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What CAT software do you find more useful ?
Thread poster: Michaël Sobol
Michaël Sobol
Poland
Local time: 10:10
French
+ ...
Nov 15, 2005

I have enrolled a Master in the University of Lille III and I have a five to ten pages project to write on the different kinds of CAT softwares that exists on the market.

I will obviously base my comments on Trados, SDLX and DéjàVu for the main part.

I would like to have some feedbacks of experienced translators who have used these packages for years and can perhaps orientate my paper.

I would also like to dedicate a part on other CAT tools that are not very well-known, such as open-source ones and others. If you have any feedback to give me, they are welcome.

The important things is to know :
1- What CAT software(s) do you use ?
2- Why ?
3- Problems and assets ?
4- Planning to try other ones ?

Your help will be appreciated

Have a nice day


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Jo-Hanna Goettsche  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:10
English to Spanish
User of DejaVu and TRADOS here Nov 15, 2005

Michaël Sobol wrote:

The important things is to know :
1- What CAT software(s) do you use ?
2- Why ?
3- Problems and assets ?
4- Planning to try other ones ?
Your help will be appreciated

Have a nice day


1. I use both DejaVu X and TRADOS.
2. For a long time, I was doing all my translations manually. One day, I sampled the demo versions of several CAT tools and found DVX the easiest for me to use. Regarding TRADOS, I got it for my freelance work under the impression that if I absolutely needed it. There is an informative article on this very subject on the Knowledgebase.
3. My only problem with DVX is working with the little codes. Place them wrong and the project will be messed up. Particularly with complex forms such as questionnaires, quite a bit of formatting/editing work is necessary. With TRADOS, you can see what you are doing, but, say, font may be changed.
4. For the record? I like SDLX too.

Hope this helps.

[Edited at 2005-11-15 22:37]


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:10
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Deja Vu X Nov 16, 2005


1- What CAT software(s) do you use ?
2- Why ?
3- Problems and assets ?
4- Planning to try other ones ?


I use Deja Vu X.

Well it is a standalone program.
It does not crash down so easily like some other tools working on MS Word.
Its help files and documentation are really great.
It is really an easy program even for someone who has no experience in CAT tools. My experience; I have installed the program, looked over the help file for about 10 minutes or less, and started to translate with it.

Problems?? No experience yet

I have tested or used many of the CAT tools present in the market, except for the IBM Cat tool, MS Locstudio and Helium. Well I like SDLX as well. But I don't see it necessary to try a new one at the moment, and don't have that extra time to read all those manuals and help files poorly written. IMHO, the first point Trados lacks is here, bad and complicated manuals.


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Mario Cerutti  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:10
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Definitely Dejavu X Nov 16, 2005


1- What CAT software(s) do you use ?

Dejavu X for real translation work and Trados for pretranslating files that I will then translate using Dejavu X (when a customer requires Trados bilingual files).


2- Why ?

It's more clever and it doesn't mess up with fonts like other CAT software, such as Trados for instance, provided that you are careful enough with internal codes (very easy to carry out, though). Besides, it handles many file types under one single interface and the support you receive from the official Yahoo Group is very good. Finally, after purchasing DV3 four years ago, I upgraded to Dejavu X without extra costs. All new builds have been offered for free so far, even though I believe users would "happily" spend some money every now and then as a reward to the company (Atril) for their way of conducting business in the interest of translators as well.


3- Problems and assets ?

Nothing so far.


4- Planning to try other ones ?

No need at the moment.

Kind regards

Mario Cerutti
http://www.aliseo.com


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:10
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Transit + Trados Nov 16, 2005

Michaël Sobol wrote:

I would also like to dedicate a part on other CAT tools that are not very well-known, such as open-source ones and others.

The important things is to know :
1- What CAT software(s) do you use ?
2- Why ?
3- Problems and assets ?
4- Planning to try other ones ?


1. I use Transit and Trados. If the agency wants me to use Trados, I pretranslate the files with Trados, import them into Transit, do the translation and then export the files as uncleaned Trados translations. I much prefer Transit as it uses only one editor for Word, Excel, Powerpoint files, I can add new terms on the fly (now possible in Trados 7 - that took a long time to be incorporated as a feature) and adding terminology from the dictionary into the translation is better with Transit. In addition, the main disadvantage of Trados, IMHO, is that Trados is very SLOW compared to Transit - and I have a 3 GHz machine with 1 GB RAM.
2. My main agency more or less forced me into using Transit Satellite (the free version). I was rather unwilling at first as it slowed me down during the learning phase. I soon realised that my productivity was greatly increased thanks to the integrated dictionaries and fuzzy matches. So within 3 months I bought the Smart version and then upgraded to the Professional version 6 months later. They are worth their weight in gold. Time is money. I bought Trados at the same time and was extremely disappointed. However, it has become almost an industry standard and thus a must-have.
3. The main advantage of Transit is that I can mark each segment with one of 5 levels as I go. I use these as
a) untranslated
b) translated but needing more work on terminology/grammar/style
c) completely translated but needing a final read for grammar/style
d) translated, needs no further work of any kind
e) 100% fuzzy match / pretranslated
This means that as I translate I can mark all segments that have a problem of some kind separately or I can skip certain passages and carry on somewhere else without interrupting the flow. I can then filter each of these 5 levels separately or in any combination and can thus find all the segments that need extra work immediately. This suits my way of working the best.
Another major disadvantage of Trados is its handling of text boxes. Transit extracts this automatically without any problems.
Opponents of Transit see the "look" of the editor as a disadvantage, it appears to be very basic compared to Trados. This is rather deceptive, there are a number of different views and methods of presenting the text (e.g. each line in a separate box, WSIWG, running text, etc.).
4. No, I am extremely happy with Transit. If something better is developed, I will consider it. At the moment there is no need.


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 10:10
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Very interested in translating Trados jobs with Transit Nov 16, 2005

I started with Trados as my first CAT tool, but now I strongly prefer Transit - my stages of development with respect to Transit have been very similar - made by an agency to use PE Satellite, then Smart and upgrade to Professional.

Can you please give a mored detailed "how to" about the "Trados pretranslation - Transit translation - Trados delivery to agency" cycle?

Generally, I would be happy if the CAT tools enabled users to customize them - Trados TagEidtor is *very* unfriendly, Transit is about the best from this point of view, as far as I can tell, but still lacking features I would like to have (being forced to use their preset keyboard shortcuts is a real pain, whichever program you take, not only CAT tools).

Antonin


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:10
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Trados Nov 16, 2005

I use Trados for about 5 years. It costed in total circa 1500 Euros and it brought me about 2-3k.
I like its simplicity and I like the text boxes: I've assigned additional shortcuts. The only thing I have to do is open a Word document, push a Alt+Z and the first segment opens for me. The world around me can end, I go ahead with the translation. I walk through the document as often as needed.

A year ago, somebody who doesn't know anything about translating, saw the Tradso lay out and replied "that's perfect, this way you know exactly what you do, and never loose grip on your work". That's exactly whar I think.

Never worked wtih other CATs I have to admit, despite the fact my father had a farm and we probably had 20 cats there. Trados is my only cat yet. The number of cats is outnumbered by the number of mouses (1:3), but that doesn't bother me.


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:10
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Trados + Sdlx Nov 16, 2005

Hi Michaël,
Some info on those here:
http://www.proz.com/topic/36530


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:10
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I use Wordfast and Trados Nov 16, 2005

Mostly I use Wordfast, but if necessary I use the Trados TagEditor. No experience with other tools.
The purchase of Wordfast was the most important investment ever, and it has saved me months in working hours.

[Edited at 2005-11-16 09:09]


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:10
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Trados + Transit Nov 16, 2005

I use most of all Trados, because most of my customers ask me to do the translations in this program. But I like most of all to work in Transit. Trados is a bit slower to work with, especially when you work in TagEditor. And if you work with tagged text in MSWord, it is very easy to delete the tags parts, etc. As to the Transit, you'll have to get accustomed to its interface, because it looks somewhat different from MSWord interface. But undoubtedly it is really userfriendly, and simple to use program. Among the benefits of Transit are that you can mark the segments as translated, and partially translated, and quickly move between them, you can also skip some difficult places, to translate them later, and of course you'll be able to find them easily with ctrl+ combination. Another benefit of Transit is a very simple way of creating dictionaries. But of course notwithstanding all this you'll have to buy the CAT tool, your customers demand from you. Alas, most of them demand Trados.

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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:10
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Gillian Nov 16, 2005

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:

1. I use Transit and Trados. If the agency wants me to use Trados, I pretranslate the files with Trados, import them into Transit, do the translation and then export the files as uncleaned Trados translations.



Hi, Gillian!

Could you please share your experience in converting the texts between Trados, and Transit? Once I tried to do it as you described above, but the text in Transit got so long tags!

Thank you in advance!

Myron


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:10
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
FFD from Yahoo! Groups Nov 16, 2005

Myron Netchypor wrote:

Hi, Gillian!
Could you please share your experience in converting the texts between Trados, and Transit? Once I tried to do it as you described above, but the text in Transit got so long tags!
Thank you in advance!
Myron


Hi Myron,
this happens to me as well - I am supposed to use Trados, but all my reference materials and my dictionaries are geared towards Transit.
I use the FFD (file format definition) from the Yahoo Transit_Termstar Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transit_termstar/messages)

After signing on (worthwhile, very useful, free), you can download the FFD from "files" (TradosRTFFD.zip). The author has another FFD available AFAIK, and you could ask him. The basic procedure is to

1) Analyse the document with Trados
2) Trados > Tools > Translate (don't update TM, don't translate terms) to obtain an uncleaned file.
3) Trados > File > Export (export any TM provided to TMX format)
4) Import TMX into Transit to give the language pair - to be used as reference material
5) Import the uncleaned file into Transit using the FFD (file type Word-Trados-segmented)
6) Translate
7) Export to obtain the uncleaned + translated Trados file
8) Trados > Tools > Cleanup.

In Transit you need to view all the tags to make sure that nothing is accidently deleted (Transit > View > Display/Hide Attributes> Display full segment markers + Display full Tags + WYSIYGs OFF).

It sounds complicated, but after a couple of times it is very easy.
Good luck!
Jill


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 10:10
French to Dutch
+ ...
Wordfast Nov 16, 2005

I use it for four years and don't need other software (the only thing I ask my CAT is to translate properly). One of the advantages is its price, so that it can easily be purchased by students (180 €, 150 € for a group). You can ask Yves Champollion to give a course to your students.
http://www.wordfast.net


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:10
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Trados has the most advantages for me Nov 16, 2005

I can use Word! And this is an advantage, not a disadvantage at all!
If used properly, there are almost NO problems with fonts and so on. Within the time using the software I learned how to avoid problems I encountered - see the fora here, they are full of tips & tricks I posted. Many of you will say, that I need tricks to get Trados working, but this is wrong. This is not Trados, what makes problems, but the files itself, or the autors of them to be precise. Almost nobody cares about correct formatting, even in DTP files you will find a lot of messed up formats.
And if you see Word as disadvantage - the time you had to use Word belongs to the past. Now you can handle all major formats with a simple TAG Editor, which is still far better to use as the editor in SDLX or Transit. For other formats there are T-Windows - and these options are not offered by any other CAT tool. In practice you can handle wit Trados even such strange formats as Corel Draw.
It is worth every single cent I spend on this software. As allready said, properly used - and this includes a proper preparation of source files, including adapting not only the styles, but complete reformatting of the text, when needed - Trados does not make any problems. The preparation of source files is however common for all translation tools, if you want to get a clean TM and good results.

Regards
Jerzy


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:10
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Thanks Gillian! Nov 16, 2005

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:

In Transit you need to view all the tags to make sure that nothing is accidently deleted (Transit > View > Display/Hide Attributes> Display full segment markers + Display full Tags + WYSIYGs OFF).

It sounds complicated, but after a couple of times it is very easy.
Good luck!
Jill


Thank you Jill!


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