Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: What factor most influences your preference of one CAT tool over another?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:52
SITE STAFF
Oct 31, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What factor most influences your preference of one CAT tool over another?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marc Christian. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's software, so it should be easy to use Oct 31, 2013

I'm surprised at the top voted poll answer: client preference.

Why this solicitousness towards the client? In the graphic design/typesetting world, for example, the client may want a brochure to look a certain way or would like certain fonts to be used for display or for body text. But in the end, it's the graphic designer or typesetter's decision what tools, software packages and methods to use to achieve the client's desired results.

Or, imagine you are a construction carpenter and your customer wants you to build him new cupboards made of cherry wood. Fine. Does he tell you “I want you to use Ryobi or Mita or Siemens tools for the job”?

If you are a plumber, does your client tell you what brand of wrench to use to fix her sink?

It's high time we chose our own tools based on our own criteria for the job.

By the way, how come I'm the first EVER to comment on a Proz poll? Oh, yeah... it's 5:32 a.m. here in Ohio, USA.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:52
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Oct 31, 2013

No preference.

I have been using Trados and Across for years now and am pretty good at them, but some customers want me to use other CAT tools, which are generally no problem.

Mario, that is a pretty basic comment - It's software, so it should be easy to use - and is not really from the real world.
Do you actually use a CAT tool? It's high time we chose our own tools based on our own criteria for the job.
Sorry, but if I get a high annual turnover from a company and they tell me that they, e.g., only use Across and I have never used it until then, I would be pretty much stupid if I did not get to learn it??

I have used / am still using company-own developed software that is a nightmare. It is also a part of the business and I have no problem with this, is sometimes a little painstaking, but can be managed.
I do try to avoid them though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Price vs. cost/benefit ratio Oct 31, 2013

These are two separate things.

Price is, in absolute figures, how much you'll pay for it. This makes freeware the only choice when there is one. Under this criterion, among three options: a) $800.00; b) $19.99; and c) $0, the third one will always be a winner, regardless.

Cost/benefit is a measurement of worthiness. This is the key analysis I use for ANY software or hardware item before buying it. It must be borne in mind that "cost" is not only the figure written on the price tag, but also any hardware/software upgrades required to use that software, as well as the time and effort required to master its main functionalities.

In the late 1980s a Postscript laser printer cost me USD 7K. Nothing so special today, an Apple LaserWriter II. It weighed over 150 lb. Yet it paid for itself in only three months, because not so many people in Brazil had a laser printer then.

Once SDL sent me some spam with a link to a questionnaire on their web site, which I took. I answered about my translation work as accurately as I could, and got their answer: It would take 13 years for Trados to pay for itself in my specific case... not counting the cost of yearly upgrades. Yes, I'm still using WordFast, for 10 years already.

This doesn't mean WordFast is the best all-round solution. WFClassic's $19.99 shareware-looking interface remains as user-unfriendly as it ever was, and it is tied to the ever-ailing MS Word. WFPro might be efficient if my computer were, say, a Xeon server or better. Nevertheless WFC gets the job done for me.

Considering SDL's calculation, I'd have to charge the must-have-Trados-demanding clients much more than I do, in order to make it worth the investment. And yet they demand Trados precisely to push down my overall rates with fuzzy matches. So it's a lose-lose situation, but not for all. Many translators make Trados worthwhile.

The answer is... your mileage may vary, sharply!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Basic comments Oct 31, 2013

Michael Harris wrote:

No preference.

I have been using Trados and Across for years now and am pretty good at them, but some customers want me to use other CAT tools, which are generally no problem.

Mario, that is a pretty basic comment - It's software, so it should be easy to use - and is not really from the real world.
Do you actually use a CAT tool? It's high time we chose our own tools based on our own criteria for the job.
Sorry, but if I get a high annual turnover from a company and they tell me that they, e.g., only use Across and I have never used it until then, I would be pretty much stupid if I did not get to learn it??

I have used / am still using company-own developed software that is a nightmare. It is also a part of the business and I have no problem with this, is sometimes a little painstaking, but can be managed.
I do try to avoid them though.



Michael, yes, I'm very familiar with software development in general and with CAT tools in particular. I own 2 and use 3.

I fail to understand the clause “and it's not really from the real world.” Is that the software, or the comment?

In software development, there's something called interface design. Part of the cycle includes usability testing, which involves the installation, uninstallation and use of the main features of a software program by following a script (or a software tool).

A web or PC interface like across or Deja Vu is pretty easy to use and quite intuitive. However, the interface for MultiTerm is devilishly complex, requiring up to 7 mouseclicks to add a new term (unless you are in the SDL Trados environment).

So, saying that software should be easy to use is not such a basic comment.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:52
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
User-friendliness Oct 31, 2013

Some clients insist on Trados - so I don't work for them.
I am happy with Wordfast (and so are most of my clients), and I am happy to use MemoQ or XTM whenever required (although I find there are some drawbacks to the latter).
One client asks me to work in Across, which I find a bit of a nightmare, so I tend not to take their projects. (Bit of a vicious circle there, as obviously avoiding Across means I will never really learn how to use it so it will stay a nightmare so I will not use it...)
Bottom line: I have bought Wordfast and it is my preferred tool. I am happy to give client-preferred software a go as long as they provide it; if after trying it out, I decide I don't like it, I will avoid projects which require this software.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 23:52
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Compatibility Oct 31, 2013

I work on a Mac so there isn't much choice.

I know some colleagues work on Mac and install Parallels to work on PC-only CAT tools but I don't see the point of having a Ferrari if you're going to put a Reliant Robin engine in it


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thoughtful comment Oct 31, 2013

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

These are two separate things.

Price is, in absolute figures, how much you'll pay for it. This makes freeware the only choice when there is one. Under this criterion, among three options: a) $800.00; b) $19.99; and c) $0, the third one will always be a winner, regardless.

Cost/benefit is a measurement of worthiness. This is the key analysis I use for ANY software or hardware item before buying it. It must be borne in mind that "cost" is not only the figure written on the price tag, but also any hardware/software upgrades required to use that software, as well as the time and effort required to master its main functionalities.

In the late 1980s a Postscript laser printer cost me USD 7K. Nothing so special today, an Apple LaserWriter II. It weighed over 150 lb. Yet it paid for itself in only three months, because not so many people in Brazil had a laser printer then.

Once SDL sent me some spam with a link to a questionnaire on their web site, which I took. I answered about my translation work as accurately as I could, and got their answer: It would take 13 years for Trados to pay for itself in my specific case... not counting the cost of yearly upgrades. Yes, I'm still using WordFast, for 10 years already.

This doesn't mean WordFast is the best all-round solution. WFClassic's $19.99 shareware-looking interface remains as user-unfriendly as it ever was, and it is tied to the ever-ailing MS Word. WFPro might be efficient if my computer were, say, a Xeon server or better. Nevertheless WFC gets the job done for me.

Considering SDL's calculation, I'd have to charge the must-have-Trados-demanding clients much more than I do, in order to make it worth the investment. And yet they demand Trados precisely to push down my overall rates with fuzzy matches. So it's a lose-lose situation, but not for all. Many translators make Trados worthwhile.

The answer is... your mileage may vary, sharply!


Remember when McAfee antivirus software, which came in a 5-1/4 inch floppy disk, cost $5-10 apiece in the 90s? There was no fancy interface, just a DOS shell to input commands. Developing a complex piece of software is very expensive and time intensive. Just the issues with compatibility for different operating system releases (just Windows) can be a headache. Never mind if the software in question has export and print capabilities. Interoperability with different drivers from different vendors requires testing and more testing. And marketing the software is also expensive.

I remember paying $100 for a small program that allowed me to use my modem card as a fax machine, in 1992. Now you can insert a fax card into your PC for 15 dollars. Even better, just pay a nominal fee for online faxing capabilities.

Of course, there are some basic tools (offline and online) that are free or very inexpensive, such as mobile scanners to take a picture of a sales receipt and convert it to PDF or JPEG with your smartphone. The cost? 99 cents of a dollar in many cases.

Regarding the ROI side of things, it's relative, because a $99 program may pay for itself in my next small translation job, but the $450 that I paid for Adobe Creative Suite Standard (with InDesign CS6) last month will take a little longer to pay for itself. I don't believe in passing these costs to the customer in all cases, but I have to be careful about where I spend my money when I buy new operating systems, new computers and new programs.

Case in point: many very useful programs that are quite compatible with Windows XP do not work so well in Windows 7. Also, user-friendliness involves how a given program interacts with the operating system and with other programs (especially MS Office).

In the end, it's not just about price, ROI and other useful parameters. But I enjoyed reading your thoughtful words.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Reliant Robin! Oct 31, 2013

Catharine Cellier-Smart wrote:

I work on a Mac so there isn't much choice.

I know some colleagues work on Mac and install Parallels to work on PC-only CAT tools but I don't see the point of having a Ferrari if you're going to put a Reliant Robin engine in it


That's such a funny quote involving the Reliant Robin, the notorious 3-wheel Brit car.

Do you use Omega-T for translations?

I work on my MacBook on occasion, but it's my parking spot for Delicious Library 3.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:52
English to Romanian
+ ...
I'm with Catharine and Mario Oct 31, 2013

With Catharine because I work on a Mac station and I use Omega T - together with Open Office, they do the job for me.

And with Mario because most of the time the clients don't have a REAL reason to work only with a specific CAT tool; fuzzy matches, Translation Memory compatibility, format of input/output etc., all that can be avoided and / or solved in a way or another.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:52
English to Polish
Compatibility Oct 31, 2013

I usually work on Linux, and I want a tool that is native for it, because I don't trust enough any emulators or virtual machines not to crash.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:52
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Oct 31, 2013

Functionality.

I'm surprised it's not in the criteria! Of course I want it to be fast, easy to use, etc. But in the first line, I want it to have all the functions I need to help me efficiently.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
A Linux translator? Oct 31, 2013

M. Anna Kańduła wrote:

I usually work on Linux, and I want a tool that is native for it, because I don't trust enough any emulators or virtual machines not to crash.


Now that's the first time I see a translator working on Linux. Unless a bunch of Linux developers have the money, the time and the willpower to develop a CAT tool for the Linux platform, your choice is clear: Windows-based CAT tools or, even better, a Web-based CAT tool.

There's Wordbee, LingoTek and across with online solutions out there.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Leon Ivanihin  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
Member (2011)
English to Russian
Functionality - 2 Oct 31, 2013

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

Functionality.

I'm surprised it's not in the criteria! Of course I want it to be fast, easy to use, etc. But in the first line, I want it to have all the functions I need to help me efficiently.


Absolutely, Sophie!
Why 'client decision'? Why 'easier to learn'?
This is the last thing I think about, when choosing my tool for real professional working!

I use several CAT-tool not because they are 'fashion things' or 'ofter requested'. I use them even if the client do not ask me to do so.
Just because CAT-tools have many really useful functions. And yes, it can help performing my job faster and with better quality.

Leon Ivanihin, 11+ years experienced technical translator from English to Russian


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 21:52
French to English
+ ...
Features Oct 31, 2013

Why is "features" not in the list? It's the most important criterion for me.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: What factor most influences your preference of one CAT tool over another?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search