Software in translation
What kind of software should a professional translator use?
Can a translator afford to not automate their work process to some degree?
The world we live in has become heavily reliant on technology and in some cases there exists a strong case to argue that this reliance is almost unhealthy.
So what kind of tools should you be using?
The obvious ones are going to be standard office automation tools, such as an email client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Thunderbird etc.,) and some form of word processor, be that as part of an office suite, such as Microsoft Office, Open Office or Star Office. Bear in mind that you will often be dealing with documents in formats that you may not use yourself, such as PDF.
A good set of dictionaries are hard to replace, but language is constantly changing, especially in technology and science, so online resources, such as our link directory, can be very useful.
Translation memory systems, such as trados, can help cut down on repetitive work.
On the practical side a translator has to make money and keep a good record of their accounts and relationships with clients. In order to do this a good accounting package can save a lot of headaches. Depending on which country you are based in the software may vary, so speaking to an accountant can save you time (and money!).
One of the aspects of translating that can be both time-consuming and frustrating is the actual word or character count. Software such as Practicount can save you time and money.