Hello Marina, can you talk a bit about your career path as a professional translator?
Yes, of course. My first steps on the path of a professional translator were two years after I wrapped up my formal education. I worked as a freelance translator for an agency in my city, Granada, and in 2014 I was hired by TradOnline, for which I provide, among other things, translations into Spanish from the English and the French. I took care of tourism, marketing, technical, legal, as well as religion-themed translations. Thanks to this agency, I also had the opportunity to co-translate a book.
What CAT tools do you mostly use for your work?
In the beginning, it was Trados, which I had learned to use during my college years. Afterwards, I started using memoQ, a tool that’s very similar to Trados, but which has other advantages, for example its straightforward user interface, and a preview of the text in translation (a very useful feature to see the structure of the text).
I also am a fan of working online via this tool (when collaborating with an agency): by connecting to a server with all the resources you need available to you (translation memories, glossaries), this eliminates the need of storing them locally or taking the risk of losing the work you’ve only stored locally- memoQ updates each translated segment live and sends it to the server.
I would also like to emphasise the very responsive support system memoQ provides, which gives you solutions to your issue in a very short amount of time.
What is your interest in using such a tool?
By using a CAT tool, the translator saves time and can guarantee consistent use of terminology and editorial quality in the target text.
What is the benefit of using a translation memory, from a translator’s point of view?
It’s a real benefit. Translation memories can help the translator know which terms to use to keep the target text consistent with previous translations, as well as increase productivity. Not having to rewrite words or phrases which have already been translated, really saves time and effort.
Do you use translation memories for any project?
Not for all of them. CAT tools are adapted to work for technical projects with many recurring terms. For marketing or literary texts, where creativity and lexical variety play an important role, this type of tool doesn’t add much value.
So, for technical, legal, economic, medical texts as well as website localisation, it’s a tool you definitely need to take into account. For the latter, you can apply filters so HTML code doesn’t show up and you only have to focus on the text content, which is a boon for translators.
What advice would you give to a client who wishes to create a translation memory?
I would advise them as to the type of words and structures to include in the translation memory, and where to extract them from (titles, excel files, etc). I would also ask what the most frequently used terms or phrases are in their files, and if they already have glossaries available. To wrap things up, I would insist on the advantages of a translation memory with regards to pricing and quality of the work.
Thanks so much for your time, Marina!