Choosing a CAT tool - advice needed
Thread poster: Ximena Delcas
Ximena Delcas
Local time: 16:57
Feb 23, 2012

Dear all,

I've been freelancing for a couple of years now and have recently sat the Diptrans test (ouch).

At the moment my work seems to always come in at the same time due to the nature of my clients work (i.e. quarterly meetings) and so in a short space of time I have to get through qute a lot, so I'm considering the use of CAT tools to help me through these busy times.

I would really appreciate any reccomendations on which one to choose.

I'm based in the UK and translate from English to Spanish and vice versa.

Many thanks in advance.

Ximena Del Castillo


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Try the free ones first Feb 23, 2012

You can experiment with Wordfast Anywhere which is web-based, OmegaT - standalone, or Anaphraseus which works within Open Office.

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Bernard Lieber  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
English to French
+ ...
Trial Versions Feb 23, 2012

If I were you I'd download trial versions available from Alchemy, MemoQ, Fluency, Trados, etc. and tried them out and see what suits you best

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:57
French to German
+ ...
Agreeing with Diana and Bernard Feb 23, 2012

From what I see in your post, there is no reason why you should "commit yourself" to any given CAT tool.

As an example, Wordfast Anywhere does more than just a good job and can be used by professionals too.

Don't get trapped by shelling out 700 € or more for a single application.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:57
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
More details needed Feb 23, 2012

There’s at least one critical thing you did not specify: document formats you have to process. I use OmegaT (90% of jobs), Anaphraseus, Wordfast Classic and Wordfast Pro. I’m very happy with the first two, but need the other two sometimes (heavily formatted Word doc or PowerPoint ppt files).

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Ximena Delcas
Local time: 16:57
TOPIC STARTER
more details Feb 23, 2012

Thanks - I work mostly on word documents.

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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Wordfast Classic Feb 23, 2012

Ximena Delcas wrote:

Thanks - I work mostly on word documents.


Then you should try Wordfast Classic or Metatexis. They are easy to learn, both work within Word and are quite affordable.


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Nahit Karataşlı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:57
English to Turkish
+ ...
Swordfish III Feb 23, 2012

I recommend you to try SWORDFISH (www.maxprograms.com).

You pay less and get more.
You are not alone when you're in trouble.
Senior coder or the other staff always have the prompt reply approach.


...and SF IV is on the way.

You should visit the site above and read what they offer.


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Walter Moura  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:57
Member
English to Portuguese
Across Feb 23, 2012

My recomendation is for my tool of choice.

Across is a full tool, capable of handling Microsoft Office's documents (Word, Excel, Power Point).

It doesn't care whether your documents are lightly or heavily formated, it can handle them.

It has excellent filters for many types of files, including xml.

It is very well documented. It offers tutorials which you can download from their site.

The support is very good.

You get more and pay NOTHING (yes, it is FREE for freelance translators)

You can download it here: http://www.across.net/en/1426.aspx

Across_v5.00_SP1_F

as of October 27, 2011 - multilingual (632 MB)

Good LUck.

[Edited at 2012-02-23 23:34 GMT]


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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
French to English
CAT tools comparison Feb 24, 2012

Here is maybe a good place to start:

http://www.translatorstraining.com/sito/

Good luck,

John Di Rico


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:57
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Take your time Feb 24, 2012

If you are overloaded with work, it may not be the ideal time to change your method of working.

As a first step, take a look at some of the videos to get the big picture of what CAT tools can help you. The site cited by John can be a good staring point. Ensuring consistency - via a translation memory and a glossary - is the most important benefit. They may also help you save time in the long run if your texts are repetitive.

In the short term, you will need to invest some time into it: take an informed decision to choose the appropriate program, install it, and learn the first steps.

If you are under excessive pressure of time, I would strongly advise you to put this off to a later date. While in many cases everything goes smoothly, you may encounter serious problems during installation - which can be extremely frustrating and stressing when you have to meet a deadline. At the very least allocate some time to these first steps, and some extra time to your current projects, as finishing them with a new workflow is likely to take more (or much more) time than proceeding along the well-trotted path. In other words, do not calculate with any gain of productivity for the first projects.

Once you have some time to devote to choosing a CAT tool, take a look at the videos, download the trial versions, and experiment. If you work almost exclusively with Word docs, WF Classic or MetaTexis are indeed good choices: both are simple to handle - and you can use Word's several options directly.

Best,
Attila


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Ximena Delcas
Local time: 16:57
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 28, 2012

Thank you all for taking the time to offer advice.
It's much appreciated.
Ximena


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 17:57
English to French
+ ...
Can I ask one thing in relation to this forum post? Mar 10, 2012

Ximena Delcas wrote:

Thank you all for taking the time to offer advice.
It's much appreciated.
Ximena


sooty I hope it is ok to ask on your post, but I have read somewhere that before starting a new post one should check if there are similar questions already asked.

As regards Wordfast, I installed the free version on my old pc 5 years ago, and it was quite helpful once one got to understand how it worked. But what annoyed me and ultimately got me to uninstall it was that whenever I used Word for any other thing, like write a letter in a different language than my translation language for instance, Wordfast would start to run and interfere.

Since I too need to get back to learning and using a CAT tool, I was wondering if anyone has had such trouble with Wordfast in the past and would know how to 'fix it', i.e. indicate to wordfarst when it is time to word and when it is time to just be quite

Thank you


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:57
Member
French to English
+ ...
Wordfast Mar 10, 2012

It's important to bear in mind that Wordfast is not an actual program, but a very clever macro set.

Hence it is there all the time, but should only be invoked if you inadvertently use one of its keyboard shortcuts — for example, I am always cursing because I press Alt + ↓ by mistake and it opens a W/f segment!

Now this could be because you are inadvertently typing the wrong thing, and the incorrect keystroke happens to be a W/f shortcut; alternatively, perhaps you have some keyboard shortcuts programmed that conflict with W/F? If so, then it is simple enough for you to re-assign different keyboard shortcuts for those... if (like me!) it is a case of typing errors, then... oops!

However, you don't need to uninstall Wordfast to disable it termporarily; simply go into the Tools > Add-ins menu (or whatever those are called in the EN version!), and in the list that appears, simply uncheck the Wordfast option. When you do want to use it, all you then have to do is go back in and check it again.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 17:57
English to French
+ ...
Wrong shortcuts Mar 13, 2012

Tony M wrote:

However, you don't need to uninstall Wordfast to disable it termporarily; simply go into the Tools > Add-ins menu (or whatever those are called in the EN version!), and in the list that appears, simply uncheck the Wordfast option. When you do want to use it, all you then have to do is go back in and check it again.


Thank you Tony that is very useful. Have to see where I find this is my Word version
- in Italian! -
Anne

[Edited at 2012-03-13 09:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-03-13 09:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-03-13 09:35 GMT]


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