Published on March 3, 2014
A SURVEY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF USING COMPUTERASSISTED TRANSLATION (CAT) TOOLS Author: Mgr. J. Absolon, ASAP-translation.com, November 2008, firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction For many years, a translator’s work has not only been translation of the source language into the target language. In the last ten years, emphasis has also been placed on competence to use different software, especially for computer aided translation. The absence of educational resources, where a translator would be able to learn to work with the above software, results in the fact that, even now, some translators are still looking to answer the question whether a CAT tool should or should not be used. However the question now is not “WHETHER” but “WHICH ONE”. To find out about real penetration of CAT tools among translators in Slovakia, we decided to survey translators who are members of associations and other professional unions. Out of a total of 619 translators asked, we received 134 responses. For this reason, we assume the real number of CAT users is less than the figures we received. We also assume the translators who did not answer our questionnaire belong mostly to the group of translators not using CAT tools. The spread of CAT tools From the total number of respondents, 67.6 % of translators have had experience with CAT tools, though only 54.1 % use them. The remainder have installed the software but are not using it. Omitting translators who do not translate regularly, we received following data. Out of the total number of respondents, 74.5 % of translators have had experience with CAT tools, though only 61.7 % use them. yes no – I do not have similar SW no – I have similar SW but I do not use it Author: Mgr. J. Absolon, ASAP-translation.com, November 2008 page 1
Software Concerning the software utilized among translators who use CAT tools or have at least had them installed, the leader is SDL Trados, followed by Wordfast. Adding SDLX and SDL Trados together, since both are owned by the same company, the results indicate that more than half of translators (54 %) are using that company’s software. Used SW Other software used by translators include the following: Idiom Worldserver Deja VU Logoport MetaTexis OmegaT Catalyst Lite LocStudio MS Localization Tools Passolo (4x) (3x) (2x) (2x) (2x) (1x) (1x) (1x) (1x) Volume of translations The volume of text translated using CAT tools is forecast to be less than half of the text on average. (Do not use) (Use for less than half of translation) (Use for more than half of translation) (Majority of texts) (Almost all texts) Author: Mgr. J. Absolon, ASAP-translation.com, November 2008 page 2
Productivity Comparing the productivity of translators who use CAT tools with those who do not, the results are clearly in favour of CAT users. Productivity more than 200 standard pages SP (10 SP/day) 100 - 200 standard pages SP (5-10 SP/day) CAT users usersusers 50 – 100 standard pages SP (2.5-5 SP/day) less than 50 standard pages SP (2.5 SP/day) Non-CAT users Profits Comparing the monthly earnings of translators who use CAT tools with those who do not, the results are again clearly in favour of CAT users. more than 1330 € 830 € - 1330 € CAT users 330 € - 830 € 165 € - 330 € less than 165 € Non-CAT users Author: Mgr. J. Absolon, ASAP-translation.com, November 2008 page 3
Summary Research has shown that two thirds of translators for whom translation is their core business use CAT software. Comparing these results with research carried out in Great Britain in 2005, where only one third of responding translators were using CAT tools (Fulford and Granell-Zafra 2005), Slovak translators are surprisingly in very good shape. These findings should be a signal to translators that the times when using CAT tools were a big marketing advantage for translators are changing to such tools being a necessity. Also important is findings proving that CAT users have significantly higher productivity as well as higher profits. Fears by a translator that using CAT tools would slow their work down and be a disadvantage in terms of earnings were not proved by the translators surveyed. We believe this research contributes to higher interest by both translators and educational institutions in using computer-assisted translation tools. Author: Mgr. J. Absolon, ASAP-translation.com, November 2008 page 4
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