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This articles provides a closer look to MemoQ, a CAT tool that might be a real alternative to other translation suites...

Some months ago, I discovered a new tool that seems to be rather underestimated. So let us have a closer look to MemoQ. Regarding features and performance, MemoQ is rather close to the Big Players such as Trados or DéjàVu.

The MemoQ interface is quite similar to Déjà Vu and SDLX, but it is an independant software with a conception of ist own, and especially the workflow as proposed by the wizard is very intuitive. The main developers - Balázs Kis, István Lengyel and Gabór L. Ugray from Hungary - like to point out that MemoQ optionally has a server-based environment. With that feature, MemoQ is an attractive alternative to existing solutions for agencies. In this article, I will have a closer look at the freelancer version.

What features does MemoQ basically have?

  • MemoQ is able to process the following file formats: Office (doc, ppt, xls), InDesign (INX), Framemaker (MIF), HTML, XML, textbased files and presegmented ttx files and bilingual RTF files (and also other, unusual formats).
  • Alignment: Ability to align a source with a target document to create a translation memory (TM).
  • Comprehensive term base and TM management, import of CSV and TMX files, using several term bases or TMs at one time.
  • comprehensive statistical functions with MemoQ and Trados style (the help explains the difference between these styles)
  • MemoQ runs on Windows, but also on Macs with Intel and on all kinds of virtual machines (this feature was not tested)

  • What is the difference between MemoQ and other solutions?

    The MemoQ developers stress the importance and the influence of single translators and of the community. A point that is proven by

  • a large description and a FAQ at Wikibooks (including a wishlist with several wishes resolved).
  • a Yahoo mailing list, with the developers participating very actively, caring for any problem discussed and offering quick solutions.
  • speed and quality of development are quite impressing. Version 2.2 with important new features was out in november 2007, Version 2.3 with more important features will be out in the next months.

  • There are some more points to mention

  • many options and configurations, e.g. filtering, segmentation and autotranslatables.
  • all shortcuts can be personalized.
  • export and working directories can be configured individually.
  • very intuitive GUI, support of usual translation workflow when creating projects
  • showing percentage of progress in the status bar (calculation based mainly on segments)
  • possibilty to open several documents at one time (ordered by tabs)
  • Semi-WYSIWYG-GUI - this means that bold, italic or underlined characters are properly imported in the translation grid and you are able to do this kind of formatting.

  • Sorting and filtering of TUs (source or target A-Z, by length or depending on content) - this feature is rellay impressing and absolutely helpful.
  • Views is a feature that allows to sort and filter TUs of several documents inside a project
  • MemoQ is quite fast, compared to other tools
  • Context-sensitive TMs. This means you have "normal" 100% matches, when segments are identical, and you have 101% matches, when not only segments, but also one of the neighboured segements are identical. This is really a killer feature that may help to ensure quality.
  • the price structure is quite attractive - you can get MemoQ 2.0 as postcardware und then buy the next version 2.1 for 99 Euro. Or you pay 450 Euro to get a full license with life-long upgrades. This is really a possibilty for users of other solutions with an expensive upgrade policy to switch or to buy another CAT as complement.
  • the trial version will work with all features for 90 days - more time than other suppliers do offer. After 90 days, you are able to work with the free version with only one TM and one TB - maybe something for small translations.

  • But what is missing?

    The answer to this question depends on the tool you have been using until now.

  • I'd like some more project management as offered by across would be nice, including calendar and notepad features
  • easier handling of ttx files (will come with version 2.3)
  • the most difficult point is working with very rich formatted texts, when tags (any formatting that exceeds bold, itlaic or underlined charcters is displayed as a tag, e.g. {1}). In any case, MemoQ is able to process MIF and INX files.
  • automatic update (will come with 2.3)
  • spell check can be a problem when working with Office 2000. One of the next releases will offer the option to work with Hunspell.
  • support of StarOffice/OpenOffice format (a workaround can be found in the wiki mentioned above)

  • Who should try and use this tool?

  • People who dislike the expensive upgrade policy of other suppliers
  • People who need fast and efficient support
  • People who need a flexible, fast CAT maybe as replacement or as complement for other tools

  • Copyright, 1999-2006. All rights reserved. -
    MemoQ - what does it offer?
    Author: Rox-Edling
    Spanish to German translator 
    By Rox-Edling
    Published on 01/9/2008
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