CAT System choice, can you help?
Thread poster: GiovanniGranata

GiovanniGranata  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:59
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 17, 2014


I am pretty new to, so apologies if I posted within the wrong category or if somebody else has already posted the same question.
I have been translating for many years now, in the traditional way, that is, without using any CAT tools.

Having to choose one now, I am pretty doubtful, I have downloaded the free trial version of Fluency and I find it pretty efficient and time-saving, although I don't have any benchmarks, as that is the only CAT I have used so far. The price for the annual fee is more than 300$.

I wanted to see if some of you can recommend the best tool for generic translations.
Your help would be very appreciated,

Thank you,


Local time: 17:59
English to Italian
+ ...
OmegaT - without doubt Jun 17, 2014

Hi, Giovanni,

give a try to OmegaT: It is an opensource CAT tool. The most interesting thing is that it is developed by translators and not by engineers, so it is really simple to use.
It is free and you can find a lot of documentation online. There is a dedicated forum ( where you can find a lot of answers. Should you have any doubt, just register to the forum and ask away: one of the developers (or really advanced users) will answer you usually in less than 1 hour (the fastest support service available for CAT translators).
When you install it, the first time you launch it, you will find that the main page of the software is a quick guide on how to use it (it disappear when you open a project; so to learn how to create one, just launch the program and read). The software is obviously multilingual, so it speak your language.

You can find OmegaT here:


Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:59
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Wordfast (anywhere) Jun 17, 2014

Wordfast (Classic, Professional, and Anywhere) are worth considering.
Wordfast Classic (WFC) is an add-on (a huge macro) to Microsoft Word and I have used it for several years.
Wordfast Pro (WFP) is a standalone program - I have not used it.
Wordfast Anywhere (WFA) is in the "cloud" and accessed through a browser. I have a WFA account but I have not used it for any work. It works in much the same way as WFC and, as far as I can see, it does not have its own user guide - you use the WFC guide instead.
WFC and WFP are free while your translation memories (TMs) are small (up to 500 segments - called "demo mode") and roughly 130 euro per year for more typical TM sizes. The licence is paid for in one sum that makes it valid for 3 years.
WFA is free to use and it is available through any browser with Internet access. Some features may be added in the future which will need to be paid for.

URLs to find more information:
Wordfast, general

WFC and WFA reference manual

WFA: (this is the user's interface) (information about WFA)

For me, the big advantage of Wordfast Classic, compared to OmegaT, is in the segmentation process (the process of determining what is a "segment", which is a translation unit, or sentence, that will count as a single translation unit in the TM). The typical rules such as specifying that a sentence ends at a full stop or a colon, recognising some abbreviations etc. are available in both cases. However, with OmegaT, you must define (or accept the default defintions of) the rules and then it segments the document in accordance with those rules. With Wordfast (WFC, at least), the rules are similar but with the (for me, very important) exception that you can specify what is the next segment to translate at the time of doing the translation. In my case, I can, for example, ensure that text that is formatted red and with strikethrough (I have sometimes had this in the source documents that I translate) is excluded from the translation process, or that a semicolon ends some segments and is in the middle of a segment in other cases. With WFC, I can do this "manual segmentation" in those places where I don't want to apply the rule; with OmegaT, you define the rules, and the entire document is segmented using those rules - no exceptions.

[Edited at 2014-06-17 16:52 GMT]


B D Finch  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Re Wordfast Jun 18, 2014

I have never used any of the other CAT tools, so cannot compare. I started with Wordfast Classic and now mainly use Wordfast Pro. However, I really like having both forms available and that they can share memories and glossaries. Wordfast Classic can be used for editing Wordfast Pro TMs and glossaries, but one can also use MS Excel. Wordfast Pro works by putting the ST in one column and inserting tags for formatting etc., while you work on the translation in the other column. However, I have just done a translation where the ST produced far too many tags in WF Pro and it was impractical to check which ones mattered, so I used WF Classic instead, which doesn't use tags and what you see is what you get. In that case, Classic was far better than Pro. It is also nice to be working in Word and just press two keys to see the translated text only.

There are lots of functions in both versions that I don't use because I prefer to keep life simple.


esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:59
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Try them Jun 19, 2014

Only you can decide if a particular program is good or bad for you. Most vendors offer you a trial period, just download and try out. Also, it’s quite common for translators to have and use several tools. My favorite is OmegaT and I positively recommend trying it (more over, since it’s a free program, you can immediately start doing a real job without risking to stumble over any limitations such as imposed by trial versions of non-free program). Also, you might want to consult Proz’s software comparison tool.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wordfast Classic Jun 20, 2014

I've been using WF Classic for a few years now and I find it helpful and - most important of all IMHO - easy and quick to learn. You can download a free trial version from the website.


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