CAT tools workshop – Chris Thompson writes:

On a cold but sunny afternoon in February, a motley collection of youth and experience filed into an underground bunker in the Parkinson Building at Leeds University for the Yorkshire Translators & Interpreters’ CPD session on CAT tools, ably led by Dr Dragos Ciobanu.

Youth was supplied by many of the students from the Leeds MA course, while experience came from the varied careers of YTI members. Enthusiasm was supplied by all. After a brief personal intro from each of the 36 attendees, we then launched into an interactive and informal presentation on the pros and cons of various CAT tools, with a useful pricing comparison.

Tea and coffee mid-way through saw a hubbub of conversation which could easily have taken up the rest of the day, had there not been more to come from Dragos. An anonymous student’s analysis of word counts, showing significant discrepancies between different CAT tools’ assessment of the total number words in the same document, proved to be the launching-point for the professional translators’ favourite subject: payment rates per word. A lively discussion ensued with pertinent questions from both students and professionals.

Rounding off the presentation was a series of light-hearted awards for CAT tools in various categories, including “most colourful interface” which, to judge by the groans from the audience, was intended as an equivalent to the Razzie awards for the worst to come out of Hollywood. By the end of the session, the people I had spoken with thought it had worked really well, and could even have been longer: many of us were being herded out of the room while still deep in conversation. A successful and interesting afternoon. Can we have some more please?