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Why is Passolo three times the price of Catalyst?
Thread poster: Shmuel Pfeifel

Shmuel Pfeifel  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 04:04
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Aug 10, 2015

Why not just buy the Catalyst translator Pro at 500 Euro?

Is there any substantial justification for this gap in pricing? At this day and age it seems odd that the two leaders would be so oddly priced...

Does anybody know?

Thank you!

Shmuel


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Because people buy it! Aug 10, 2015

If enough people keep buying it for that price, they'll keep selling at it, perhaps raise it now and then.

I started out using WordFast when it was free. Now it isn't free anymore for ages, it has been named "Classic", it is priced like any commercial CAT tool. Though its user interface still looks, feels, and works as if it were a $19.99 piece of shareware, I keep renewing my license.


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Shmuel Pfeifel  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 04:04
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Im sure you are right Jose, but Aug 10, 2015

usually the competition regulates this. A triple (!) price tag from the competitor may indicate some material difference in quality or some market failure which is unknown to me hence my inquiry

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Achim Herrmann
Local time: 03:04
English to German
Wrong comparison Aug 12, 2015

Hello Shmuel,

When looking into the feature sets I think that you are comparing the wrong product editions. Comparable are
Alchemy Catalyst Developer/PRO vs. SDL Passolo Team unlimited
Alchemy Catalyst Localizer vs. SDL Passolo Professional
Alchemy Translator/LITE vs. SDL Passolo Translator

Catalyst Translator/PRO doesn't have a counterpart as many of the Catalyst Experts are missing, which are feature that exists in all paid Passolo editions.

Achim Herrmann


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Shmuel Pfeifel  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 04:04
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
edition...editions...editions Aug 12, 2015

Yes, you are right Herrmann, it seems almost like intentional policy of both companies to avoid comparison, but I am not sure that you too got it right. This is what I understand:

the Alchemist LITE is the colunterpart of Passolo Essentials as they are both limited in many similar ways and free. I am not familiar with the Passolo translator that you mentioned, have not seen such a free application.

On the next level, which is the topic of this thread, as it is the only level relevant for the freelance tranlator, unfortunately, Catalyst is offering the Translator/Pro edition for 500 Euros. On the other side the next level offered by Passolo after Essentials is about 1900 Euros (before discount) and that is the single user version as well, so surely similarly limited although I did not make a specific comparison chart.

At the top end you have the full featured applications with prices over the roof, not the subject of this thread.

Please correct me but this is (mercifully putting it) three times the price at the freelance translator level I mantioned above...

Shmuel Pfeifel


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:04
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
What's all the fuss about? Aug 12, 2015

I do a lot of IT-related translation (software/hardware manuals, specifications, websites, software strings, etc.), and yet have never heard of anyone that actually uses either Passolo or Catalyst. All I've ever heard about Passolo is that it is TERRIBLE. Absolutely awful. I have no experience with Catalyst. I installed a trial once or twice, but could never be bothered to wade through all the confusing details in order to learn how to actually use it.

So my question is this: what are they good at, and is there anything I am missing, which they really are needed for?

I currently translate everything in CafeTran (including all my "mandatory" SDL Studio and memoQ projects), a 4 MB Java CAT tool, with more cutting-edge & ergonomic features than you can shake a stick at, and so have never really felt the need to invest thousands of euros in something I'd probably never use. CafeTran costs €200.


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Adrien Esparron
Local time: 03:04
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Passolo Translator Aug 12, 2015

Is a free application you can use as a freelance translator. Here the download link :

http://www.sdl.com/download/passolo-2015-translator-edition/73353/

As a translator you don't need to buy the Team Edition.

Have fun!


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Adrien Esparron
Local time: 03:04
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Passolo awful, TERRIBLE??? Aug 12, 2015

Wait a moment, please! I'm working daily with Passolo (from the beginning, before it became an SDL product) and if you know how to work with where is the problem? Passolo is intended to localize softwares, also, strings, but also the interface if needed.

What else?


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:04
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Thanks! Aug 12, 2015

Adrien Esparron wrote:

Is a free application you can use as a freelance translator. Here the download link :

http://www.sdl.com/download/passolo-2015-translator-edition/73353/

As a translator you don't need to buy the Team Edition.

Have fun!



Thanks for the link Adrien. Will have a look at it and see for myself.


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Shmuel Pfeifel  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 04:04
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Adrien... Aug 12, 2015

How do you start a project in Translator?
Isnt this the "dummy" remote unit for the Passolo Team version where you have to get the project from someone else with a broader license and cannot make new projects yourself? I've heard about that...

How do you work this version as a freelance translator who initiates (single user) projects, like many of us, for example like Michael or me who want to have our own small business without being dependent upon the prices and projects of others?

You see, this is so devilishly cleverly done: in the Essentials they give you the ability to create a project but not the functionality and in Translator they give you the functionality (of the "mother" software) but not the ability to create projects...

This is quite annoying to be honest...


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Adrien Esparron
Local time: 03:04
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
@ Shmuel Aug 12, 2015

My first answer was about what you said :



I am not familiar with the Passolo translator that you mentioned, have not seen such a free application.



And when Michael says that he



... never heard of anyone that actually uses either Passolo or Catalyst. All I've ever heard about Passolo is that it is TERRIBLE. Absolutely awful.



I just answered that I'm working as a translator daily with what I mentioned and with a very good satisfaction. Nothing else.

Now, you are talking about a "freelance translator who initiates (single user) projects". That's something different and, sorry, I do not initiate projects, so I just have to use the "dummy" unit dealing with the outsourcers' packages.

I do understand your frustration if you think it is not justified to pay such amounts to have a complete solution, but I have no answer at the moment.

I hope you will find some opportunity.


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Jorge Payan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:04
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
I am also one of those "rarae aves" ... Aug 13, 2015

... who uses Passolo at least once per month, and occasionally Catalyst.

They are not awful or terrible. Both are software pieces which meet a very specific purpose, and whose skillful handling needs deep understanding about the software translation and localization processes. They were certainly not conceived for simply translating Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.

I have done some experimenting with Passolo Translator and got to successfully do the round trip to/from TRADOS 2007 / Studio. But for the purposes of the question in this thread, is a fact that the free Passolo Translator / Catalyst Lite cannot generate source or target files.

A customer of mine who had an outdated Catalyst Developer Edition and could not afford the expensive update outsourced the creation of Excel files and packages (ttk) to a third person. Maybe if could work for you.

Saludos


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Achim Herrmann
Local time: 03:04
English to German
What is the use case? Aug 13, 2015

Hello Shmuel,

Jorges post is pointing into the right direction. Visual software localization tools are quite specialized and mainly used by software manufacturers as these tools also support internationalization testing, specific checks for software files and UIs and automation within the production (build servers).

What is your use case? If you receive some EXE or DLL files from your customer you have to look into such a technology, or better convince your customer to do it. Both tools are offering free versions for translators and if your customer owns the expensive editions packages for free editors can be exported to you.

As an engineer I compared these tools and from the feature set the Translator/PRO doesn't have a counterpart.


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Shmuel Pfeifel  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 04:04
English to Hebrew
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Adrien thank you Jorge Aug 13, 2015

for your useful information.

So the question of this thread still remains unanswered.

And in a broader sense it is the question why SDL (and to some extent Catalyst for that matter, if you ignore for a moment the Catalyst Translator/Pro due to its (stiil) limited automation functionality) is for all intents and purposes keeping the freelance translator out of establishing a competitive localization business, by way of a duanting price tag and by witholding key automation functionality from any version that might be affordable to the freelance translator.

Arguably, automation has nothing to do with the ability to process and handle large volumes of information and users, which is the expensive part of any software.

The software and websites world has changed. There are software and websites developers of all shapes and sizes today, big and small, who need localization. By keeping their software to the big players only, SDL is doing a disservice to its clients (like myself) and to the market as a whole.

I am sure that with some thought this dead end can be resolved. I do not see any way whereby SDL will loose money by providing an affordable Passolo version with full automation features.

I am still to hear any coherent response from SDL about this but aparently they do not have any serious interest in my grievances.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Michael Aug 13, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:
So my question is this: what are they good at, and is there anything I am missing, which they really are needed for? ... I currently translate everything in CafeTran.


CafeTran can't show you the software strings in context (cf the "split view" in Catalys), and with CafeTran you can't resize or re-organise the UI elements that you're translating the text for. If you use CafeTran for software translation, then you use the "blind translation" method of localisation, whereby both client and translator can't be 100% sure that the translations are suitable until the product is actually beta tested in the other language.

I also have no actual experience with either tool, but the Catalyst video impresses me more than the Passolo video. Passolo appears to be more mouse intensive than Catalyst and it would seem that you can only see the context UI in revision mode, not during translation (is that correct?).


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