Every now and then, the subject of the use of Translation Memories (TMs) and Computer-aided Translation (CAT) tools comes up in the ProZ.com forums and elsewhere. Should you use a CAT tool? Why? Which one? Why (again)? Are there kinds of work where a CAT tool will not be useful?
In a previous State of the industry report for freelance translators, the word on TMs and CAT tools was to take them as “a given.” A high percentage of translators use at least one CAT tool, and reports on the increased productivity and efficiency that can accompany their use are solid enough to indicate that, unless the kind of translation work you do by its very nature excludes the use of a CAT tool, you should be using one.
Recently, a couple of surveys were run to gather more information and details on the matter. How many translators are really using a CAT tool? Why? Which CAT tools are preferred most, and why? How many translators do not use a CAT tool, and why? If you have been in the translation business a few years and you use a CAT tool, most of what follows will not surprise. If you are an established translator who has decided CAT tool use is not for you, what follows is not designed to try to change your mind. Rather, this information is meant to give a wider panorama on TM and CAT tool use that you can use to compare to your own experience. If you are just getting started in translation and are wondering whether a CAT tool might be worth the investment, the following may be a good starting point for researching the matter.
In the past, the creation of a website to promote one’s freelance language services would have had to involve a team of professional web designers, developers and graphic artists. Nowadays, making a website to showcase your knowledge, skills and expertise as a translator or interpreter is as easy as ever, and possible to do without professional help.
In a poll featured on Nov 2, 2012, 35% of those who responded stated that they had their own professional website dedicated to promoting their translation or interpretation services. Another 27% said that they did not currently have a website, but that they would like one. Additionally, it was noted in the State of the industry: freelance translators in 2012 report that having a professional website was ranked as the third favorite channel for translator marketing, behind online platforms and emailing.
Something that cannot be said about the translation or interpretation profession is that it is a static one. Translation and interpreting –and the way these two activities are performed– have evolved throughout the years and continue to evolve, allowing language professionals to seek new challenges, inviting them to review their career plans from time to time.
Even if most language professionals feel good about what they have achieved, they may also feel compelled now and then to take their careers a step further. However, this step further may not always be that clear, and there are several options available that go beyond translation and interpreting.
One option translators and interpreters have if they feel like taking their careers a step further is the expansion of the services they offer. Expanding the list of services you offer to clients may involve learning a new language, adding a new field of expertise and even learning additional techniques such as subtitling or desktop publishing (DTP). Of course, adding a new service, like investing in anything else, means devoting time –and usually money– to getting it ready.
The ProZ.com Certified PRO Network, an initiative of the ProZ.com community that has the purpose of identifying qualified translators and providing them with the option of networking and collaborating while distinguishing themselves as professionals, is now open to translation companies willing to demonstrate their unique capabilities in keeping with published industry standards.
The ProZ.com Certified PRO Network keeps growing.
Allowing translation companies to apply for inclusion into the network is expected to have, among others, the following benefits:
- Network expansion.
- More successful service provider-outsourcer working relationships.
- More room for direct communication and collaboration between service providers and companies.
- A better understanding on the part of outsourcers of what being a Certified PRO means.
- Extended network promotion.
Translation companies willing to enter the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network will be required to prove that they meet or exceed minimum professional standards in two screening areas: (1) business reliability and (2) good citizenship.
Information that screeners will check when reviewing company applications includes Blue Board record history and payment practices, number of years in the translation industry, client feedback, standards or certifications, quality processes followed and ProZ.com activity. Other data, such as services offered and capacity, may also be taken into account.
If you run a translation company, consider applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network by completing your online application.
More information about PRO certification is available in the Certified PRO Network FAQs section (recently updated).
Application from freelancers are also being reviewed on a daily basis. So, if you are a freelancer and you would like to enter the network, apply now.
Like referees in sports, ProZ.com moderators help to ensure fair play by enforcing a specific set of rules in a uniform manner.
The ProZ.com moderator class of 2011-2012 is coming to an end, but before this happens, ProZ.com would like to thank all of those members who have given of their time to help maintain a positive, results-oriented atmosphere on the site. Each person in the class has made valuable contributions to ProZ.com, and some of them even beyond the moderator program.
ProZ.com moderators are volunteer members who have benefited from ProZ.com and have chosen to give something back by playing their part, in turn, in a system put in place to ensure fair play. Their role is to foster and protect the positive, results-oriented atmosphere that makes ProZ.com possible, by:
- Greeting and guiding new participants, and helping them to properly use and benefit from what is available to them at ProZ.com.
- Enforcing site rules in a consistent and structured manner to maintain a constructive environment.
The moderator class of 2011-2012 is certainly a very good example of the role. Thank you mods!
The moderator class of 2012-2013 is scheduled to begin in August. So, if you are a ProZ.com member and would like to volunteer for a one-year term as site moderator, please visit http://www.proz.com/moderators or contact site staff through the support center.
Looking forward to receiving lots of applications!
The ProZ.com Certified PRO Network, an initiative of the ProZ.com community to provide qualified translators and translation companies with an opportunity to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, has reached 3,000 members and more and more applications are being submitted every day.
Members of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network have the benefit of networking with other screened professionals while distinguishing themselves as PROs. Many program participants view this also as an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the industry. Other benefits members of the program have include:
- a distinguishing Certified PRO seal shown next to their name throughout the ProZ.com site;
- a printable and downloadable certificate available in their ProZ.com profiles;
- a special search option in the ProZ.com directory of freelance translators and interpreters, ProZ.com’s main source of jobs;
- exclusive access to a personal workspace and to a Certified PRO Network private forum;
- special discount on selected ProZ.com training sessions and events;
- a distinguishing Certified PRO seal in in-person event name badges;
- access to periodically organized virtual powwows for members of the network;
- a Certified PRO logo to be used in personal websites, email signatures, blogs, etc.;
- full access to ProZ.com virtual events;
- the possibility to join Translators without Borders without going through their screening process;
- the option to share glossaries with other members of the network;
- the possibility to become ProZ.com mentors;
- and more!
To enter the Certified PRO Network, ProZ.com members must complete an online application and submit it for review to prove they meet or exceed minimum professional standards based on the EN15038 standard for quality in translation and in three screening areas: translation ability, business reliability and online citizenship.
The ProZ.com Certified PRO network is being provided as a service to ProZ.com full professional members only (non-members can still complete and submit their applications for review). If admitted, members pay no additional fees.
Click here to start completing your application.
More information about the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is available here.
Congratulations to the over 3,000 ProZ.com members who are further differentiating themselves professionally and taking networking and collaboration to a new level!
The humanitarian organizations operating with Translators without Borders posted for translation 282,918 words in April and a total of 1,005,281 words during the first 4 months of 2012. This represents a 52% increase with respect to the 663K words received during the first 4 month of 2011.
A heartfelt thank you to the worthy volunteers that make these achievements possible! Most volunteers belong to the ProZian community and some 40% of them are part of ProZ.com Certified PRO Network.