The most effective CAT tool? Should a freelance translator buy them all?
Thread poster: cabrina

cabrina  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
Oct 13, 2009

Dear all:

I need your valuable help concerning the use of CAT tools( Trados, wordfast, alchemy). I'm confused over the best and most effective one to use, or should a freelance translator buy them all?

Thanking you in advance for your time and cooperation

Kind regards from Cairo
Cabrina

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-10-13 06:46 GMT]


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Hermann Bruns  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:14
English to German
Run trial versions - include MetaTexis Oct 13, 2009

Hello Cabrina,

there is no general answer to your question. Which tool is best for you depends on your needs, preferences, and the available money you can invest.

Before you actually purchase, download trial versions of the software (if available) and run some tests.

I recommend to also include MetaTexis in your tests (www.metatexis.com). It is affordable and easy-to-use. Version Lite is even available for free.

Kind regards
Hermann


[Edited at 2009-10-13 04:23 GMT]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 16:14
Member
Spanish
+ ...
Read the forums Oct 13, 2009

Hi Cabrina,

There is no such thing as THE best CAT tool. It all depends on what you like, the kind of jobs you do, how you use whatever CAT tool (i.e. read the manual), etc. My advice is to try them all until you find the one that suits you better. I specialize in Software Localization and I've tried MemoQ, Wordfast, Metatexis, Passolo, Transit and Deja Vu (an old version and only for a few hours), and I find Trados Studio (the soon-to-be-released SP1 version) the most efficient because of its advanced features. But other translators despise anything related to Trados. It's really up to you. In my opinion, the best CAT tool for beginners is Metatexis.

Good luck,

Claudia


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Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 22:14
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
I was going to ask the same question !!! Oct 13, 2009

Hello,

I've been in the business long enough to think about buying myself a CAT tool to make my life easier.

I do technical translations mainly manuals and some marketing material.

What expect of my soon to be CAT tool is that if I buy a licence it would be for a lifetime.

I also want to have a correction tool as in WORD so that if I make a mistake or a typo the tool spots it right on.

Then I don't want to crash every second or minute, I really want a stable software...

I tried DéjàVu and liked it except for the correction part which I didn't like...

I'd be grateful if you could help me by orientating me towards the best tool for my kind of use...

Ideally the tool would be able to deal with arabic and it wouldn't have to integrate to word or whatever...

Best regards,

[Edited at 2009-10-13 08:12 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:14
French to German
+ ...
Try these ones: Heartsome / Swordfish Oct 13, 2009

I would recommend trying Heartsome (http://www.heartsome.net) and Swordfish (http://www.maxprograms.com). As per Trados, I don't despise it and am quite happy with version 8 (aka 2007 Freelance). The reason why I did not upgrade to Studio 2009 is that I disagreed with the options SDL Trados took to release this product.

[Edited at 2009-10-13 09:07 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:14
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Practice makes perfect Oct 13, 2009

cabrina wrote:
I'm confused over the best and most effective one to use, or should a freelance translator buy them all?


Even if it can be scientificially proven that CAT tool X is twice as efficient as CAT tool Y, if you're been using CAT tool Y for a while and you know all its features, you'll be more efficient on it than if you changed to CAT tool X one day. With CAT tools, practice makes perfect. Choose one and stick to it. I would not be surprised if Memoq is the easiest CAT tool to use (although I've never used it).


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:14
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Buy all the CAT tools??? Oct 13, 2009

Why on earth would you want to do that, for many thousands of dollars? It's like saying you'd like to buy all the cars on the market in order to decide which you like best.

As Claudia said, read the forums. There's tons of information there, as this question has been discussed endlessly.

Every CAT tool that is not free offers free use for a trial period. (But that doesn't mean you should try out every single one before settling on one! There is a learning curve involved, which, depending on your qualifications as a techie, can be rather quick or very slow.)
And as Samuel said, you will be more efficient at what you're used to.

My favorite, as a non-techie, is OmegaT, because I am familiar with it, it does what I need, and it's free. It's also "portable"--since it's free, I have it installed on three computers, and can use it whether I'm at home or at my editorial office. I also have Across (which is free to freelancers), but find it very complicated, slow, and user-unfriendly. Plus my main OS is Linux, and I have Across in a Windows Virtual Box (it doesn't run on Linux), so it's a nuisance to switch back and forth. I have the free version of Wordfast, but have not yet tried to learn it.

Good luck,
Susan


[Edited at 2009-10-13 16:52 GMT]


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cabrina  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:14
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A Big THANK YOU Oct 13, 2009

Dear Claudia, Susan, Samuel, Laurant, Mohamed, Hermann

I'm so grateful for your time and kind replies.
You gave me an excellent idea how to approach CAT tools, I guess I'll start
with metatexis and give it a try till I get the experience needed to upgrade to a more sophisticated CAT tool.

As for my personal needs I'm looking for the tool which allows an effective terminology memory, as I'm using now an excel file in which I've compiled all the terms included in the projects I've handled throughout the past years, and have classified the glossary in terms of project title.

Again THANKS A MILLION and wish you all success and progress in your careers

Cabrina


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Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:14
French to Polish
+ ...
Sophisticated tools :) Oct 13, 2009

cabrina wrote:

I'm so grateful for your time and kind replies.
You gave me an excellent idea how to approach CAT tools, I guess I'll start
with metatexis and give it a try till I get the experience needed to upgrade to a more sophisticated CAT tool.

Metatexis is a sophisticated CAT tool.
Some Metatexis ideas easily outdistance the "innovation delivered" ones.
E.g. you can use termbases as TMs and vice versa.
You can't do it in Trados.

As for my personal needs I'm looking for the tool which allows an effective terminology memory, as I'm using now an excel file in which I've compiled all the terms included in the projects I've handled throughout the past years, and have classified the glossary in terms of project title.

It should be fine.
Just test if it works well with the Arabic.
The right-to-left languages may cause serious problems in some CAT tools.

Cheers
GG


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:14
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Resource for comparison Oct 13, 2009

Have a look at http://www.translatorstraining.com/sito/. I reviewed this about a year ago and found it a worthwhile site for comparing "apples to apples" among CAT tools. And $35 is darned cheap for a good look at all the major options - as a consultant I would charge you a lot more.

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