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Poll: Do you regret buying your CAT tool?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 04:14
Apr 11, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you regret buying your CAT tool?".

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Dennis Seine  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:14
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
+ ...
WordFast best investment ever! Apr 11, 2008

I have not had any regrets at all about buying WordFast a few years ago. It has saved me a lot of work and implementing for instance Microsoft's glossary into WordFast's glossaries has cut down on my time searching online.

I wish there'd be a intermediate course somewhere here in the Northeast for me to take, cause I feel like I can do more with the program, features I am not aware of right now.


Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:14
Member (2009)
English to French
Not at all Apr 11, 2008

Another translator strongly suggested that I buy SDL Trados when I started working as a freelancer and I will quote her: "It will pay or itself in the first year".

And it did, more than once, it is a real time and energy saver. I regret nothing!


John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
More of a wanabee Apr 11, 2008

Actually, I regret not having the chance to use one. I’ve mentioned before that there’s very little repetition in most of the documents I do, so there is little or no chance of coming across fuzzy or any other kind of matches or needing TMs, glossaries, or much else. I took a course to learn how to use Wordfast a couple of months ago and saw how useful it could be for some people but I haven’t touched the program I downloaded since. I’m sort of a CAT tool wanabee more than a regretful user.


Catherine Shepherd  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not at all!!! Apr 11, 2008

The best invention ever. I use Wordfast, which saves me soooo much time on so many occasions!!


Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Transit fan Apr 11, 2008

I was forced to use Transit by my main German agency (otherwise no go) in 2002 and I really hated it at first. Once I got the hang of it - which didn't take long - I started using it for just about all my projects and I now get very antsy if I can't. It isn't so much the fuzzy matches, but the terminology management that saves me hours of searching the net. My dictionaries are now filled with over 200,000 terms with all sorts of alternatives for many of the entries. Powerpoint and Excel projects are so much faster as all the text is extracted and I can hop from one segment to the next in a millisecond and nothing gets left out. Concordance means I can find the right term very quickly and don't need to scroll up and down pages or even open another file to see what I used last time (and who finds the right file in the first go?). I can set 5 different translation statuses per segment with filtering options for each. This means I can find segments that need reworking in seconds and also hide segments that are complete. The quality is better, the consistency is better and I am more relaxed - I can concentrate on the essentials.


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Regrets about CAT or regrets about the exact tool purchased? Apr 11, 2008

To me the question could have two meanings. It would be interesting to see whether other people think the same way.

Assuming the question was "Do you regret having bought a CAT tool", my reply is absolutely not! We have been using Trados for some 10 years now and although it is not a cheap tool, it's powerful, normally stable and rather flexible. It definitely pays itself over and over again, with every license renewal.

It allows us to reach bigger customers and do projects that can only exist because CAT tools exist (frequent retranslations of big manuals), and our work with the tool is a lot more consistent and systematic. It also allows us to use, maintain and improve termbases. Very probably our Multiterm is not the most user-friendly tool in the world, but it does its job.

One trend I dislike about Trados and all other tools is that our freedom to work with our own methods and file organisation is slowly restricted, talking woderful things about fixed-structure, project-oriented (not task-oriented) tools like SDL Synergy. Yes, it might be good for project managers working in big multilingual projects, but did they ask the average translator dealing with 7-10 different, urgent, one-file projects every day? Does not look like it... They do listen to the big project management departments of MLVs... of course.

All in all, I think developers of CAT tools don't consider us translators sensible enough to work flexibly and decide our own working methods. CAT tools today have this inclination towards luring you into doing things that don't make much sense and are dangerous (I am thinking about the "auto-propagate" feature in SDLX for instance) just because it's part of the bells and whistles they like to advertise. In that sense, I don't regret CAT tools as a concept, but sometimes dislike their developers...icon_smile.gif


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hear hear, Tomás Apr 11, 2008

To all of your comments.


two2tango  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fantastic! Apr 11, 2008

CAT tools are absolutely wonderful!
I wish I could learn how to use them all. Time is the problem...

No regret, but ...... Apr 11, 2008

I have not regret investment on my SDL Trados 2007.
However, if you ask me about lack of personal support from them, my answer is 100% YES!


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
English to Polish
No regrets Apr 12, 2008

I own 2 CATs: one is free, ane one is not so expencive, but they make my work faster, and more efficient. How could I regret that?icon_wink.gif



RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
There should be another option Apr 12, 2008

There should be another option: "I did not buy my CAT tool". That is the case with OmegaT Free software, in both senses: "freedom" and "no cost".


Janis Abens  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
Swedish to English
+ ...
Deja Vu X - and don't forget Dragon!! Apr 13, 2008

I was actually shocked to see that a quarter of my colleagues work without CAT tools. If I did, I would be incapacitated by RSI and impoverished for my efforts.
It took me about two days after my first translation project years ago to realize that typing the same word hundreds of times was extremely tedious and frustrating and would escalate to hundreds of thousands in a career. Not smart, I thought, this is the computer age by golly!
I tried out Trados with enthusiastic anticipation, but was immediately frustrated that I couldn't off- the-bat figure out how to use it, even though I'm a bit of a computer nerd. A web search was not much help, but made me realize that I wasn't alone, making me feel less stupid if not less frustrated.

I then discovered Deja Vu X, downloaded the trial version and was up and running within the hour. Divine simplicity in comparison.
I made my share of mistakes, not understanding how best to build and use the Lexicon, Terminology Database and Translation memory in an optimal fashion. Yet, I was up and running, each Ctrl-Down resulting in the next segment assembling before my eyes, getting more and more accurate hour by hour.

The source and target were side- by side on the screen, no need to open, close or save anything. This freaked me out at first... where is the "Save project" button??... yikes!!... but no, the project and components all save on-the fly, and the occasional power outage had no deleterious effects whatsoever..

Had to return (well not really, but more on that below) to Trados for a new client, and finally navigated through the maze of procedures for terminology and concordance... the TM check was clear enough by then, .... then my MS WORD started to flake out on me... aaargh, no more Trados either. Fixed it, back to work days later. After a couple of more days I realized that the opening and closing of segments and the resulting "jumping" around of the text was getting really annoying, having been already spoiled by the smooth interface in DVX. I also found that checking back to what I had written before was relatively tedious, resulting in eyestrain and headaches.

Back to DVX on the next project and I was sold. Trial period over, bought the program for 990 EUR minus a nice discount... (Later to discover there were no upgrade charges.... something the others couldn't match) The project, a series of military manuals, was al least 300 000 words, took me months, but man was I happy with DVX. Manually it would have taken me years.

Later, I learned how to snatch glossaries off the web, import to my Terminology Database, grab documents and their translations, align them and get some seriously useful TM's (especially great for EU projects), and, finally,exactly how to do projects that purportedly requires Trados... deliver cleaned & uncleaned files, .tmx files and so on, thus making me Trados- free for the first time. The DVX discussion list and friendly community was of invaluable assistance.

Somewhere along the line, I did get RSI anyway and discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Wow! No more typing. No more keyboard commands (or very few). I could lean back, rest my aching joints and WORK!!
Not technically a CAT tool, I soon realized that for PDFs and other non-importable docs, It was far faster (especially for smaller projects) to just do it manually (by dictation, not typing!!) than to OCR or extract text and import to the CAT. The only down side was that, although DNS doesn't make spelling errors, it may insert some homonyms, making proofreading with a spellchecker useless. Careful, careful...

Anyway, that's chapter one of my CAT saga..... I'll go into AutoHotkey another time (an amazing macro tool that has replaced DNS macro making for me).

Take heed, esteemed colleagues not using CAT! Quadruple your efficiency and income, make life pleasant and enjoy the benefits of more free time and the knowledge that you are making use of technology to better your life as far as you can. Don't dig your swimming pool with a teaspoon! icon_wink.gif

Onward and upward,



Kerstin Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Regretted one, love the other Apr 13, 2008

I must say I regretted buying an earlier version of TRADOS years ago because I could never get the TM running and on top of this the installation must have messed with my internet connection and blocked it altogether, so I had to call and pay a specialist to fix this. I experienced lack of support concerning the TM issue from TRADOS, and even though I got much better support from other translators through the forum (thank you!), the bug could never be fixed, so the programme was virtually useless on my system. Seeing the sheer amout of bugs reported on the forum and all the complaints about lack of support really turned me off and I thought I might as well try Metatexis for the price it is sold at (and the few jobs I get worth doing with my own CAT tool). I never regretted this - and it is TRADOS compatible, so I have been able to use it on jobs which "required" TRADOS.

I have also worked with Transit, SDLX, Idiom and the IBM tool, all provided by agencies, and I found these very useful - I only regret I do not have the time to get to know them better and learn about all the features. Sometimes I wonder why there have to be so many different (but similar) tools, but then again, if there had been only TRADOS ...icon_wink.gif


Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:14
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I love to feed my CAT Apr 13, 2008

I've been building my Trados TMs and termbases for about five years now, and I think my translations are better because of it.

It's not that I get a lot of repeated sentences, but the TM concordance function is fantastic for finding solutions that are perfect yet not obvious. If I solved a problem once, it's handy to have a reminder of how I did it.

Also, of course, the term-recognition function makes it much easier and faster to work with clients' glossaries.

[Edited at 2008-04-13 16:49]

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