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Poll: Do you work with a CAT tool even if it is not required by your client?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 22:50
Feb 1, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with a CAT tool even if it is not required by your client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Cathy Przybylski. View the poll results »


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
English to French
Yes always Feb 1, 2016

It's been like that for more than 15 years. I find using a CAT tool more convenient for rereading.
Provided than it's more than a paragraph long and the CAT setup overhead is negligible.
I can find old translations and justify choices made 10 years ago.

Trados 2007 for small texts
MemoQ for larger texts where a CAT tool can make sense.
Proprietary for an agency
SDL 2009 when I have no choice



neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Feb 1, 2016

Whenever possible, I like to use Wordfast Classic, as the segmenting helps structure my often haphazard approach. I tend not to work with clients who "require" things that I don't feel comfortable with, for example Trados...


Roni_S  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Slovak to English
Whenever possible Feb 1, 2016

I use WFC whenever it is feasible. I love the segmenting and user glossary features, and as I translate a lot of contracts the TM comes in quite handy as well. I am so used to using it that I feel out of sorts when I have to translate a dead PDF, for instance, where the CAT tool is of little help.


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Member (2006)
German to English
Always Feb 1, 2016

Is much mor convenient and I have also gotten used to it in the mean time.
It is just a shame that Across and Trados do not run on a MAC - or has something changed?


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Feb 1, 2016

Almost all of the documents I translate are 50+ pages long, and some occasionally run into hundreds of pages. One new customer insists on 90% or more of the jobs they give me that I overwrite and translate into the original document, which can be a real pain and time-consuming if the job is in Excel or PowerPoint, especially. A CAT tool makes the translation process in these instances much easier.

If similar jobs come from the same end client, I can recycle the TM to ensure consistency in terminology across multiple documents. Customer satisfaction guaranteed. "Holmes-san, you remembered the terminology from a year ago. Amazing!" Kudoz and Browniz to Holmsey.

I wish CAT tools were available or, even better still, I had developed my own when I first started out translating. I would have made a killing. icon_biggrin.gif


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I use it for far more than just repetitions Feb 1, 2016

I use my CAT for terminology management and general consistency.

I enter long strings in the database like ' The Act of [date] on ... ... ... ' and the names of ministries and public bodies.

Client terminology of all kinds comes up in a concordance search, even if I don't enter it in the database.

I have several templates that make setting up fast and easy - with selections of TMs for language and subject areas already selected, so I only have to add the source files and possibly create a project TM...

It is useful for reviewing, as others have said, and these days it copes with a lot of formatting issues that used to be a pain.

I can still translate without my CAT if the source is a 'dead' PDF that it can't break into, but it just makes me appreciate all the little advantages of the CAT when I get back to normal.

[Edited at 2016-02-01 09:35 GMT]


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
OK, yes, I admit it Feb 1, 2016

Originally I was very snooty about CAT tools. Handy for lists, but I felt the sentence-by-sentence approach was bad for flow.

But I soon learned to love having source and target on screen together rather than looking down to a hard copy the whole time.

Then it all went pear-shaped.

Trados moved away from a Word interface and became the evil blood-sucking monstrosity that it is today, which really does mess with my flow, not to mention my aura.

Thank goodness, then, for little old Wordfast Classic, basic but brilliant.

Thing is, I use CAT for my own benefit, not the customer's, and I use only my own memories.

I am not a technical translator and I do not work on projects involving 100 languages, 200 translators, 300 editors, 400 revisors and 500 proofreaders, so why the hell would I want to work in software developed specifically for that?


Teresa Borges
Local time: 06:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Feb 1, 2016

“Please don't shoot the piano player, he's doing the best he can”, but personally I don't like CAT tools. I've been translating for almost 40 years full-time and I only see a use for CAT tools in very technical translations, not in the kind of texts I translate.

One of the reasons why I don't like CAT tools is that segmentation breaks the flow of the text as Portuguese tends to longer sentences than English. The other reason is writing my sentences around tags is a nightmare: it slows me down instead of speeding me up. The third reason is alignment: it’s generally a time-consuming process and I find much more efficient to use a desktop search utility as needed.

Regarding CAT tools, I have come to a happy arrangement with some of my clients…


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
WFC Feb 1, 2016

Like many I was a late and reluctant convert.

Now I couldn't live without my TMs and glossaries, and dislike it when it is occasionally impossible to use it. Have even been known to handtype a copy of a document to surmount format issues.

As for flow, I do insist on a final lengthy re-read in the original format, but you do get used to maintaining it despite the segmentation. And I translate articles for cultural magazines, opera libretti and a lot of advertising material.


Luiz Barucke
Local time: 03:50
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, always Feb 1, 2016

I always use Wordfast Pro on my translation jobs with my own glossary, basically because it makes my job simpler, more consistent and much faster. So why shouldn't I?


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:50
English to Polish
Yes Feb 1, 2016

I chose "Yes, always", but in fact it should be "usually" or "often" for me. The CAT tool helps with the layout, and that's why I like using it, but it's more trouble than worth (takes time to prepare the files) for really short texts, which I get a lot of.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Feb 1, 2016

In some fields it simply makes no sense to use a CAT tool, e. g. poetry. Other than this, I usually use WordFast Pro. A fine tool.icon_wink.gif

neilmac wrote:
I tend not to work with clients who "require" things that I don't feel comfortable with, for example Trados...

My thoughts, Neil.


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Feb 1, 2016

I use Wordfast PRO whenever possible; it is very pleasant to work with, and I never have any problems.

Occasionally I use MemoQ, because 2 of my clients use that (and provide the license).


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Summer reruns and winter reruns Feb 1, 2016

I think a similar poll was run a long while ago.

Nevertheless, I'll play along.

Yes, I work with a CAT or TEnT tool (translation environment tool) whenever possible, even if the client hasn't asked for it.

With rare exceptions, no client of mine ever requires me to use a particular tool. We negotiate which tool is the best if CAT tools are part of the conversation. Do people ask their accountants to use a particular tool, an abacus or an Excel sheet? Just sayin'


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