Using Technology in Translation Work

These days it is impossible for a translator to do his or her job without using a computer. But let’s not forget that it wasn’t always like this…

A few decades ago, before there was such a thing as advanced technology, translators worked only with pen and paper. Research was a very difficult aspect, since it required a lot of effort to access texts from other parts of the world. In addition, those were different times, since the translations had to be written out by hand or, even better, on a typewriter. Finding out that some friend or acquaintance was traveling to another country was a big deal, since this gave the translator the perfect opportunity to get his or her hands on priceless material. Informational material handed out by certain foreign companies was also of great value.

Today this reality has changed. In certain ways we have become salves to technology. By this I only mean that a translator who does not have at least a fundamental understanding of software and other technological aspects of the job will not see as many opportunities. To work with a variety of clients, be it with companies or with translation agencies, we need to be well-versed in the finer workings of programs such as Acrobat, Excel, Word, Multiterm, Trados, among other. For this reason, it is highly important that we are certified in these tools. If we are already working with these software programs, we have to stay constantly up to speed on the latest features and changes. Unfortunately, a translator who fails to stay updated on technological issues will fall behind the rest.