A translation professional needs to invest and acquire knowledge of different types of tools to help them in their work. These tools are diverse and can include translation software, subtitling software, conversion tools, corpora and hardware, such as keyboards, microphones, pedals, etc.
These are fundamental tools for a translator and have associated costs for both purchase and training. It’s therefore important that both translators, and those contracting translation services, are aware of this. A professional can still provide a service by simply using a physical dictionary and a handbook. However, a project will only be researched, edited and delivered to a high standard if the translator uses the best tools for each task. Text editing requires a certain type of tool, translation requires another, as does research. All such elements of a translation project can and should be supported by tools that have been designed for the purpose, and with proven effectiveness.
It is incomprehensible that, in the 21st century, there are clients that avoid giving access to their tools, or to some of their texts. Some also prohibit the use of certain software, even knowing that it would be mutually beneficial, and that the quality of the end product may suffer. If a professional can produce excellent work by using of a range of tools, then the client should be flexible and allow the professional to do it to the best of their ability. Creating obstacles will only result in a slower, inferior service, meaning the client ultimately loses out.
A translator, with all these tools at their disposal cannot, nor should not, have any excuse for not delivering quality work within the established timeframe. In this line of work, translation, subtitling or transcription tools are merely supportive, but are also critical for a prompt and efficient service. Both translator and client desire the same outcome: a job well done. These tools will achieve the same result for both parties.