There are roughly three ways to translate:
- with automated tools like Google Translate
- by hand, word for word
- with supporting software – Computer Assisted Translation
Although automated translations are currently developing very rapidly, in most cases the quality is still a long way from being acceptable.
The best thing is you every day about fifteen minutes to half an hour exercise. If you just start playing, you have fingers still very much used to the motion of striking the keys. Also navigating the left and right together is something still feels very awkward in the beginning. (Google Translate of selected Dutch text)
Fully manual translations are often of a high quality, but are very dependent on the translator and take longer.
Option three is the perfect compromise between these two. Translations are done manually and, once approved, the result is stored in a database, ensuring greater consistency in any subsequent translation. And that saves time, too. PassworD uses such software, as do almost all its external translators.
Our translation software dates from 2009 and is in serious need of an upgrade. When selecting this new software, we focused specifically on
- the benefits to our clients
- what works best and most efficiently within our company processes
- the preferences of our external translators
- the price/quality ratio
A survey of external translators
We recently investigated a third point: which program do our external translators prefer? We asked 85 translators and translation companies the following questions:
- Which CAT tools are you currently using and in which versions?
- Are you planning on switching over to a different tool? If yes, when, and to which tool?
- Would you be willing to work with a translation tool in the cloud?
We received 57 responses. The main conclusions are stated below:
Translators and CAT tools
Most translators (41) opt for SDL Trados Studio (versions 2007 to 2014) as their preferred system. DejaVu has a fervent following and MemoQ is clearly becoming popular. The other systems are almost all secondary systems. You’ll notice the total does not come to 57. This is because there are still a few translators that do not use CAT tools.
Translators are freelancers and cherish their autonomy. It’s not surprising then that most will only work in the cloud under the strictest of conditions. Despite the benefits of the cloud, many wish to continue working locally on their own system. After all, their own database is where all their expertise is concentrated.
The opinions of our translators are a key factor in our decision-making process. We always aim to ensure our processes enable translators to concentrate on their core competency – their language.
All things considered, we decided to upgrade our current system to SDL Trados Studio 2014. If everything goes according to plan, it should all be up and running by late January.