Some translators have not made it to the 21st century

Oh my… Some translators have not realized we are in the 21st century.

I am working on a project (about 10.000 words) with files on docx and html. Imported them all on memoQ, translated e voilà. I sent the first batch to the PM and she asked me what I did to keep the html file as it was…

I was a bit surprised as I have been working with this PM for a couple of years now and she always insists I use Trados (right…). She then told me that another translator was having trouble translating the html file and asked me how I did it… I explained that I had used memoQ but it could be done with DejaVu and TagEditor. The answer was even more baffling: The translator does not have a CAT….

Well… Yesterday, she told me the proofreader was having a hard time proofreading the html file and would send me a word file with the corrections so that I could implement them. Those of you who know me well know I have a very short fuse. Before blowing a gasket, I took 5 deep breaths and sent her the memoQ bilingual rtf and asked said proofreader to use track changes there…

Talking to other colleagues, one of them mentioned that a crappy translation he refused to proofread was returned to the original translator. He got it back and was told that aforementioned translator did not use a CAT because “Trados messes with the formatting”…. (!!!)

I had a chat yesterday with Val Ivonica and we were talking about this new “trend”. Good Lord, are they so daft they can’t figure out that there is another way of doing things?

What say you, dear reader?



Filed under Translation

7 Responses to Some translators have not made it to the 21st century

  1. There’s [almost always] an easier way of doing things, you mean! 🙂

  2. It’s laziness on the part of the translators, pure and simple. The cream of the crop moves with the times and makes the effort to learn the latest tools and adapt. The rest do not.

  3. To be brutally honest, I think that’s a lesser evil. What worries me the most is the inability to produce a decent translation, a text that reads well, whether one’s using a CAT tool or hammering it out on MS Word or even a typewriter. In many niches, using a CAT tool has become a more desirable skill than what should come first and foremost: translating well.

    • anaiaria

      JV, no way I accepted their offer. But you are right: they will end up with the bottom feeders and good luck with them until they get a big lawsuit from a bi, very big client!! ANd that will wipe out all their profit.
      Yes, many translators can’t translate. This is a fact. There are those of the “Escola de Samba Unidos da Tradução Literal” (in plain English, The Literal Translation Ensemble) and those who can turn a text inside out. The problem is when the ones of the first type proofread your text and say is of “poor quality”…

  4. Considering the time and costs for layout work even in these times of slave labor resurgent, a significant part of the value proposition is that a properly equipped translator can minimize or eliminate the need to transfer information to other formats and pretty it up there. While I like to fancy that my shining prose is more brilliant than the next guy’s, I remember all too well that my quick and successful entry into this profession a bit over a decade ago was due in large part to the fact that I could use TEnT tools and preserve original formats. Sure, I have clients who appreciate good writing. But I have just as many who are essentially monolingual in my source language and would probably prefer some literally translated crap over well-crafted English. But they do appreciate the time and money saved with the formatting. We gotta meet ’em where they are sometimes to pay the bills….

  5. Hmm… I don’t know. I don’t use CAT tools very much, either–firstly because the choice used to be very limited for Mac users, secondly because I feel that the segmentation into single phrases doesn’t really help me achieve a good translation of the text as such. Also, I have no interest in participating in shady discount schemes after I have invested several hundred bucks in a tool that should help me to enhance my productivity, not some agency to enhance their price advantage or even their margin. Does that make me a bad translator?

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