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Folly and foolishness in the translation industry March 3, 2011

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.

A recent discussion on Proz.com (<sarcasm>that well-known bastion of professionalism</sarcasm>) suggested a general strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools. Luckily most of the people in the discussion presented well-founded ideas why this is not a good idea. As @NadVega pointed out, “A CAT tool is an investment like any other. If the ROI justifies the purchase, it is not too expensive.” Like it or not, CAT/TEnTs are now part of doing business as a translator. As professionals we need to make sure we are investing in our businesses.

This cult of poverty thinking that is so prevalent among so many of our colleagues drives me crazy.

The idea of the “poverty cult” stems from a presentation by Neil Inglis at the 1996 ATA Regional Conference in Washington, D.C. and later that year at the Annual Conference in Colorado Springs. Inglis, a translator at the International Monetary Fund, suggested that the poverty cult “may develop from the inferiority complex that language professionals have (and others have about them) regarding their worth in the marketplace.” Inglis characterized “the Seven Deadly Sins of the Poverty Cult” as “envying the success of others, gloating over the failure of others; a pervasive sense that it is better for everybody to fail than for a few to succeed; a sickly squeamishness where the subject of money is concerned; shabby gentility, more shabby than genteel; a widespread conviction that it is better to have a little and be secure than to take a gamble and risk losing everything; and last, and very much least, Schadenfreude mixed with sour grapes.”

This suggestion to strike just goes to show that – despite great strides – the cult of poverty is alive and well in the translation industry. To that I say… if you are not earning enough that a couple hundred dollars presents a hardship or an annual dinner or workshop by your local translation chapter that costs $30 makes you twitch you should either raise your rates or find another profession.

Every profession has its own tools and expenses. You need to adapt or perish. Dentists need to upgrade their x-ray machines and dental tools. Lawyers need to remain up-to-date on the most recent rulings in their field of specialization. Architects need to spend several thousand dollars on AutoCAD and other CAD software. Sure, their clients don’t demand discounts because they have this software, but there are plenty of clients out there who don’t insist on discounts. I know, because I work for many of them. If a client tries to “bully” me into buying one tool over another I simply don’t work with them. There are plenty of other fish in the sea…

In our profession you need at a minimum a computer, e-mail, and language skills in order to translate. Most people also prefer to buy dictionaries in which to look up terms. Some of us choose to use CAT/TEnTs. Whether you buy an expensive or cheaper tool or use a free tool is up to you. If your client wants you to work with a certain tool it is up to you to decide if you are willing to adapt or possibly lose the client.

Back in the early days translators translated their texts using quills and parchment, then pen and paper, and then typewriters. They went through a lot of carbon paper and White-Out back in those days. And if they were like me they would have to retype the document if they made too many typos. When computers were invented, several translators I know were the first ones to buy a computer, which back then cost several thousand dollars and didn’t have near the storage capacity as we have now (or any storage capacity for that matter…). Fax machines and modems were also very expensive. They may have complained, but they coughed up the money in order to continue working because they knew the tools were necessary to be more productive. They used their expensive modems and dial-up connections to communicate with each other on CompuServe and LANTRA-L. They tossed the modems and dial-up when high-speed Internet was available. They are still in the business, delivering files via e-mail or FTP and translating several thousand words a day with the help of CAT/TEnTs.

One agency near me hasn’t done such a good job in adapting. The company owner has developed a reputation for driving to his translators’ homes and hand-delivering the source texts. One colleague called me just today complaining that he wanted the translated paragraph directly beneath the source paragraph in the translation of a fairly lengthy technical text. She was shocked because that was the first time in 15 years anyone had asked her to do that. I laughed and told her that sounded about right and suggested she tell him he can either do the necessary cutting and pasting himself or she would charge him more for the formatting work. And if he balked tell him to find someone else… You’d be surprised how many members of my local translators association don’t have an e-mail on file with us!! Adapt or perish…

Just because we use a CAT/TEnT and charge by the word now does not mean we are merely “CAT operators” as one person vehemently contends. I used to think I didn’t have enough repetition in my work to warrant using a tool. I too used to be vehemently against the idea of using translation tools until I finally saw the benefits these tools provide. My CAT/TEnT has saved me hundreds of hours and earned me lots of money that I wouldn’t have otherwise earned. Using alignment I was able to align a quality assurance manual, import it into my translation memory and save myself three days of work because all I had to do was proofread the suggested translations and change the company name. The client was thrilled, and now I have a good Quality Assurance TM. My Medical TM has become so vast that I can quickly translate several thousand words a day of highly technical stent reports or discharge reports thanks to the repetition in medical reports. I still have to be careful to check numbers and make sure each segment is translated accurately. This doesn’t mean I am just a CAT operator; it just means I am able to leverage previous translations and benefit from the consistency this ensures.

For the record, I use Trados 2009 and sometimes Transit XV. I just bought another TEnT (Fluency) today after attending an online tutorial. I liked that it had built-in tabs with online resources like Linguee and Google. It cost me $99, which I am sure will quickly pay for itself. One translator in the above Proz.com discussion uses Omega T because it is a free, open source tool. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a tool, but you really should have one if you want to compete in the current market.

As Neil Inglis stated, “We are highly skilled professionals and should expect to be treated that way, and our status as such should give us clout in every regard (not just as language professionals).” I would also add that we need to act like professionals in order to be treated as such. Stop complaining about the cost of this and that if it is part of doing business and pay the subscription fees or buy the tools that make you work more efficiently and effectively.



1. Terena Bell - March 3, 2011

Bravo, Jill. Bravo.

2. Ellen - March 3, 2011

I couldn’t agree more!

3. Pilar Saslow - March 3, 2011

Well said:
“if you are not earning enough that a couple hundred dollars presents a hardship or an annual dinner or workshop by your local translation chapter that costs $30 makes you twitch you should either raise your rates or find another profession”.
Good job

4. Jenn Mercer - March 3, 2011

Bravo! I could not have said it better myself. Your point about the early age of personal computers is especially relevant. My parents are not translators, but I remember how much their TRS-80 and the Mac Plus they bought for me cost. Either machine cost more than Trados Studio, the new computer I ordered yesterday, 3 training classes from ProZ, a printer, and enough paper and ink to last a year. In fact, if you factor in inflation, you could probably throw in an ATA conference plus transportation.

I try not to spend foolishly, but if I know that I am going to get my money out of a tool, I have no trouble buying it.

5. ebodeux - March 3, 2011

Nice post, Jill! Yes, (some) people in our industry seem to not understand that it is all a negotiation. You are not REQUIRED to buy any tool. It is a business decision. But, if you don’t, you may miss out on certain opportunities (and savings on your side as well, as Jill noted). If you choose not to invest, at least don’t whine to the rest of us about it!

6. Riccardo - March 3, 2011

Some things to note in that ProZ discussion:

– the clueless translator who started it all bases his assertion that CAT tools in general and Trados in particular are “too expensive” on his estimate that developing a basic but functioning CAT tool would take one developer one year of part-time work, and about $ 90.000 (ninety thousand). He bases his desired price point (no more than $100 for a permanent license or $50/year for a subscription based one) on the fact that “comparable software” costs less than that. By comparable software he means a text editor and another utility (chosen, apparently, because he had recently bought them… I supposed we have to be thankful his last purchases were not Tetris and Super Mario Bros).
– When confronted with the fact that his boycott of CAT tools (he actually calls it a strike, don’t ask me why) is inconsistent with translators’ desire to set their own rates, he stated he is not only against “unreasonably high” prices for CAT tools, but also against “unreasonably high” rates for translators (he is, at least, an original thinker: I had never before seen a translator even mentioning that rates could be too high)

7. Kevin Lossner - March 3, 2011

I, too, made the mistake of posting a response in that PrAdZ thread. When arguing with a fool like the original poster there one always runs the risk that no one will be able to tell the difference.

Cult of poverty? That’s a good term to describe the too-common penny-pinching, value-sacrificing idiocy that is all to common among translation unprofessionals. “Free” or “cheap” by itself is no mark of quality or value; only function and opportunity matter as I see it. A sober analysis of both these factors quickly leads one to the conclusion that in many cases the “expensive” tools deliver the best value. As long as they aren’t from SDL, of course 😉

8. Michelle Bradley - March 3, 2011

Brilliantly put Jill. Thank you for taking the time to write and rewrite this, especially since you had a load of work on your desk.

9. Sarah Dillon - March 4, 2011

Excellent post Jill, thank you. Translators who are members of the cult of poverty are often quick to judge their colleagues for trying to earn a living too, which frustrates me no end.

10. Ina Brachmann - March 4, 2011

Brilliant and to the point!

11. Laura Dossena - March 4, 2011

I agree with every word. This kind of people does not deserve to call themselves translators or professionals, period. Thanks for writing this.

12. Angela - March 4, 2011

This is what I love about your blog, Jill. You do not join that mass of translators moaning and whining about rates “forced” upon them by clients and expenses for good business investments being too high. Like you said in a previous post, stop the negativity and get on with the work!

13. Oliver Lawrence - March 4, 2011

Nice to see a voice for the silent majority :).

14. Anne - March 4, 2011

This is a brilliant post. There is a mentality among the poverty cult that goes beyond just money – I find these people negative, pessimistic victims who think everything is a struggle (and the quality of their work is often less than wonderful, too). Being a translator of a less common language and thus in a less crowded market, I find clients often need me far more than I need them, so I won’t allow myself to be unduly rushed (which would compromise the quality of my work) and given I pride myself on quality, nor will I work for low rates unless there is some other future benefit of taking on a job. And the clients keep on coming. I think we should all remember that if it weren’t for translators, millions of people across the world would not be able to communicate properly with each other.

15. Laureana Pavon - March 4, 2011

Magnificent post. I could not agree more. Translators who adhere to this “poverty thinking” are also the ones complaining about the lack of recognition of their professional status. I wonder why 🙂

16. David Turnbull - March 4, 2011

Well said, Jill. Well said indeed.

17. Valeria Aliperta - Rainy London - March 4, 2011

Great insight Jill. I couldn’t have said it better! Thanks!

18. Anke - March 4, 2011

Where’s the “like” button? 😉
Totally and wholeheartedly agree!

19. Carolina Smith - March 4, 2011

Totally agree!
(And thanks for the info about the “Poverty Cult” which I had never heard of.. certainly interesting..)


20. Karen Tkaczyk - March 4, 2011

Nice Jill! You really stucke a chord here.

21. Silvina Jover-Cirillo - March 4, 2011


We talked a little bit about this in Twitter. I’ve been thinking about this topic all day. I started my freelance career in 2004 by chance, and by 2005 I decided that I liked this field and wanted to pursue it further. I like making lists, and I remember putting together a list in reference to the tools needed to carry on with it. Dictionaries weren’t the only thing on that list, but also CAT tools (with a big question mark, because I wasn’t sure what they were!)
I bought Trados fairly quickly. Since I was just starting, I didn’t have much money to spend, but I invested in the 6.5 version without feeling much remorse. Now I use a couple of other ones, as well. An agency told me that if I didn’t have WordFast, I couldn’t work with them anymore. I didn’t hesitate, I bought it and it paid itself after the very next job. My point is that, as a beginner, I didn’t even think it twice. It was implicit in my research that CAT tools were part of our trade. Besides, without them, my terminology database would be a mess!

22. patenttranslator - March 5, 2011

Some people seem to think that Trados and other CATs are tools that every translator must have these days, just like a computer, Internet access and dictionary.

But I disagree. Let me talk about the great Asian culinary tradition of noodles for a moment. Everybody who spent some time in Japan will know that there are many types of delicious dishes that contain noodles as the main ingredient. There are “chuka-soba” (Chinese style) noodle dishes, for instance, and “nihon-soba” (Japanese style) noodle dishes. They look similar, but the taste is very different because they use different flour for the noodles, the broth is different and so are other non-noodle ingredients. Chinese noodles have more meat in the dish than Japanese noodles, in particular pork, while Japanese noodles use more seafood in the dish and very little meat, usually beef, more “nori” (seaweed), fried tofu which is for some reason in this case called “tanuki” (badger) or “kitsune” (fox), etc. These two types of noodles are two very different planets, although they may look the same to an observer in a spaceship.

To reiterate my point, although both the Chinese and the Japanese “o-soba” (noodles) are much healthier than big Mac with large fries, there is a big difference between them in spite of the fact that they look pretty much the same.

And then there is a third category of noodles called “yaki-soba” (fried noodles), but I think I am really going off on a tangent here.

Translators who think that everybody needs to use Trados or a similar software program are to me like people who would say that everybody should eat only Chinese noodles, or that only the Japanese style of noodles represents legitimate noodles, because that is all they know. That is where I see folly and foolishness in the translation industry.

I am sure that CATs are useful for some things. But as long as these CATs can’t process PDF files, they will remain completely useless to this patent translator as I only get patents for translation as PDF files.

I also can’t imagine that somebody who translate books, novels for example, would have any use for something like Trados.

CATs like Trados are useful for some types of translation, typically manuals that need to be frequently updated, and basically useless for other types of translation, for instance for patent translation or literary translation.

As I was saying, there is the Chinese styles of noodles, the Japanese style of noodles, and they may look similar, but they are in fact very, very different.

Jill (@bonnjill) - March 5, 2011

Steve, have you ever tried using OCR on the PDFs? I get my medical reports as PDFs and convert them into Word so that I can translate the files with Trados. I prefer using ABBYY FineReader, but ABBYY PDF Transformer or another tool does just as good a job. You should seriously think about it!

23. patenttranslator - March 5, 2011

I tried OCR with German and it took a long time and it did not work very well. I only use OCR to estimate word count in European languages.

I doubt that it works well with Japanese. If it did, CATs would probably be include it in the software package given the predatory pricing of CATs like Trados.

24. Tess - March 7, 2011

Thanks Jill! I personally think that all my TENT and CAT-tools have paid off quickly by improving my productivity immensely, even expensive ones as Trados Studio.

I was also amazed at learning that there actually are translators out there that think that the translation rates are too high. Folly and foolishness indeed!

25. the dk - March 7, 2011

Hi Jill,

Thanks for the post, really well written and you bring up some very good points.

As for the OCR, Abbey worked well for me too and the newer version “handles” Japanese, but in my experience not too well.

I vaguely remember telling Mr. Patenttranslator that the patent itself was authored in something that has a good chance at being translated in its native format. Something like INDD or CAD, both of which can be exported into something easily picked up by a CAT tool.

I agree that they are worth the investment and as investments they should be seen. I have Trados 2007 and when our little company has some more income streaming in, we will invest in 2009 or whatever is newest then, since we might not get it for a while 🙂

A smart carpenter will get his clients to pay for his hammer, they just don’t know it.

Thanks for the nice read!



26. Riccardo - March 7, 2011

Hi Tess:

Thomas (the Swedish translator who started that thread), confirmed he also would be against “unreasonably high” translation rates:

“To put it in very simple terms: the same argument you are making to hopefully drive down Trados price could be made to drive down translation rates. Are you OK with that?”

“As long as we are talking about unreasonably high rates, yes, of course.”

(Pag. 9 of the thread, in answer to a question of mine)

27. jo - March 9, 2011

I agree with patenttranslator. I really shouldn’t comment as I don’t use Trados but… I completey rewrite my texts, reinvent & adapt. Of course I don’t translate manuals and other repetitive texts, but magazine articles, essays on art & architecture… so, the question is: quantity or quality? this said, if you translate manuals, repetitive texts etc etc, it makes sense to get a program! But does this have to do with poverty? I want to work on interesting texts, learn something, have the satisfaction of appreciative customers…. & of course I charge more for this kind of work…

28. May - March 21, 2011

Hi Jill!

I think its possible that the lack of love for CAT tools stems from a lack of familiarity with how those tools work. One of the best things about the Kent State program, I thought, was the opportunity we had to work with a good range of tools. Knowing how they work, and what they can do for you does make you more appreciative of the technology itself.


29. WHL - March 29, 2011

I am pretty late commenting here, but I have done some thought on this subject matter.

The other day I read a tweet from Miguel Llorens saying, “It´s not in the CAT tools, Brutus. It´s in our business plan.” I would say that Miguel is right.

I have no problem learning to use any CAT tool when any one of my clients provides me a tool and ask me to work with it, in the expectation of having some rebates/discounts for fuzzy matches from me. That would be perfectly all right with me.

It is just a question of who invest on the CAT tool. If I shall buy a license for a specific tool I am supposed to use for working with a specific client, the client shall not be entitled to ask for rebates/discounts for fuzzy matches.

Do I see translators who refuse to use CAT tools or refuse to invest in CAT tools as someones who are of Poverty Cult? I don´t think so. In Eco´s “The Name of the Rose,” there were Catholic monks who argued that Jesus did not own anything he made use of on this Earth and so should the Catholic Church and the priests stay without properties. Was that a Poverty Cult? I remember some opinion leaders in our industry have been arguing almost in the same way that CAT tools shall be free available for translators, and they are asking for unified standards for translation industry in the same time.

In my opinion, those opinion leaders are perfectly right. It´s indeed not in the CAT tools, it´s in the business plans of the tool makers. When a tool maker provides products that are not even compatible/interoperatable with/among each other, what for we or LSPs pay for buying more (updates, new products) to work more (of reading fuzzy matches) and earn less (by giving discounts/rebates to clients)?

The Germans say, “Verarschen kann ich mich selber.”

30. Sally Loren - April 4, 2011

Jill your post really spoke to me and I agree with many of the comments made above. What strikes me again and again about fellow translators are their very poor IT skills or knowledge of what’s out there as regards software. Over the past few years I’ve repeatedly come across translators puzzled for example as to why they their CAT tool just appears to jump over a table of contents and who have clearly no idea what an automatic TOC is, or how to update it. All my IT skills are self taught. There are enough books out there and the Internet is a fund of forums and tips. So much of the poverty of culture is down to plainly inefficient ways of working…and dare I say it: laziness.

But I’m digressing: I don’t understand why so many people harp on about Trados. Sure it’s expensive, but a bit of research would tell them that there’s an alternative out there called Wordfast Classic. It’s quite a bit cheaper, very intuitive to use and is compatible with Trados. I send all my Wordfast files to my Trados customers and they have NO problem reading them. If a customer exports a TM in a .tmx format (it’s like Acrobat Reader in the TM world) Wordfast also has no problem reading it. It’s earnt and saved me thousands over the years… And I found out about it by simply doing a bit of research.

And by the way: the glossaries are in tab delimited Excel format, easy to update, add to and use. An added bonus: they’re small in size.

31. Tiffany Suydam - July 23, 2011

I started using Trados software after reading a bunch of pros and cons from other translators. I decided to test it for myself. I consider myself a beginning translator (portuguese or german to english).

It seems that one of the main complaints – other than that it is quite expensive – is that using Cat tools can not be considered translation. As some countries consider translation an art these days, which I believe as well, using a CAT tool could be seen as analogous to using digital media programs in making works of art.

But, I wonder how many of these translators have actually used CAT tools. The word and sentence translation suggestions often make me pee myself laughing. But, I won’t deny that the tool is incredibly useful. I almost never use the translation suggestions from the portuguese to english translation memory, but it often causes me to think about *why* the translation suggestion popped up. Often times the portuguese word has no correlate to english – folks, there’s a surprising number of those words out there – and so I have to rework the sentence. Let’s not mention portuguese grammar with the weird subjunctives! Seeing the suggestions for the subjunctives are painful.

And yet, using the software has saved me so many hours of translation thus far, even when I translate short fiction stories into english. As I am quite a chaotic individual, it also helps me organize my work much better.

A fancy piece of software will not make someone into a translator and a good knowledge of the source language is *required* should one not want to seem like an idiot when translating.

Example: “Eu estou escrevendo agora para não enlouquecer de vez.” to which my program came up with the translation: “I am writing now for do not drive crazy of time.” hah!

I’m sure most people will agree that editing people translations help one with language and translation skills. In some ways, it seems to me that working with a CAT tool is similar to doing that.

32. Renata - September 1, 2011

As a client, would you ever ask a taxi driver for discount because he bought a newer car saving fuel? Or a doctor because he invested in modern surgery tools? I guess they would be very suprised, to say the least. However, investment in CAT tools for translators means that clients will require big discounts. You end up delivering better quality and consistency yet not earning more at all. I wonder why no one of you people even point that out

Riccardo - September 1, 2011

Renata, I believe the reason we don’t point that out is because it is not true. CAT tools do help translators increase their earnings. Nobody can demand a discount from a freelancer – it’s the freelancer responsibility to decide whether or not to grant a discount (for whatever reason – including but not limited to for the leveraging permitted by the use of CAT tools) – if it makes economic sense for them.

This is exactly the same as translator complaining of the low rates offered by translation companies: our rates are our responsibility.

33. patenttranslator - September 1, 2011

“Nobody can demand a discount from a freelancer”

With all due respect, who are you kidding, Ricardo? Yourself?

One agency that I used to work for has been sending for years Purchase Orders that specify the percentage of obligatory discounts based on “matches” and “fuzzy matches” that the translator is supposed to agree to before starting to work on a job. You must sign it and fax or e-mail the P.O. back if you want the work for these people.

Another agency insisted about 2 years ago that they owed me only two thousand three hundred dollars, not three thousand dollars as per my invoice, because there were “numerous matches” in the prior art sections of two related patents. Of course there were matches there. So what?

They paid the amount listed on my invoice only after I threatened to go public with what they were trying to do to me and I never worked for them again. The guy was actually a friend of mine for something like 15 years, but I would not touch a job from him with a ten foot pole now.

Maybe agencies don’t use CATs to demand discounts from you, but they sure use them to force other translator to work for less, often a lot less.

Riccardo - September 1, 2011

By “nobody can demand a discount from a freelancer” I mean that we are always free not to work with certain customers, if we believe the conditions they insist on are not convenient for us. Of course, they also are free not to use our services, if they consider it not convenient for them.

We sometimes grant discounts for fuzzy or 100% matches, when we think it is still convenient for us to do so. For other customers we invoice the full text, no matter how many matches. And we are prepared not to work any longer with certain customers when it is no longer in our interest.

A VP from a certain major translation company last November announced that a “compulsory” 5% discount would be applied on all translator invoices for the next few months. Those of us, however, who declined to grant the so-called “compulsory” discount continued to be paid at our usual rates.

Of course that means that one should be ready to ditch a customer who makes unacceptable demands. We were able to resist the “compulsory” discount because that customer represented for us less than 15% of turnover – we might have had to swallow and grant the discount if they had represented 80% of our total invoices.

But I believe it is up to us to manage customers: If we want to have more freedom in accepting or rejecting conditions, we also need to be careful not to have too much of our income come from too few customers.

One of our first customers a few years ago asked us for a 20% discount across the board. In exchange they would “guarantee” more work. We decided not to work with that customer any longer, even though up to that point we had invoiced them several thousands (or dozens of thousands) dollars a year.

Again, we had managed, through foresight and a bit of luck, never to have that customer represent more than about 20% of our turnover – that was what gave us the freedom to decide not to work any longer with them.

34. patenttranslator - September 1, 2011

I think that what Renata said in her comment is very true and just like she, I am surprised that translators never even mention the detrimental influences of software like Trados that are so clearly obvious.

As far as I can remember, the last person who wrote about this issue with eloquence was Bernie Bierman in a long (and last) post nine months ago on the Translation Commentator blog titled “Another Look at Commodification”.

Personally, I attribute the silence with which freelance translators welcome and even seem to celebrate techniques that among other things exert a downward pressure on rates that we can demand and contribute to general bastardization of what used to be the art of translating is what I call hamsterization of translators, although we are hardly the only profession that is being constantly brainwashed and hamsterized in this manner by corporations big and small.

Fortunately, CATs are not used very much or at all in the field of patent translation, at least no client has ever asked me about this issue so far.

However, following the same logic, perhaps it is only a matter of time before I will be asked to provide a discount for patent translations “because free machine translations of patents are already available online”, which would mean (based on the logic applied by many agencies to software like Trados) that translators can now translate more words per day.

“So let’s cut their pay! They are making too much anyway!”, say the customers.

“Hurray”, say the brainwashed and hamsterized translators.

35. marzolian - September 26, 2012

Steve, I heartily agree with your reaction to the Proz discussion. But I don’t quite understand why you reject OCR programs. Here was my first experience with FineReader:

A client sent a specification via fax (33 pages). On that type of work, before MT and OCR, I used to produce my first drafts at a rate of about 500 words per hour. On this job, I was able to scan the faxed pages, convert them using FineReader, and translate using Déjà Vu, at more than 900 words per hour. FineReader has only improved since then.

A few days ago, someone in a Yahoo group complained about how OCR programs could not read German patents. She sent me a PDF file as a sample; I was able to turn the first page (600 words) into clean Word text in about 15 minutes. It takes some tweaking of the program, and some trial and error to figure the best way to accomplish this, but it can be done.

Renata, I also like what you said but this is confusing: “investment in CAT tools for translators means that clients will require big discounts”. I use my TM program for every job and don’t give (or get asked for) discounts. I didn’t get my TM program for free, and my clients didn’t pay a premium for me to learn it or add to the memory. I have had a couple of experiences with Trados-style pre-translated projects, and I simply don’t do them any more. Instead, if it’s something I really want to do, I might offer a discount based on my own statistics and TM.

Jill (@bonnjill) - September 26, 2012

Yeah, well, it’s all fun and games until someone gets called a snot and a know-it-all 😉 . I don’t think she wanted to convert the patent so much as plug in text where she wanted to (at least that was what I understood from her question). I for one LOVE OCR tools. They make my life so much easier!

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