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Which CAT tool is better?
Thread poster: Nohora Groce

Nohora Groce  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

Hi everyone:

I will want to hear about your experiences with different translation softwares. I don't know which one to use. What is the best software according to you?

Thanks for your answers

Nohora Groce


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-01-31 08:52]

[Edited at 2008-01-31 17:56]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:25
English to French
+ ...
The best way to find out Jan 31, 2008

You are probably the best person to answer that question. Most of us use Trados or SDLX - but most of us also post a huge amount of threads about its shortcomings and bugs. Then, there are the DejàVu users who seem to be really happy most of the time. Then, there are Wordfast users whose numbers seem to be ever increasing, probably due to the fact that Wordfast seems to be much like Trados, but much more affordable and user friendly. There is also a suite called Heartsome, and a few more I can't remember just now.

Then, you have all the free and limited tools - OmegaT (free), MetaTexis (almost free), across (freelancer edition free for freelancers in exchange for registering as a freelancer on their site and possibly taking on jobs from their clients), WordFisher (free) and I am sure I am forgetting some... Don't be afraid of free CAT tools - many professional translators use these and can handle their businesses as well as those who use the expensive ones. There are even agencies using free tools.

I think you should start by getting all the free ones to get familiar with the concept of CAT tools and figure out how they fit into your translation activities, so you can figure out what type of CAT tool you are most comfortable with. Once you have used CAT tools, you can get the evaluation version of the big guys - Trados et al. You will already have at least a basic understanding of CAT tools and will be able to take better advantage of those 30-day trials.

There are plenty of threads here comparing different CAT tools. By searching the forum, you will find lots of valuable information on them. There also used to be a feature on this site called CAT fight - let's hope this thread will help site staff decide to finally bring it back.

All the best!


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
One more free tool: AidTransStudioBasic Jan 31, 2008

And Wordfast's trial mode is quite good to use for small-to-medium size jobs. There's no “best of the best” tool. Each one has its pros and cons, its lovers and haters. Much depends on your working habits. Well, just try out.

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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
French to English
Try Wordfast Jan 31, 2008

Though I'm partial to WF because I run trainings, I was in the same position as you a few years ago... After weighing the pros and cons of several different tools, I managed to download WF, the manual, and the training guides in less than a minute (and for free) and start working on my first translation session. By the end of the morning, I was quite pleased.
I used Wordfast on all of my translations for the next 6 months before having to purchase a license (the trial version limits the size of your active Translation Memory to 500 translated sentences; you usually have several different TMs for different clients or fields), and by which time I had saved thousands of euros (tens of thousands of dollars;-).
If you visit the www.wordfast.net website, there are some great online tutorials narrated by robocop that show you how it works!

Good luck,

John


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:25
English to Indonesian
+ ...
omegat for truly free and portable solution Jan 31, 2008

for most of my translation i use omegat. apart from being free, it is portable. just put it in a ufd, then you can use it with any available pc for your work. even in a mac, with mac version of omegat of course.
to be truly mobile, complement it with portable openoffice.org. then you're ready to go.


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Vladimir Shelukhin  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
English to Russian
+ ...
DV Jan 31, 2008

In a nutshell and my opinion, Atrill Déjà Vu is the best and most flexible TM solution the professional freelancer may invest his / her money. The program has somewhat amateurish interface with gaping usability issues, but in the hands of true indian it becomes the most flexible and multipurpose solution on the market. And what's very important, it's a very reliable piece of professional software, keeping your work safe and your terminology and memory always at hand. No WYSIWYG though, which may scare persistent lamer.
I've heard a very like opinion on SDLX from a person of unquestionable competence (ideologically SDLX is similar to DV), but I never laid my own hand on it.
Contrary to that couple, MetaTexis is a WYSIWYG… well, not application, but a huge bunch of scripts that use MS Word as its engine and interface framework. It's very affordable and handy, but lacks the owerwhelming file format support of Déjà Vu. May be a good choice for a beginner who translate exclusively MSO files.
WordFast isn't bad, but isn't too good as well. It failed to impress me several years ago, and today it is priced at least twice more than it deserves. MetaTexis is far better.
As for the famous Trados — it's the worst and most expensive solution a translator may find and consider. And that is an euphemism!


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 21:25
Italian to English
+ ...
Trados vs Others Jan 31, 2008

This topic has been discussed several times over the past few months.

Anyway, the decision may also depend on your customer mix. Trados is mostly useful for translation agencies that work big projects distributed among several translators. If you do work for such agencies, Trados may be required.

If, on the other hand, you do work for agencies that do not require Trados and/or have direct customers that you manage, then any of the other CAT tools is certainly more user-friendly and less prone to technical problems.

That's it, in an economy of words.

[Edited at 2008-01-31 10:22]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This is a useless thread Jan 31, 2008

What do you hope to gain with the question?

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Olaf Reibedanz  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 15:25
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Check out this link Jan 31, 2008

Hi Nohora,

You should check out the following survey where you will find plenty of information: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/portal/pls/portallive/docs/1/7307707.PDF

My choice would be Deja Vu because of its unbeatable versatility and reliability. Another good thing with Deja Vu is that all upgrades are free and that you can produce unclean Trados files without having to use Trados.

If money is an issue for you, you could also also consider Wordfast.

Kind regards,

Olaf


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Chantal Kamgne  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:25
Member (2006)
English to French
I agree with Viktoria Jan 31, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

You are probably the best person to answer that question. Most of us use Trados or SDLX - but most of us also post a huge amount of threads about its shortcomings and bugs. Then, there are the DejàVu users who seem to be really happy most of the time. Then, there are Wordfast users whose numbers seem to be ever increasing, probably due to the fact that Wordfast seems to be much like Trados, but much more affordable and user friendly. There is also a suite called Heartsome, and a few more I can't remember just now.

Then, you have all the free and limited tools - OmegaT (free), MetaTexis (almost free), across (freelancer edition free for freelancers in exchange for registering as a freelancer on their site and possibly taking on jobs from their clients), WordFisher (free) and I am sure I am forgetting some... Don't be afraid of free CAT tools - many professional translators use these and can handle their businesses as well as those who use the expensive ones. There are even agencies using free tools.

I think you should start by getting all the free ones to get familiar with the concept of CAT tools and figure out how they fit into your translation activities, so you can figure out what type of CAT tool you are most comfortable with. Once you have used CAT tools, you can get the evaluation version of the big guys - Trados et al. You will already have at least a basic understanding of CAT tools and will be able to take better advantage of those 30-day trials.

There are plenty of threads here comparing different CAT tools. By searching the forum, you will find lots of valuable information on them. There also used to be a feature on this site called CAT fight - let's hope this thread will help site staff decide to finally bring it back.

All the best!


Viktoria said it all. Start with the free ones, then you will be able to decide which one(s) you need, depending on the demand from your clients.
Most of us use Trados/SDLX, but interesting/potential clients sometimes need you to use other tools. Only you can decide.

Anyway, if you realise that your translation activities actually require CAT tools, you will probably end up using more than one of them.

Regards,

Chantal


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