

No matter what it is or what you call it, an unpaid or a paid test/project, I want to know exactly what the original text looks like before it's put into the CAT tool or has to be accessed inside an online translation system.
The original author is hardly using a CAT tool to create the text, and neither is the target audience in order to read the translated version.

What I am trying to say is that in order to evaluate the text, I want to see it as an easily readable document/text. Then I take into account other factors such as what CAT tool I use, if any, and what impact possible repetitions in the text will have on my work process.

Requiring CAT tools is certainly appropriate in many cases. Expectations of automatic and arbitrary discounts are not. And if you don't review an original text carefully in its entirety in an easily readable format, especially if it is long, you might be surprised what you've gotten yourself into if you based your commitment to a project on the analysis performed by a CAT tool and if you have accepted discounts for 100% and other fuzzy and fuzzier matches, as determined arbitrarily by your client
Think about that boldfaced phrase for a second.

So what is this test for? To see how good of a translator or CAT tool user you are?
Or how new you are and whether or not you are willing to accept anything your client asks of you, including how much they pay or pay not? Would that be a good start to a healthy business relationship? Trust me, it's not.

Phil Hand wrote:
@Marion
I personally would ignore all the extraneous files associated with the test. I have never worked on an online system quick enough to make it efficient, so I would ignore their online TM. I'd do the test, send it in with an explanation of what I'd done, and they can either like it or lump it. If an agency wants me to learn its IT systems, it will have to demonstrate to me that it has plenty of work first.


How good do you think are your chances, Phil, to get that job? Why do it in the first place? I don't think the test is for those you won't comply with everything the outsourcer expects of them.

[Edited at 2013-11-09 19:34 GMT]


 

Grazia Brunello  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
Local time: 20:16
inglés al italiano
+ ...
Computers are fine Nov 9, 2013

[quote]Phil Hand wrote:

hermione08 wrote:

The "funny" thing is that for the DipTrans you are not even allowed to use the internet, let alone CAT tools. And yet nowadays it seems the only way to be a translator is to also have diploma in IT.
Just saying


I find this aspect tough as well. But I also think we all have to get used to it - computers aren't going away.

I love computers, what I don't like as much is that a profession that used to be based mainly on the knowledge of languages, is quickly becoming one based on the knowledge of computer programmes. Which, by the way, are not exactly cheap or user friendly.


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 22:16
Miembro
inglés al hebreo
+ ...
I couldn't agree more with Bernhard Nov 9, 2013

A great summary answer for this discussion as well as similar ones that are opened every now and then.
Invaluable advice and insight that I recommend every (especially new) professional to follow.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:16
chino al inglés
I guess I've been lucky Nov 10, 2013

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

How good do you think are your chances, Phil, to get that job? Why do it in the first place? I don't think the test is for those you won't comply with everything the outsourcer expects of them.


I have successfully signed up with agencies and received jobs after doing exactly this. If the agency is more concerned with my technical capabilities than my linguistic capabilities, I probably don't want to work with them anyway. Win-win!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 21:16
español al inglés
+ ...
Not a total luddite Nov 10, 2013

Marion Plath wrote:

I love your answer! Seriously, it is good to know that not the whole translation industry is overly technologised. Trados can be useful if you translate texts with lots of repetitions, but to me it is just a tool and certainly only that and not more. For a lot of texts, it is rather useless though. It can cause problems for translators that were not there before its existence.


Just so you don't think I'm slaving away here with a bit of slate and some chalk, I should add that I do use Wordfast Classic myself nowadays, but not because anyone railroaded me into it - I simply fancied keeping it after trying it out a few years ago, but I still don't use all of its features. I'd checked out Trados with a user colleague (he hates it too and wishes it were simpler, but says he's stuck with it now after several years) but it just seemed overly technical and complicated for me.


 

Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 21:16
alemán al inglés
if you have got it Nov 11, 2013

you should really know how to use it.
If you tell a customer that you can use Trados (whichever version) then you should really know how to use the software and deal with the files you receive.

But, I would certainly not do a 500 word test translation for free! In fact, I do not do any free test translations anymore and I tell the agencies, sorry, but been ripped off in the past and that is not going to happen again.

If you do do a paid translation using Trados a
... See more
you should really know how to use it.
If you tell a customer that you can use Trados (whichever version) then you should really know how to use the software and deal with the files you receive.

But, I would certainly not do a 500 word test translation for free! In fact, I do not do any free test translations anymore and I tell the agencies, sorry, but been ripped off in the past and that is not going to happen again.

If you do do a paid translation using Trados and the customer provides you with a TM, then you have to use that TM, otherwise you are not meeting the parameters of the test and not using the terminology they have provided. This is a big no go for many agencies/companies as a lot of technical translations are very end-customer orientated, many of whom have very specialised terminology.

For all those who find Trados hard, don't give up! There is so much online help available and training courses, etc. Also the Trados forum is useful.

I absolutely hated Trados at first, but being a technical translator, it has turned out to be immensely useful and saves me a huge amount of time, especially as I get a lot of work along the same lines. It is an incredibly useful resource (TM), source of inspiration (concordance) and helps me maintain quality. I have to say it functions along the lines of input = output, so the more you use it, the more useful it is.

good luck
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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 21:16
alemán al inglés
PS Nov 11, 2013

FYI, these days (with Trados 2007 or SDL 2011) it usually takes me around 5 minutes from receipt of files to set up the entire project and be ready to start translation. As you can now receive project packages from agencies to use in 2011, the process can be even quicker, just open, add any TM you think would be useful and away you go!
When I first started using 2011, it was learning on the fly and I was tearing my hair out on a regular basis for the first couple of weeks, but thanks to a
... See more
FYI, these days (with Trados 2007 or SDL 2011) it usually takes me around 5 minutes from receipt of files to set up the entire project and be ready to start translation. As you can now receive project packages from agencies to use in 2011, the process can be even quicker, just open, add any TM you think would be useful and away you go!
When I first started using 2011, it was learning on the fly and I was tearing my hair out on a regular basis for the first couple of weeks, but thanks to a certain Paul on the Proz Trados forum, I managed to learn it ( and I still dont know all the features) no time to sit and go through it all).
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