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CAT tools
Thread poster: adamada
adamada
Argentina
Spanish to English
May 18, 2016

I am currently studying to become a professional translator and I was wondering what has been the most useful tool that anyone has used during their career and also what tools to avoid. Thank you.

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
Member
Italian to English
No-one can tell you what you are asking May 18, 2016

Hello, and welcome to Proz and to the wonderful world of translation!

Unfortunately, no-one can tell you which tools are the best, and which to avoid - it is very much a case of personal preference. Some may say that since you are just starting out (but also in general), a CAT tool is not a necessity, however that doesn't mean you can't start testing the waters and see which ones might be a good fit.

There are literally dozens of CAT tools, each with their own pros, cons, and little quirks. Trados has been considered the "industry standard" by many for a while, but this does not mean that everyone uses it. Wordfast works in a similar fashion, but is less expensive; MemoQ is another tool that a lot of people are using now. However, there are many more!

Most tools allow you to download them on a trial basis, so you can try out a few and see which ones you like.

You might be interested in this page: http://www.proz.com/software-comparison-tool

There are also lots of forums dedicated to CAT tools here on Proz.


[Edited at 2016-05-18 14:20 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:43
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
test them all out yourself May 18, 2016

adamada wrote:

I am currently studying to become a professional translator and I was wondering what has been the most useful tool that anyone has used during their career and also what tools to avoid. Thank you.


I have tested every single one of them, and am currently using memoQ. My second favourite at the moment is CafeTran. However, as many people will probably tell you: the only way to know which you will prefer is to test them yourself. Most of them have free trials, so you should probably install and test as many as you can before deciding to buy one.

Good luck with your studies!

Michael


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Personal preferences May 18, 2016

adamada wrote:

I am currently studying to become a professional translator and I was wondering what has been the most useful tool that anyone has used during their career and also what tools to avoid. Thank you.


As others have said, it's mostly a matter of personal opinions and preferences... The problem is that learning to (really) use a CAT tool requires time and effort, so (really) trying them all out can be quite a monumental task... especially seeing how new tools are continuously popping out like mushrooms...

That said, and statistically speaking, I guess the most used by agencies still is Trados Studio, with MemoQ coming in second. Having tried (as in "used on several projects") both, I can say I prefer MemoQ, as I believe its learning curve is not as steep as Studio's and it's overall easier to handle.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
Member
Italian to English
Customer service May 18, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

I guess the most used by agencies still is Trados Studio, with MemoQ coming in second. Having tried (as in "used on several projects") both, I can say I prefer MemoQ, as I believe its learning curve is not as steep as Studio's and it's overall easier to handle.



One of the main criticisms levelled at Trados seems to be that their customer service is not that great - Kilgray and MemoQ seem better on this front.


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:43
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No translator in the world has all the CAT tools to compare them May 18, 2016

And many of the problems that arise from CAT tools are due to lack of trainning. CAT tools are not plug and play, but complete tools with many funcionalities that should be learnt.

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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:43
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
The all in one 'golden' CAT tool doesn't exist (yet) May 18, 2016

I once opened a forum with the question which CAT tool "takes it all". The answer at the end was the title of this forum.

So what is the most usefull CAT tool? Well see all the answers.

On the other hand, most CAT's are working (more or less) on the same principle. So, if you don't have any exprience yet, it might be usefull to try a free CAT first, just to 'get the feeling', after which you might make a better decision of which tool suites you the best.

[Edited at 2016-05-18 19:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-18 19:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-18 19:24 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-05-18 19:24 GMT]


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Total cost of ownership May 18, 2016

When you work every day, day in day out, in other words, if you translate for a living, you will have to consider not only the cost of the licence but also other costs, such as support, upgrades, etc.

Trados with full support is probably one of the most expensive tools. Now, if your customers mostly work with sdl packages, you kind of have to have it. I have it, but without full support package (because I have Déjà Vu X3, which includes full support so long you always upgrade to the latest version of the software. These upgrades are issued every three years or so).

memoQ is probably one of the most comfortable and intuitive tools, but it too comes with a price tag for support (the first year support is free, as far as I remember). If you think it's the right option for you economically speaking, you really cannot go wrong with it from the "features" and "comfort" standpoint.

DVX (Déja Vu X3, current version) is the tool I like very much and use on a daily basis (together with Trados, when I have to). It also scores the best total cost of ownership. I have had only small issues and their support works just fine (they replied in Spanish, within the same day, and with the solution).

Obviously, all these tools have free trial version.

Other tools I have used for specific clients have been either bizarre or dead slow.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
No idea... May 18, 2016

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

One of the main criticisms levelled at Trados seems to be that their customer service is not that great - Kilgray and MemoQ seem better on this front.



I can't really comment on that, as I've never used the CS of either tool...


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 01:43
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
CAT tools are not omnipotent May 18, 2016

Many translators, translation agencies as well as clients are misled to think that CAT tools can do most of your jobs. In my opinion, you must understand the computer programming languages to know how each CAT tool works. Then, select the best tools for your jobs e.g. I never use CAT tools to translate animations or fiction since their idiomatic writing styles exploit no features of CAT tools [unless CAT tools are especially developed for such purpose].
By the way, I hate the CAT tools with badly slow processing time. I will not mention their band names but you can try the ones.

Soonthon L.


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Get two of them May 19, 2016

... and a couple of (partly functional) demo versions, so if one of them lets you down, you can still think about workarounds to keep the show going.

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Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 20:43
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Another point to consider May 19, 2016

In addition to the points that have already been discussed above, please note that both Trados and memoQ use Hunspell (http://hunspell.github.io/) for spellchecking, which was quite poor concerning Bulgarian back in 2012 when I tested Trados 2011 and memoQ 6.2.

That is mostly why I opted for Fluency Now which has both a very good spellchecker and a dictionary of synonyms in Bulgarian – the latter being a feature that even the Bulgarian version of Word lacks.

You could check if the spellcheckers of the leading CAT tools are good for your language pair before investing heavily.


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 19:43
OT May 19, 2016

Georgi Kovachev wrote:

In addition to the points that have already been discussed above, please note that both Trados and memoQ use Hunspell (http://hunspell.github.io/) for spellchecking, which was quite poor concerning Bulgarian back in 2012 when I tested Trados 2011 and memoQ 6.2.



This is getting off topic, but nevertheless: which spell checker does Fluency use?


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 19:43
OS May 19, 2016

adamada wrote:

I am currently studying to become a professional translator ...


Experts tell that it's not sure that Windows will stay dominant. So when starting a career, you should/could have a look at alternative operating systems, like OS X (Mac), Linux and even Android and Chrome.

For the first two operating systems there are very good CAT tools that can also deal with the famous Studio packages. At a lower price and higher speed.

In the software world, who is a market leader today, can disappear in a couple of years. So you should perhaps try to keep an open mind and have a look at generic tools that run on several platforms, rather than focus on the solution with the biggest marketing budget.

[Edited at 2016-05-19 08:37 GMT]


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Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 20:43
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
@CafeTran Training May 19, 2016

CafeTran Training wrote:

Georgi Kovachev wrote:

In addition to the points that have already been discussed above, please note that both Trados and memoQ use Hunspell (http://hunspell.github.io/) for spellchecking, which was quite poor concerning Bulgarian back in 2012 when I tested Trados 2011 and memoQ 6.2.



This is getting off topic, but nevertheless: which spell checker does Fluency use?


I do not really know. You should refer this question to the developer.


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