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TRADOS 7 vs. Alchemy CATALYST 7.0
Thread poster: xxxM TRANSLATIO
Local time: 06:25
English to German
Aug 17, 2007

Hello fellow translators!

I am thinking about buying CATALYST 7.0. Right now I am using TRADOS 7 (freelance) and Wordfast. I was wondering if somebody can share his experience with CATALYST, meaning if it´s better or equal to TRADOS. Would you recommand to make that change or should I just keep on working with TRADOS? Most of all my interest is focused on tagged text etc. Is CATALYST really so much better and saving so much time????


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xxxSCocron  Identity Verified
German to English
+ ...
Apples to Oranges Aug 17, 2007

Hi Mike,

you are comparing apples to oranges. Trados is meant for translation -- meaning text only -- while Catalyst is meant for GUI localization and cannot even handle .rtf or any MS formats. What's more, Catalyst is incredibly expensive and not worth it for freelancers. There is a free Translator/Lite edition that you can download and use but you cannot open files or create a project of your own. The next step up is the paid translator edition, but again, this is more of a tool for software localization than for regular text translation.

Hoffentlich hilft dir das.....


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:25
Member (2004)
English to Russian
A very apt description Aug 17, 2007

SCocron wrote:

you are comparing apples to oranges.

Yes, that's true. Catalyst is very good for localization due to it's WYSIWYG interface. It is good for translating software and lingustic testing of the application after translation. And it is best than most tools for translation/localization of websites: you see the page in both source and target, and besides you also see the maximum length of the text and where you must cut it to fit the boxes, etc. The translator PRO edition is rather expensive, and unless you intend to specialize in software and web localization and can afford it, try using the lite edition.

[Edited at 2007-08-17 19:10]

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Nicolas Coyer  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to French
+ ...
Same here Aug 17, 2007

I have used Catalyst for a couple of years as an in-house translator. For translation, we exported the strings most of the time to keep a memory (especially, when you need the strings for subsequent help/guide translation).
I would recommend it if you really have to manage l10n projects from a to z.
Otherwise, if you focus on translation, your client can either send an xml-based file, a rc file or even a ttk (project) file that they create in the more expensive edition (bc THEY certainly need it more than you, since their localization engineers will potentially have to handle others tasks in it like resizing the dialog boxes).

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Vito Smolej
Local time: 06:25
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
buying fruit... Aug 17, 2007

Does it give you X percent more fruit (aka TM) per your time as the rest? How fast would you get your money back? How many words (more) per hour would you do buying it?

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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Catalyst lite = Just a burden to us Sep 14, 2007

In my case working on TTKs is just a burden, since Catalyst Lite "Glossary" function seems to work erratically, whatever the options set, and the export functions are greyed out.

To keep some consistency I have to resort to a clumsy turnaround: copying saved ttk with another name every 5 mins, and opening the copy for search pourposes (so that I do not need to set up my strings sorting/grouping every time I do a search).

It seems that I am supposed to just remember all translations and type them in at each repetition

Also there is an option to use exported TM for "suggestions". I have set it up, but it does not work at all (hours wasted reading OLH and experimenting set ups).

If this should be a demonstration of the way the program is designed and produced, I would AVOID TO BUY it and search for alternatives even if I need to extract translation kits for other translators.

[Edited at 2007-09-14 22:52]

[Edited at 2007-09-14 22:55]

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Local time: 05:25
Some Comments from Alchemy Oct 3, 2007

Hello All,

Thanks for your interest and comments on Alchemy CATALYST. As some of you may know, we recently started working with Proz to address some of these perceptions and to let your community know about things we are doing with the Freelance community in mind.

In terms of what CATALYST does, CATALYST 7.0 is a translation and localization tool for Software, Online Help and Web Content, it supports lots of file formats in these 3 areas, a more complete list can be seen on our website.

Ths difference between CATALYST and other tools is that CATALYST provides a visual environment for translation, so a translator can see the content he is working on, exactly as it will appear to the end user. This visual context is obviously easier to look at than a purely text based workspace, and can improve quality and productivity.

Price - the standard price for Alchemy CATALYST 7.0 Translator Pro is €499, currently there is a special offer for Proz members, which has been promoted on this site, and there is even a group buy at present which brings the price down to under €190.

Translator Pro was specifcially designed with the freelance translator in mind, and contains full TM/ concordance/ glossary capability and can be used with .tmx, .ttk, .tmw. etc.

Remember, Translator Lite is a limited version of the tool - really designed for reviewers, or for small Translation Deltas. Translator Pro has all the functionalities needed to quickly and efficiently translate over 200 different file formats.

I hope this info is useful and will help you in evaluating tools in the future. I would encourage you to visit our site and learn more about our solutions. I believe, as I am sure you do, that the freelance market needs more choice when it comes to affordable professional tools and we at Alchemy hope to provide this.

All the Best,


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:25
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Moving this thread... Oct 3, 2007

... to CAT Tools Technical Help

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