Suggestions on a CAT tool: Trados or Wordfast?
Thread poster: Ana Burger

Ana Burger  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:35
Member (2017)
English to Spanish
+ ...


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Oct 13, 2017

Hello everyone, I started as freelance translator a year ago after leaving ny full time job for a translation company. I would like to have some suggestions about wha type of Trados or word fast to buy. I see that most request for translations ask for trados or word fast, which one is more convenient for a freelance translator that have very few clients or no clients?

Your help will be greatly appreciated

Ana


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
WordFast Classic for me Oct 13, 2017

I've been using WF Classic for several years now and I get by just fine. I looked into Trados because a translator colleague recommended it, but I found it far too complicated and too expensive. With WordFast, I was already using it the same day as I installed it. And if you like it, you can always upgrade to WF Pro or Anywhere.

I suppose it depends to a great extent on the agencies you're going to work with. I only work with one or two and they are usually happy to just receive the translations in Word/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF... And they never ask for TMs, which I wouldn't be happy about giving them anyway.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Ana Oct 13, 2017

Ana Burger wrote:
I see that most requests for translations ask for Trados or Wordfast. Which one is more convenient for a freelance translator that have very few clients or no clients?


I suspect that many clients who are specifically asking for Wordfast these days mean Wordfast Pro (if you buy Wordfast Pro you can download and install both version 3.4 and version 5.1). Both versions of Wordfast Pro have their quirks, although WFP 3.4 is arguably easier to use. Trados is a much, much more complicated system, but it can handle more types of files. Is there any reason why you're not considering MemoQ?


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
MemoQ for beginners Oct 14, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:
Is there any reason why you're not considering MemoQ?


It looks interesting. However, as I already have WFC and use it all the time, I'm reluctant to try MemoQ on my main PC without finding out some basic details first.
For example, whether it takes up a lot of space. I mean, could I run it on the same PC as WFC without sucking up all the memory? I'm thinking about installing it on one of my backup PCs to see how it works out.


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:35
Member
English to Italian
MemoQ Oct 14, 2017

I echo Samuel's suggestion. I believe it's worth considering MemoQ as an alternative. IMO it's a good tool, easier to use (and learn) and with generally less technical issues/bugs than Studio. The only thing I don't really like about it is its licensing model, by which you have to pay a yearly fee (every year, uninterruptedly) if you want to be always up to date with the latest version.

Also, in my experience, many (probably most) agencies still ask for Studio, but MemoQ is also relatively used, while no one has ever asked me to use Wordfast.

Last month I started a poll here precisely in order to have a (statistically) basic idea about the most used CAT tools: http://www.proz.com/polls/17281


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:35
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Depends on your clientèle Oct 15, 2017

Not long ago someone asked me if I could use MemoQ. I answered to the affirmative and installed the latest version. But the project did not materialize.
Most of MY clients use SDL Trados Studio, and I have no problem with the software.
I use still WFC for Word-files and have WFP 3 installed, but find Studio easier than WFP. I know one big agency that is using WFP for all their projects, but they pay too little or their deadlines are too tight for me.
Wordfast used to be cheap but nowadays the fee is nearly as high as for SDL Studio.


 

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 20:35
Not so much Studio itself as Studio packages Oct 17, 2017

Ana Burger wrote:

I see that most request for translations ask for trados or word fast, which one is more convenient for a freelance translator that have very few clients or no clients?


I have never had any request for Wordfast projects. I often have to deliver Studio packages, which I translate with a low-priced, easy to learn tool: CafeTran.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The one that suits you Oct 17, 2017

I have used Trados through many versions, and it has improved enormously since the early Workbench versions. The 'annual subscription' or PSMA is worth every cent in my opinion. I have tried Wordfast Classic many years ago and looked at MemoQ some years back, but came back to Trados/Studio because I prefer the glossary function, Multiterm.
It is now easy to work with the basic glossary functions using a free app.

There are free demos for most CAT tools. Spend some time trying one or two, or if possible, ask a colleague who has the full version to let you see it in action. (It is often easier for a beginner to start in the middle of a project, and then you can better understand the options for setting up and the other functions as you need them.)

Which CAT you prefer may depend on your work routines and approach to translation - if you never use the advanced features anyway, then a simpler and cheaper CAT is probably fine. You may have to learn how to convert files and packages to the formats your clients request, but the CATs are supposed to be more or less compatible.

Using a CAT when you have to think constantly about the 'mechanics' is tiring and distracting, so go for the CAT you feel most comfortable with, and learn the short-cuts and routines, so that they come as naturally to you as typing. Otherwise the quality of your translation may suffer.

I have reached a point where I simply tell clients 'my CAT or no CAT' - but that is not always easy for a beginner, I know. I can still translate without a CAT, but most of my clients can handle Trados Studio, and most actually prefer it.

That said, if you prefer Wordfast or MemoQ, or any other CAT, go for it. YOU are the one who will be working with it for many long days in your career!

Clients are NOT always right - they pay you to be the expert on your side of the business!


 

Arturo Villasenor Garcia  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
My experience Aug 9

I've seen that so many agencies request to use Trados. I used their latest trial version and it seemed incredibly complicated, in fact, I was unable to put TM to use which was my main objective. Although I was using a trial version.

Question: For those experienced in Trados, does it make translating faster and more accurate?

Question: If you could use any CAT tool to help you work faster and easier, doesn't matter if clients ask for that CAT tool or not, which one would you use?

[Edited at 2018-08-09 19:08 GMT]


 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Studio packages don't necessarily require Trados Studio ... Aug 10

Arturo Villasenor Garcia wrote:

I've seen that so many agencies request to use Trados.


Are you sure that they really require you to buy Trados Studio? Or are they requiring that you can process Studio packages seamlessly?

For those experienced in Trados, does it make translating faster and more accurate?


Faster than what? Using a wordprocessor?

Studio will help you to translate more accurate (via the integrated term recognition, quality assurance). It won't necessarily help you to translate faster: there are better tools for that, which will assist you better.

Note that Studio hasn't been designed with the experienced and fast translator in mind.

If you could use any CAT tool to help you work faster and easier, doesn't matter if clients ask for that CAT tool or not, which one would you use?


Definitely CafeTran Espresso 2018. I handle all Studio packages with it, including those that come with embedded translation memories and term bases.

[Edited at 2018-08-10 07:33 GMT]


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
English
This is a good question... Aug 10

Hans Lenting wrote:

Are you sure that they really require you to buy Trados Studio? Or are they requiring that you can process Studio packages seamlessly?



... because there are many reasons why you might be asked for this. Processing a Studio package seamlessly is not something any tool other than Studio can do unless you only mean translate the files, extract the TM and termbase, and finally send a return package back.

You might be asked to use Studio because there are specific QA rules embedded in the package you need to apply while working; or you might have to use a plugin that was designed to work with Trados Studio (over 200 on the appstore and more than double that in use by companies creating their own); or maybe you've been asked to connect to a Server for online Translation memories or termbases; perhaps you've been asked to review the work and return it with tracked changes? There are many reasons to have to use Studio for Studio projects just as there are reasons to have to use memoQ for memoQ projects for example. Handling the files inside for translation alone may not be the only requirement so I'd say it's important to make sure the requirements are well understood before deciding on the most appropriate route based on your personal preference.

Regards

Paul
hppt://xl8.one


ninsiimajane
 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Good point(s) Aug 10

SDL Community wrote:

Processing a Studio package seamlessly is not something any tool other than Studio can do unless you only mean translate the files, extract the TM and termbase, and finally send a return package back.


Thanks for bringing this up.

You might be asked to use Studio because there are specific QA rules embedded in the package you need to apply while working


Personally, I never had any rules defined that my own tool couldn't mimic.

or you might have to use a plugin that was designed to work with Trados Studio


I'm not much a lover of plugins. I prefer a rock solid, integrated solution.

maybe you've been asked to connect to a Server for online Translation memories or termbases; perhaps you've been asked to review the work and return it with tracked changes?


There you have a point! Two, actually.

Since the market is very good, I prefer not to accept any projects that require me to use any memories or term bases that need to stay online. I know this thread is not about me or my workflow, I'm just stating that one can make a decent living without handling online projects. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Tracked changes are indeed the only reason why I launch Studio, nowadays.


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
English
Also good points... Aug 10

Hans Lenting wrote:

You might be asked to use Studio because there are specific QA rules embedded in the package you need to apply while working


Personally, I never had any rules defined that my own tool couldn't mimic.



But how would you know what they are? Can your own tool read the verification settings in a Studio project? It may also mean you need a fairly good knowledge of regular expressions or whatever other features are available in your tool to be able to mimic them if you have some way of seeing them.

Hans Lenting wrote:

or you might have to use a plugin that was designed to work with Trados Studio


I'm not much a lover of plugins. I prefer a rock solid, integrated solution.



Don't think of a plugin as being something that gives you a feature you believe your CAT tool should have built in. Most plugins developed that are not on the appstore relate to very specific workflows involving external systems that are used during the translation process. This is one of the things that makes Studio the tool of choice for an Enterprise or Governement organisation for example. The reason I mentioned this is because if there is a requirement to use Studio for this purpose you could not use another tool.

Regards

Paul


 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Enterprise or Governement organisations? Aug 10

SDL Community wrote:

But how would you know what they are? Can your own tool read the verification settings in a Studio project?


No, it cannot. I indeed have to check them in Studio.

And while we're at this topic: I find the QA process in Studio extremely slow. Just my opinion.

It may also mean you need a fairly good knowledge of regular expressions or whatever other features are available in your tool to be able to mimic them if you have some way of seeing them.


Of course ...

This is one of the things that makes Studio the tool of choice for an Enterprise or Governement organisation for example. The reason I mentioned this is because if there is a requirement to use Studio for this purpose you could not use another tool.


Lucky me, who isn't working for (large) Enterprise or Governement organisations.

Indeed, I think that Studio suits the needs of Enterprise or Governement organisations very well. But does it also focus on the needs of the freelance (technical) translator?


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
English
Of course... Aug 10

Hans Lenting wrote:

Indeed, I think that Studio suits the needs of Enterprise or Government organisations very well. But does it also focus on the needs of the freelance (technical) translator?


We try to provide a solution that focuses on the needs of all of our customers. There will always be things that someone finds lacking from each of our customer groups, but we do try to make sure we provide a platform that is capable of supporting everyone and flexible enough for anyone with the right skills to be able to adapt it for their own needs. I think the same applies to all software. I'd be very surprised to see a piece of software that meets the needs of everyone... and would like shares in that company!


 


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