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Is there something like "the best CAT program?
Thread poster: Dr. Francisco Guerrero

Dr. Francisco Guerrero  Identity Verified
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Apr 17, 2006

I have been translating for public, and private, schools - all levels. Special Ed. etc, Is there one of those programs you could call "the best" or, is there a top 10 list?

Thank you,

Doctor G


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Is there any "best book ever" or the "best car"? Apr 18, 2006

The answer would be "no".
Do you know the best text editor? Again - no, as it depends on personal preferences. Is Apple better or a simple PC? I don´t know.

There is no "best CAT", as it depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Regards
Jerzy


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
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No "best for all purposes" - what do you want to use it for? Apr 18, 2006

Jerzy is right, there is no CAT program that is best for all purposes. I am happy working with DejaVuX - I like the interface and the way it works, and I consider it well suited to the type of texts I get (usually very prose-based, and not a high proportion of full-sentence repetition).
Others will be happy with other programs.

But Francisco, I wonder what you want to use a CAT program for. You say that you translate for schools at all levels. What sort of material? Do you have lots of repetitive material that would benefit from a translation memory at the segment/sentence level? Or do you want a program which will make effective use of your own terminology?

Or are you looking for an MT program (automatic machine translation) - the sort of software where you feed one language into one end and the other language comes out of the other end? There are a lot of idealistic dreams associated with that sort of program, and for educational materials I reckon it is hardly worth bothering with. There ARE serious uses for MT (as Jeff Allen will no doubt explain if he sees this thread), but they are mainly at the high end, and the program must definitely be operated by a real language expert (or better, a team of experts).


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 22:41
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Why are you asking? Apr 18, 2006

(1) If your question is "academic," you might have a go into comparing various criteria (price, support, cross-compatibility, easiness of use, suitability for certain types of jobs and/or file formats, platforms and OS they can be used with, how many people use which, which is required with the highest frequency by translation agencies, ...) and different methods of measuring such aspects, assessing them for the most widely used CAT programs (in the alphabetical order, I would mention those I have heard of: Deja Vu, Heartsome XLIFF Editor, Omega T, SDL & Trados, Star Transit, and Wordfast) - I just mention examples wihtout any ambition to cover all criteria or programs - I am sure someone can add some more to either of them. As Jerzy says, none of the programs can be the absolute winner in all criteria.

(2) If it is practical ("what should I do") I would recommend that you shlould get the least expensive of those you can use (with respect to your HW&OS combination), and give it a thorough try - only after getting some experience with one of them you will have enough insight to try more of them and see what is really good for you personally, the type of jobs you usually work on, your customers' requirements, etc.

HTH

Antonin


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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Yes, it is called Wordfast Apr 18, 2006

Dr. Francisco Guerrero wrote:
Is there one of those programs you could call "the best"...?


Yes. The best CAT tool is Wordfast. Prove me wrong.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Why Wordfast, then? Apr 18, 2006

Can you translate QuarkXPress for Mac into Polish using Wordfast without taking lot of intermediate steps?
Can you translate Framemaker? Can you easily translate InDesign CS?

This is a very personal aspect, which of the CAT programs ist the best. When you chose Wordfast, you have to stick to Word - and AFAIR a lot of users here are reporting problems with Word...


Best
Jerzy


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Dr. Francisco Guerrero  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Gee, thanks Apr 18, 2006

Thank you all...
OK, I have been working on thousands of statements for Special Ed. i.e. "Students can find roads in a map, and color the states"

Although I have used PC most of my life, I am switching to MAC, (with all the problems to learn a new technology, and lack of variety of programs in general).

I guess I'm talking about a good TM program that could expand as I enter more words, pairs, etc.

I appreciate the knowledge you guys have; I didn't mean to open a can of worms, but "iron with iron get sharpened..."

Francisco


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:41
Italian to English
If you're switching to a Mac, then Samuel is right... Apr 18, 2006

... because AFAIK, Wordfast is the only CAT that works on Macs!

If it's of any interest, I'll be sticking to my PCs, which allow me to work with the Trados suite and DVX. As Jerzy has pointed out, Wordfast is a nifty (and relatively affordable) CAT but it can't really handle all the file formats that translators are asked to deal with.

If most of your work is in Word (and the other formats that Wordfast can tackle), then Wordfast a good entry-level tool and farily similar to Trados Workbench to use. Should you need Trados TagEditor, DVX or whatever for other file types in the future, your legacy work won't be lost as you can usually migrate your translation memories to the new program without too much difficulty.

HTH

Giles


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RWSTranslation
Germany
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German to English
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Ask your clients Apr 18, 2006

Hello,

the best program is the program which can help you to get good paid jobs.

Hans


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:41
German to English
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Is there something like "the best CAT program? Apr 18, 2006

Giles Watson wrote:

... because AFAIK, Wordfast is the only CAT that works on Macs!


Not so. Heartsome and OmegaT both run on Mac OS X.

Marc


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:41
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That's interesting, Marc. Apr 19, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

Not so. Heartsome and OmegaT both run on Mac OS X.

Marc


Has anybody got any experience of Heartsome and/or OmegaT on Macs?

Cheers,

Giles


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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English to Afrikaans
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Best does not equal ultimate Apr 19, 2006

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Can you translate QuarkXPress for Mac into Polish using Wordfast without taking lot of intermediate steps?
Can you translate Framemaker? Can you easily translate InDesign CS?


Good points, Jerzy. "Best CAT tool" is not the same as "Ultimate CAT tool". You won't find a CAT tool that can do everything every other tool can do.

But take all things all CAT tools can do, assign degrees of relative importance to each, see which tool can do what, and count up the numbers... and IMO Wordfast will come up trumps.

Actually my initial answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek. The OP probably wants to save himself some time by buying and learning to use the best tool right from the start. My advice is to learn what CAT tools do, then decide what your needs are, then decide which tool is "best for you".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Yes, don't forget OmegaT Apr 19, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:
Giles Watson wrote:
... because AFAIK, Wordfast is the only CAT that works on Macs!

Not so. Heartsome and OmegaT both run on Mac OS X.


Yes, don't forget OmegaT. OmegaT has the most powerful segmentation rules of any CAT tool that I have ever tried (although with power comes complexity). As for Heartsome, I was under the impression that Heartsome was more a l10n suite than a t9n suite...?


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:41
Member (2003)
Polish to German
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And this is exactly why there´ll never be a "best CAT ever" Apr 19, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Can you translate QuarkXPress for Mac into Polish using Wordfast without taking lot of intermediate steps?
Can you translate Framemaker? Can you easily translate InDesign CS?


Good points, Jerzy. "Best CAT tool" is not the same as "Ultimate CAT tool". You won't find a CAT tool that can do everything every other tool can do.

But take all things all CAT tools can do, assign degrees of relative importance to each, see which tool can do what, and count up the numbers... and IMO Wordfast will come up trumps.

Actually my initial answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek. The OP probably wants to save himself some time by buying and learning to use the best tool right from the start. My advice is to learn what CAT tools do, then decide what your needs are, then decide which tool is "best for you".


Exactly what I mean - you can find the "best CAT for your personal needs and preferences" (in my case it is still Trados), but this will change immediately, when you change the person evaluating this. For you for example Wordfast is the winner. Some others prefere Transit and others DejaVu. And so it is - my friends all drive Porsche, so Lord won´t you buy me a Mercedes Benz (comming from a BMW-driver)

Best
Jerzy


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Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:41
English to Spanish
Download and evaluate Apr 19, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:
OmegaT has the most powerful segmentation rules of any CAT tool that I have ever tried (although with power comes complexity).


Not as complete as Heartsome's segmentation rules, which fully support SRX standard.

As for Heartsome, I was under the impression that Heartsome was more a l10n suite than a t9n suite...?


Wrong impression. Heartsome's tools are intended for translation of documents and support formats that OmegaT can't handle natively, like:

- RTF
- Trados Tagged RTF
- IndeSign Interchange
- MIF (FrameMaker)
- XML
- PO
- TTX (Trados Tag Editor files)

There are huge differences between OmegaT and Heartsome Translation Suite. The right thing to do is download both programs and compare them.

Best regards,
Rodolfo


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