Investment in Wordfast versus Trados
Thread poster: Stephen Down (X)

Stephen Down (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:43
French to English
Nov 5, 2009

This question is perhaps raised too much for you but I would like to get some real translator opinions on wordfast versus Trados. Are there any advantages or disadvantages from the perspective of sharing work and from the perspective of doing the work. I'm also interested in any comments related to compatability. Trados appears to be the tool most likely requested here however wordfast post often praised. Thank you in advance for your input.


Magdalena Szewciów  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:43
Member (2008)
English to Polish
+ ...
off hand Nov 5, 2009

+ Cheap
+ Extremely easy to use (IMO)
+ Extensive online support (also by other users)

- Not cheap (rather expensive I'd say)
+ More translations (as many foreign agencies require T.)
+ Perhaps more advanced functions making your life easier while translating after you get through the first difficult period of learning HOW (perhaps, as I am only a beginner hereicon_wink.gif)


esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:43
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends on your and your client’s requirements Nov 5, 2009

I’m not asked to do my jobs in Trados, I’m not asked to translate any file formats that would require Trados. So, I don’t use Trados. I have tried it and found harder to learn as compared to Wordfast. In fact, I could understand the workflow with Trados Workbench only after I did it with Wordfast, because the tutor coming with Trados was not good. I use Wordfast Classic sometimes and am mostly satisfied. But its major disadvantage (to me, of course) is that WF is tied to Microsoft Office. There is also Wordfast Pro being a totally different program, but I haven’t tried it for any real job so far.

If an agency requires Trados, this may be for a bit different reasons. They may request to:
a) deliver uncleaned files (Wordfast can do that);
b) deliver translation memories (Wordfast won’t produce Trados TMs but can export its TMs to TMX);
c) use their TMs and glossaries in Trados formats (Wordfast is not capable of).


Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:43
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
well it's made my life a lot easier Nov 5, 2009

I've been working on a contiunous assignment over the past 2 years and I must say Wordfast has made my life a wole lot easier!! Since I cannot install Trados and I only need a relatively simple tool to handle Word docs, Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations, WordFast has all the feartures I need.

I generally work on small assignments, and Trados is a little to complex to startup /maintain / configure for small tasks, (perhaps because I do not use Trados on a regular basis).

WordFast took me about 30 minutes to startup , configure and understand the basic options.
so it is well worth the investment in my opinion.

SDL Trados is often required for larger projects, working for agencies and has plenty options of handle all sort of texts. So if you are looking at more complex projects, buying Trados and taking a few courses will probably be a good investment for you.



Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
French to German
+ ...
More than 2 CAT tools on the market Nov 5, 2009

Hi Stephen,
on a personal level I would encourage you to look around for other CAT tool alternatives... Making your choice between Trados and Wordfast can become quite frustating when you become aware of tools like MemoQ or Heartsome and so on. I use both Wordfast and Trados but was more than happy to find other reliable (and cross-platform, which is of paramount importance to me as my main machine is now an iMac) CATs. Just my 2 cents.

[Edited at 2009-11-05 13:07 GMT]


Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:44
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
... Nov 6, 2009


As a beginner I just noticed that Wordfast is easier to use and to interact with. You can start a translation project right away creating terminology bases and all...

Trados 2009 is good as a tool, but it's confusing and the install in "my case" was horrible (I still think that the tool was poorly designed on many aspects), yet the tool is powerful (which can't be disregarded) and it provides very enticing features...

Personnally I decided to have them both runing on my machine...




José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Fuzzy match discounts Nov 6, 2009

Most agencies that DEMAND Trados - and many won't answer e-mails to people who don't have it - are only interested in fuzzy match discounts, to lower costs and increase profits at your expense, assuming you will be the one to pay for it.

I tend to equate CAT tools to automatic transmission and power steering in a vehicle. They serve the operator's convenence, at their expense. Would you demand such features on a taxicab you took, expecting the driver to give you a discount for his reduced effort? I guess not.

Then there are some agencies that, for unexplainable reasons, demand Trados for translating handwritten documents or audio/video files, and won't waive such requirement, regardless of reasonable justification. It makes me suspect that something valuable is offered to PMs who consistently uphold this procedure.

The best translation agencies I work for simply don't care about my use of CAT tools. All they want is their quality and time requirements fulfilled. On quality grounds, they complain harshly - and rightfully - if the cleanup process left any trace of CAT tool usage.


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

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

Investment in Wordfast versus Trados

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search