Poll: Have you ever used a cloud-based TM tool?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:04
Jun 11, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever used a cloud-based TM tool?".

This poll was originally submitted by KatLOT. View the poll results »


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Jun 11, 2014

I can see the potential benefits of these tools for massive projects involving big teams of worker bee translators slaving away simultaneously on endless repetitive overlapping technical specifications and manuals - but then isn't that the ideal fodder for MT anyway?

But what happens with these things when your Internet access goes down as it is wont to do from time to time?

Luckily I'm more of an artisan boutiquey translator myself so I can afford to bury my head in the sand.

[Edited at 2014-06-11 14:59 GMT]


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, and it's all the same for me Jun 11, 2014

My focus is on translation.

CAT stands for Computer AIDED Translation. As long as it works, I don't care if the aid comes from my own local WordFast or from the agency's MemoQ on the cloud.

If I had to tighten a number of bolts, and both tools did the job, I wouldn't mind using either my battery-driven power screwdriver or a client-owned pneumatic unit driven by their plant's compressed air network.

My only peeve is when a prospect says that I must buy either Trados or their own CAT tool, and make it obvious that they couldn't care less about the work I do as a translator.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Jun 11, 2014

And I hated every minute of it.

For "security reasons," the CAT tool was located in the customer's server and accessible only by a complicated procedure. Everything was against me:

- The files were not located 'locally' on my computer so I could not print them.
- I could not backup work (God knows why!).
- There was unannounced server maintenance which mercilessly bit into already tight deadlines, forcing me to work late into the night.
- The software was a disaster to use. It didn't follow the Windows interface and shortcut commands were completely cockeyed. Regular save operations resulted in the transatlion I just did becoming lost in the ether and there were no undo/redo functions.
- I was perpetually at the mercy of the Internet and was frequently disconnected for unknown reasons.
- I had to use a weird keyboard which was quite difficult to get over here.
- As a result of all of the above, regular translations took 2 to 2.5 times the time to complete.

It was a complete counterproductive clustermess designed to beat up translators and make their lives a misery. It really, really sucked.

Of course, I told the customer. "Well, it's still in the development stage," was the usual reply. I refused point blank any more to use this tool of theirs after I lost 10 pages of translation and I blew a gasket Krakatoa style.

Never again. Once bitten, twice shy! Grrrr

Small edits

[Edited at 2014-06-11 12:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-06-11 13:22 GMT]


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jun 11, 2014

and to be perfectly honest, I am not sure what it could be.

I use Multiterms from customers via the internet to look for their terms, I have worked with an online version of Across (never again for sort of the same reasons as Julian), but cloud-based TM??


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
My take Jun 11, 2014

Michael Harris wrote:

and to be perfectly honest, I am not sure what it could be.

.... but cloud-based TM??

I interpreted this as a CAT tool on a client's server. I could be wrong, though, since by definition any computer device is in the 'cloud' if it is connected to the Internet.

Newton's Telecom Dictionary (a 'must have' for any tech translator, one of the best investments I have ever made, I have the 26th updated edition) states "Cloud: Another name for the Internet." So, there you have it.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jun 11, 2014

The very mention of anything cloud-based gives me the willies... I guess I'm just too old-fashioned for all this virtual jiggery-pokery.


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:04
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... Jun 11, 2014

Once upon a time, when I was starting out I experimented with it.
I worked for a client who used their own on-line tool and apart from other technical glitches, much to my surprise, right in the middle of the project they did unanounced server maintenance, just like Julian's experience.
I found the company's attitude quite off-putting and haven't worked for them since

Currently I work with other clients who have their own tools, of which I have a client installed on my machine and they are prefectly fine to use.

So I could imagine a possible future with a tool that worked properly and communication was forthcoming, rates were fair and matches could be queried and overwrritten - I am not sure it need be a disaster per se.

Be interested to hear from anyone who voted - Yes and liked it .....

[Edited at 2014-06-11 16:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-06-11 16:40 GMT]


Nilton Junior  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:04
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes and no Jun 11, 2014

I work on a memoQ remote project on a regular basis and do not have any major problems with it. Actually the agency is quite responsive and I am able to solve most issues within minutes.

However, I worked on a cloud project for an occasional client that was a complete disaster. They asked me to use a proprietary tool from a major electronics company and I was supposed to translate 2000 words or so, but it took me almost two days to complete it even though the translation itself was quite simple.

The software was a huge visual mess and there was no way for me to rearrange its several small useless windows that couldn't be closed. Besides that, confirming any segments took at least 20 seconds, because it had the worst automated QA + spell check feature that I have ever seen, which forced me to "approve" pretty much every word in my translation.


Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:04
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Like. Jun 11, 2014

When I read excellent comments such as those made by Julian, I think a "Like" button should be implemented. In this way, we'd see how much support users ideas receive.

[Modifié le 2014-06-11 16:49 GMT]


Jean Chao  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:04
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes...felt being exploited Jun 11, 2014

Just like what Julian and other colleagues reported, most of them are painfully rigid and designed with the ultimate benefits of the agency in mind.

Some of them allow you to save or export a copy of the TM, which I think is more reasonable. Others do not even allow a "global replacement", meaning that if you find a term that needs to be replaced, you need to search for all of them and replace them one by one manually.

Not surprisingly, the most powerful feature for these online CAT tools is their statistics tool. For a huge project with each translator translating "30,000 words or more", for sure, every TM match and repetition will be closely monitored and calculated by the agency. Translators are too familiar with the what will happen next: a request by the agency for a "fuzzy" discount based on the result of this statistics tool.

Among the cloud CAT tools I've used so far, MemoQ Cloud is one of the better ones that allows reasonable autonomy (saving TMs and term base locally) with only occasional crashing and speed issues. The others are mostly plagued issues such as unstable systems, rigid command keys (clumsy "copy and paste"; no global replacement command, etc.), and slow response time. It'd take me three times the usual work time to finish a project on these clouds than in my own CAT tool.

Productivity wise, I won't even do a 3,000-word job on these clouds, not to mention a 30,000-words one, unless I'm triple-paid. Of course, this will never happen. No clouds for me any more.


Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Jun 12, 2014

I regularly work with two clients using their cloud-based CAT tools; both work well.
They are quick, with a relevant and extensive TM which can be modified, any maintenance work is usually on Sunday night and announced well in advance, TMs are very responsive and any glitches tend to be resolved quickly.

I do prefer working with my own TMs on my own computer, but my experience with cloud-based XTM and remote MemoQ are not bad.

I have another client who has now moved to a cloud-based system which I find a lot more cumbersome and slow - I will probably be avoiding any jobs on this system if it is not improved...


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