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Wordfast or TRADOS?
Thread poster: Boeira46
Boeira46  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 15, 2013

Could anyone give me a light about which CAT tool should I start with? I'm starting up on professional translation and have come across this two CATs as being the best ones on the market but I don't know which one should I invest (or not) in... I was about to subscribe to a TRADOS web course but then I decided to have a look at Wordfast and became really unsure what to do... Any tips there, please?

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:31
Member
French to English
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Please do look at previous threads Oct 15, 2013

The choice of CAT tools has been discussed over and over again in great detail in the fora, and I feel sure you'd find that a rich source of inspiration.

To answer your specific question, it naturally depends on your personality, but as a creative anarchic Luddite, I took to Wordfast (Classic)'s intuitive approach like a duck to water, and found the learning curve manageable so I could get started translating right away, and learnt about other features as I went along — and very often, as I discovered the need for them! Although at first it took a bit of getting used to, I find now that for some jobs it certainly does increase my productivity — and interestingly enough, seems to have provoked some kind of knock-on effect, increasing my productivity slightly even for jobs where I'm not actually using it!

I can't say I had the same joyous experience with Trados — though I should point out it was a few versions back; I found the learning curve far too steep, and the highly structured approach hindered rather than helped my translation. I also found it took a lot longer before I could even get started do anything meaningful. I found it so frustrating, I only used it on a few jobs where it was imposed by my PM, and then gave up on it entirely.

I should emphasize that this is only one highly personal opinion, and based on limited experience, as the vast majority of my work does not lend itself to CAT treatment.

I'd also like to add that I came to CAT very late on, after many years translating without it; I don't know if this was a good or a bad thing, but I'm not sure I'd have been as good a translator as I (hope!) I am today if I'd started out using CAT right from the outset.


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Naoussitatchié Gildas Romanique
Cameroon
Local time: 22:31
English to French
Wordfast or Trados? Oct 15, 2013

Hi dear,

Welcome into the Proz.com family.
I agree with your statement that Wordfast (PRO) and Trados are the best CAT Tools on the translation market today, and I understand your dilemma about which one to use.
Indeed, both softwares have tremendously improved over the recent years and they offer almost everything the professional translator may need to work efficiently.

However, since you are just beginning, I will advise you to start with Wordfast Pro. It provides a simplier and more user-friendly interface than Trados. This is my opinion anyway! Trados is very good, especially the latest releases (2013 and 2014), but it may be more complex for a beginner to use.

I hope this contribution will help you. Courage!!


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Boeira46  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the advices Oct 15, 2013

Thanks for replying to my "beginner" worries... I'm tending to Wordfast anyway, as it is less costly and for the previews I've seen so far, it seems easier to use. And, thanks for your warm welcome to the "family". I'm glad that I'm starting up with support from fellow translators, which I will surely need in this new professional path.
Thanks a lot.


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:31
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hope I don't put a spanner in the works Oct 15, 2013

But I love my MemoQ. It is compatible with Trados so it allows you to deliver projects in a Trados-compatible format to clients who use Trados but, having used both Trados and MemoQ, I consider them to be worlds apart in terms of the learning curve and user-friendliness (with MemoQ winning hands down).

MemoQ is really intuitive and I much prefer the user interface PLUS issues are fairly simple to figure out, research or resolve by yourself whereas Trados seems to have so many counter-intuitive features and error messages that mean nothing at all.

If you really need to choose between Wordfast and Trados, I'd choose Wordfast.

As Tony says though, this is a discussion that has been had zillions of times and you can find lots of information in the forum archives about this.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Get prepared: Results will be inconclusive Oct 15, 2013

Marie-Helene Dubois wrote:

As Tony says though, this is a discussion that has been had zillions of times and you can find lots of information in the forum archives about this.


Look at the traffic in any cosmopolitan city. How many different brands of cars can you identify there? You may see your dream machine, as well as some lemons that make you feel sorry for whoever bought them.

Look at the shelves in a well-supplied bar. You'll see countless beverages, many of them half-consumed. While you may have tasted and liked some of them, there will be others you'll think that could only have been opened to poison some ex-spouse in order to get rid of paying alimony.

If they'll let you (and most do) simply try one or two CAT tools for free, stick to the one you like. Yet always keep an eye for anything new that may eventually come up.

For instance, MemoQ is a relatively new player in the marketplace. Some users say it is more wide-ranging as Trados; others say it's more user-friendly than WordFast. Yet such opinions apply to these users' specific line of work, which may be different from yours. You'll have to find out which one works best for you.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:31
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
For a beginner... Oct 15, 2013

Boeira46 wrote:
I'm starting up on professional translation...


If you're a beginner, then I would recommend Wordfast Pro. You can download it and use it without paying for it for as long as you want, with just two small limitations (the TM size, and you can't use machine translation directly). Trados is more powerful, but it is also much more complex to use.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
WF every time Oct 15, 2013

I agree with Tony M. If you take a quick look at the forums here, you'll see that the majority if problems and help requests are from TRADOS users. To my mind, it's too complex, too expensive, and comes complete with an in-house "ethic" that leaves much to be desired IMHO. Even my Trados user colleagues complain about it.

PS: Having said that, many agencies demand Trados (it's perceived as the "industry standard") so if you are thinking about agency work as the base of your operations, you might want to consider getting it anyway, warts and all.

[Edited at 2013-10-15 11:18 GMT]


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felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:31
German to Slovenian
+ ...
I have no issues Oct 15, 2013

with either CAT tool. I recently even bought a license for MemoQ pro because it offers a possibility to take on projects designed for Transit NXT and Trados. It costs about the same as WF Pro and is even more user-friendly.

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xxxVasily Zvere  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:31
English to Russian
Trados is the mainstream CAT for the market Oct 15, 2013

I'm sure that Trados like a Windows, Wordfast and the rest of the CAT is like a MAC.
So if you want to work with many agencies and customers you have to use both of them.


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davidfw1866  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Go with Trados Oct 15, 2013

Go with Trados for three reasons:
(1) It's an excellent CAT tool, although unnecessarily complex.
(2) Many clients demand it.
(3) You'll get used to it soon, so why not start with what most clients want anyway?


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I would wait Oct 15, 2013

until you find out if you will really need them.

I bought both Wordfast (three years ago) and Trados (two years ago). Studied them intensely, but I have barely used them in real life.


Boeira46 wrote:

Could anyone give me a light about which CAT tool should I start with? I'm starting up on professional translation and have come across this two CATs as being the best ones on the market but I don't know which one should I invest (or not) in... I was about to subscribe to a TRADOS web course but then I decided to have a look at Wordfast and became really unsure what to do... Any tips there, please?


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Yan Yuliang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:31
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I would certainly recommend Trados Oct 15, 2013

I remember when I first came across Trados 2007, I took a course that lasted about four or five hours.

Then Trados 2009 and 2011 came out, which IMO were much easier to use, although they looked more complex. IMHO, trados is not easy to start with, but it's not that difficult, either.

However, as Jeff points out, the advantage of a CAT tool will not show unless you work with materials that repeat in themselves or with each other. You need to first figure out whether your tasks truly demand the use of a CAT tool first.



[Edited at 2013-10-15 14:16 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:31
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What "clients"? Oct 15, 2013

davidfw1866 wrote:
(2) Many clients demand it.


Vasily Zverev wrote:
So if you want to work with many agencies and customers...


No, that is not true. The only customers that demand it are those that demand it. The others don't demand it. The OP is a beginner translator. If he finds that most of his clients demand it, then he can buy it, but if he buys it in anticpation that many clients will demand it, he'll end up having to seek out those clients specifically anyway, just to recoup his "investment".


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Ketty Federico  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:31
Member (2011)
German to Italian
+ ...
With Marie-Helene... MemoQ Oct 15, 2013

for the Trados-compatibility and for the user-friendliness.

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