TRADOS, Wordfast, Deja vú…these are names that you all may know if you are in the translation business. What do we know about these programs? They may have told you about them in university, or you might have found about them on your own. These programs are intended to help us translators work faster, create translation memories, etc. Nowadays it seems that without any of those programs you are not suitable for a job, they require translators to use at least one of them for said projects, sometimes they especially want the translator to use a certain program. The aforementioned brings some doubts to my mind to say the least:
Each and every one of you may have a preference for one or the other, but the client might ask you to use a different one. That’s a point against you when it comes to be the chosen one for the project. These programs are really expensive and, if you can afford buying one at all, the usual case is that you may own just one program due to their high price. Does it mean we need to purchase more than one CAT tool?
But, I wonder, do they really help us work better? All I’ve been hearing since I started applying for jobs and getting into the field has been: “Are you aware of the discounts by repeated word?”. Yes, CAT tools allow us to work faster, means more productivity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more benefit or more clients.
Since I graduated I haven’t been able to afford purchasing a CAT tool license since I don’t have an amount of work that would make the investment profitable, and I’ve been working without them. I wouldn’t have to do glossaries myself but is it that big of a deal? Are they that big of a help and is that help worth the lower benefit? Do clients require CAT tools because it’s useful for them or just because it means they’ll pay less for the job?
I’d love hearing your opinions on the subject.