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Which CAT tool would you recommend me?
Thread poster: Mara Campbell

Mara Campbell
Argentina
Local time: 07:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 23, 2007

Hi, everybody! I have no idea of CAT softwares because my main business is subtitles. But I have a client which has me translate books in a series. They are something like self-help books. This means that many expressions and structures are repeated within each book and among most books in the series. Can anyone recommend a CAT tool that can help me unify expressions and section titles, for example? Which is easier to master? Which is better? Is there any freeware CAT tools? Thanks for your help!! Warm regards from Argentina, Mara

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Déjà Vu Mar 23, 2007

This is my program of choice. It would be very good at helping you translate repeated identical or similar expressions consistently. Déjà Vu has an evaluation period of 30 days. During this time, you can use the the fully functional program at no cost. Whether it's easy to master depends on the user; I am very happy with it.

OmegaT is a free tool. See http://www.proz.com/topic/68364 , for instance.

[Edited at 2007-03-23 18:28]


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:53
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Yes, Déjà Vu Mar 23, 2007

I have and sometimes use the other tools (Trados and SDLX) but Déjà Vu is my favourite CAT.

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Pablo Guazzotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dont like TRADOS Mar 23, 2007

This is only my personal opinion, but I wouldnt necessarily call TRADOS user-friendly. It might be great once you get a grip on it, but I havent got to that point yet, and what I've seen so far doesnt quite compel me to. I havent used any others yet but I'm planning to give them a try (I still feel a CAT can prove very useful). Is it just me, or TRADOS is like Microsoft, an industry standard whose undeniable attibute is its popularity? Anyway, just an impression....good luck

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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
OmegaT Mar 23, 2007

This program is:
a) free
b) very easy to learn (normally, half an hour would be enough).

As for commercial programs, they cost way to high to have them for occasional use (with the notable exception of WordFast). Unless you plan using such tools every day, this will be wasting money.

There's one more free tool (free for freelancers only). It's Across, but I haven't tried it.


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Deja Vu Mar 23, 2007

No, we are not conspirig, we don't even know each other, and Atril Software does not bribe us, but Deja Vu would always be my choice. Looks a bit cumbersome at first, but a bunch full of helpful guys will show you all you need to know, and no CAT tool could beat auto assembling so far.

But I would always test before you buy. There is quite a number of new tools around lately.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:53
English to French
+ ...
I've seen lots of good things about Transit on here lately Mar 23, 2007

Transit is another one you may want to take a look at. Look for recent threads on this site discussing it.

I personally only have Trados and SDLX. I know that Wordfast is pretty much as good as these - except it costs about 3 times less!

Don't rely only on opinions in this thread. Search the forum for threads discussing the differences between the different CAT tools available on the market - there are tons! I found valuable information here and there by browsing the forum of this site.


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:53
German to English
+ ...
Criteria Mar 23, 2007

When I first looked into using CAT tools, I subscribed to a few user groups on Yahoo and made myself unpopular by asking hard and searching questions. It is important to work out what your own criteria will be. Most CAT tools operate their TM (translation memory, i.e. the database that brings up matches) mainly at the sentence level. This is great for technical manuals that repeat whole chunks of text, but it will probably not be very useful for the type of work you describe (books with recurring phrases etc., but probably mainly not at the sentence level).

When you do get your CAT tool, it will be important to make sure you enter as much stuff as possible into your databases, especially terminology and the repetitive phrases. So you will need to check (or ask) how easy it is to enter phrases into the databases, and how well the CAT program does at automatically assembling bits and pieces into a "first guess" at your sentence.

My favourite (like GoodWords, Selcuk and Wolfgang) would be DejaVu, especially for this type of text. I have been using it for over 7 years now, and I do everything in it - contracts, construction, real estate, and even books on architecture with very flowery and artistic descriptions. And recently I even used it for a very complicated text about university research into Philosophy.


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skyblue  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:53
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
How about for Asian languages? Mar 24, 2007

It seems that Deja Vu is the top choice in this thread so far.

Does it work well with Korean too? Does it make any difference at all? The Korean language is not only very different in its structure, but also uses different encoding methods. Will these differences cause any problems when using Deja Vu?


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:53
English to Indonesian
+ ...
trados Mar 24, 2007

... is still the de facto standard, cmiiw. i've used this for most of my jobs. most of my big projects required me using trados.
i'm trying out other cats as well. omegat is nice. learning curve is short. you need openoffice.org for most jobs though.
i tried heartsome xliff editor recently. took me ages to import my huge trados tmx to the database, so i had to cancel it through task manager. omegat is faster in using my trados tmx.
as many of fellow translators here seem to be fond of dvx, i'm actually trying it out right now...


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Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 05:53
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Go the easier way. Try Wordfast! Mar 24, 2007

If your needs are for Word files, you don't need to look further.

You can download a full featured version, albeit capacity limited, from www.wordfast.net.

If you decide to buy after trying it, just EUR 125 (for us third-world countries inhabitants) will put you in command of one of the easier to learn and to use applications in the market.

Suerte!


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Hermann Bruns  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:53
English to German
MetaTexis Mar 24, 2007

Hello Mara,

MetaTexis another low-cost alternative. It is easy to install and easy to use. Nevertheless it includes all professional functions you will need as a freelancer. You can download a trial version that is fully functional for 2 months at www.metatexis.com.

Cheers
Hermann


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Boris Sigalov
Local time: 12:53
English to Russian
Déjà Vu Mar 24, 2007

GoodWords wrote:

This is my program of choice.


This is my choice too. On the second day of learning the program I could work with it. It's a pure joy while working with Trados is just a headache...


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:53
English to Polish
+ ...
HS Xliff Translation Editor Mar 24, 2007

skyblue wrote:

It seems that Deja Vu is the top choice in this thread so far.

Does it work well with Korean too? Does it make any difference at all? The Korean language is not only very different in its structure, but also uses different encoding methods. Will these differences cause any problems when using Deja Vu?


Heartsome Xliff Translation Editor works fine with Asian languages, as it's created in Singapore (if I'm not mistaken). Never checked with Korean, but works fine with Chinese characters.

Anni


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Getting back to the original poster's original question... Mar 24, 2007

Mara Campbell wrote:
Can anyone recommend a CAT tool that can help me unify expressions and section titles, for example? ... Is there any freeware CAT tools?


I know of no CAT tools that save subsegment phrases automatically. Deja Vu can insert phrases, but AFAIK only after you've manually saved the phrases. Wordfast won't insert phrases, but it will try to search for them.

If most of your matches will be section titles and headings, then odds are that any automatic phrase matching will be superceded by fuzzy matching anyway (because your segments are shorter).

If you want something free, then OmegaT is for you, but although OmegaT has realtime glossary lookup, it doesn't have a mechanism for adding terms to the glossary easily nor does it have a way to insert glossary items into the text (you have to type them in manually).

Deja Vu is expensive, and so is Wordfast. Both offer great features, but if you only want these three -- fuzzy matching, automatic glossary lookup and manual phrase searching -- then any CAT tool will do, even OmegaT.


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