What are the benefits of on-line CAT tools?
Thread poster: Tomas Mosler, DipTrans IoLET MCIL MITI

Tomas Mosler, DipTrans IoLET MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:27
Member (2008)
English to Czech
Aug 22, 2012

In your opinion, what are the benefits of purely on-line CAT tools, compared to off-line CAT tools with on-line sharing features? What I would be interested in is to hear if there is something that cannot be achieved with standard (traditional) off-line tools (that allow on-line sharing) which makes on-line CAT tools preferred.

I'm not promoting on-line tools, I prefer the old-fashioned approach when possible. IMHO the only two "exclusive" advantages worth a mention are the access from anywhere (for how high or low number of translators would this be a plus?), and usually free use for translators (paid or developed by the outsources) - but here I'm not sure how large set of such translators has no CAT tool, meaning they save on their end. Maybe there can be also some vendor/management benefits I'm not aware of.

I appreciate any insights.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Platform independence, platform choice Aug 22, 2012

Tomas Mosler, MITI wrote:
In your opinion, what are the benefits of purely on-line CAT tools, compared to off-line CAT tools with on-line sharing features?


Another benefit I can think of is platform independence -- there are no CAT tools for e.g. Android, yet most tablets run Android, and who knows what the future holds for similar hardware?

Another benefit is platform choice (and extendability) -- you can run the online system on more than one browser, so theoretically you can add features to the CAT tool by selecting a specific browser or by add-ons in the browser.


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Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:27
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Confidentiality (but not really) Aug 22, 2012

Some translation companies and their clients seem to believe that by keeping the TM and translation files on their servers and not on translators' computers confidentiality can be ensured. Obviously, this is false. Assuming that there is actually an unethical translator with malicious intentions, he or she could easily take screenshots, show the screen to an interested third party or summarize the content for them.

As a translator I can't see a single advantage of such tools over local CAT software. As an outsourcer (which I am not), I would stay away from translators who seek to save money by not buying their own CAT tool (if they need one).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
More about reuse than privacy Aug 23, 2012

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
Some translation companies and their clients seem to believe that by keeping the TM and translation files on their servers and not on translators' computers confidentiality can be ensured.


I agree, but the advantage is not so much that it prevents the translator from showing the content to anyone, but that it prevents the translator from reusing the content in other translations. As online tools become more sophisticated, it will become progressively more difficult to rip [portions of] the client's online TM or glossary (even for translators who do so in good faith, without sharing it). This applies to offline tools using online TMs and glossaries too, by the way.


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Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 08:27
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Lower HW cost + faster development Aug 24, 2012

Another possible advantages:

1,
Databases and the core software is stored on the provider's server, which means lower HW cost for the users.

2,
Computing is carried out by the server and not your PC, so you do not need hight tech machine at home.

3,
As the software exists only in one (centralized) example, provider has direct access to it any time. Therefore bug can be fixed almost immediately, changes can be implemented without delay and there is no need to disturb the users with bug fixes, patches, updates.


I personally like to have my CAT-tools, TMs and glossaries on my PC, but I have no illusions: cloud technology is the future.

Cheers,

Gyula


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