How many CAT tools do you need?
Thread poster: Burrell

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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Apr 12, 2005

For quite some time I was one of those translators not willing to invest into CAT tools a) because I believed I did not need them, b) because I was not willing to spend that much money.
I bought Trados only last year but have already got all my money back and even more, I have become a converted CAT tool fan and am already thinking of getting another CAT tool, namely SDLX (they seem to have sales more often than Deja Vu).
I know a lot of translators have several CAT tools. What made you choose more than one, and how did you determine which CAT tool to buy next.

Cheers,
Burrell

[Edited at 2005-04-12 17:52]


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:49
Member (2001)
English to Italian
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The reason for my choice of CAT tools Apr 12, 2005

Good question. I have 2 tools, chosen to have one for each family from the two major philosophies for text editing.

One of them is able to work within MS Word using the Word interface (these CAT tools are represented by Trados Workbench, Wordfast, and there are other tools on the market). The second group is based on extracting the text from all formats and providing an editor independent from MS Word. In fact they provide a unique interface for all formats. This second family is represented by DejaVu, SDLX and others.

My choices have been Wordfast and DejaVu. I also have an old version of Trados but I'm using it less frequently and not upgrading it any more.

The MS Word interface in Wordfast is better in case of documents, as long as they are not too heavily formatted, otherwise they tend to suffer and cause problems with some MS Word features (bullets, styles, hyperlinks, fields, etc.)

The second tool (DejaVu) is more likely to succeed in case of complex Word formatting and also handy in case of projects having many different types of files, but the drawback is some loss of context during the translation.

I believe it is useful to have a tool for each of the two families, to be able to cope with most file formats and choose which one to use according to the file format.

My choice has been dictated by their features more than their cost, but I have considered as an important factor the low ownership cost, preferring tools having a lower update cost.

Gianfranco





[Edited at 2005-04-14 09:18]


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:49
English to Czech
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Two Apr 12, 2005

What made you choose more than one...


At first I had only Trados, but I was fed up with fixing formatting in Word documents.

...and how did you determine which CAT tool to buy next.


I was considering SDLX and DVX and I chose SDLX Standard, because they had a sale. I'm not saying that SDLX is better than DVX. I haven't actually tried DVX at all. I just needed a complementary tool to Trados, which is still my primary CAT software, and SDLX Standard for promotional price was just fine.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:49
Multiplelanguages
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hybrid systems Apr 12, 2005

My opinion on how many translation tools is at the following post:

best translation tool is a hybrid system
http://www.proz.com/post/189738#189738

a very good case study with detailed points in comparing TRADOS and SDLX was recently published in:

Is Translation Memory Worth the Investment? webMethods’ experience with two TM tool suites
#70 Volume 16 Issue 2, MultiLingual Computing & Technology magazine
http://www.multilingual.com

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
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Proofreading / reading through a translated text Apr 12, 2005

I used Wordfast and SDLX2004 (and the free version of Transit), and got TRADOS because I thought it's a 'gotto have it'. Which is all it is, really. When working in Word, I am quite happy with Wordfast and find TRADOS quite complicated. So I do work on (small) TRADOS projects using Wordfast. My own legal projects I do in Wordfast because creating a glossary is very user friendly.
I am sooo glad evey time I have a longer/bigger project (with multiple
TM's, Termbase etc) and it's in SDLX. One of the advantages I realised is that reading through the text / proofreading is a lot easier in a SDLX-type tool (which has its own interface,the layout of which you can select - I prefer two vertical columns).
So yes - at least two different type of tools....
Anjo


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 19:49
French to Dutch
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One Apr 13, 2005

Wordfast. I don't like the two columns of SDLX and the fact that it is messing up the lay-out of Word documents, and also the fact that it is converting .doc documents to .rtf, which I have to convert back. This results in some cases in hundreds of files.


[Edited at 2005-04-13 08:34]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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First you must define "CAT" tool... Apr 13, 2005

Burrell wrote:
For quite some time I was one of those translators not willing to invest into CAT tools a) because I believed I did not need them, b) because I was not willing to spend that much money. ... I know a lot of translators have several CAT tools.


Well, CAT is "computer aided translation", so any tool which is a computer tool which makes you translate easier, faster and better, can be called a CAT tool. Perhaps you're referring specifically to CAT tools with TM capabilities...?

I use Wordfast and OmegaT. Wordfast cost me EUR 90.00 and OmegaT is free. I also use some other tools which enable me to translate quicker... such as spell-checkers, advanced search tools, autotypists, clipboard tools, terminology extractors, etc. I prefer to use freeware only, so I can't really comment on your question about what makes people buy or not buy, though.


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:49
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
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MODERATOR
the more - the better ;) Apr 13, 2005

Actually I use in my work only two CAT tools, notwithstanding I have more of them: Trados, and Star Transit. Most of all I like Star Transit, but more customers demand using Trados for translation. As to the DVX - to be true I do not like it.

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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the info Apr 13, 2005

Thanks everybody!

Especially Gianfranco for detailed explanation of the subject. I was not aware that there are two CAT tool camps but was suspecting something along the lines. So I just used the SDL offer and bought SDLX with a 40% discount.

Cheers,
Burrell


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:49
Member (2005)
English to Polish
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In what way? Apr 13, 2005

Nicolette Richy wrote:

Wordfast. I don't like the two columns of SDLX and the fact that it is messing up the lay-out of Word documents, and also the fact that it is converting .doc documents to .rtf, which I have to convert back. This results in some cases in hundreds of files.


[Edited at 2005-04-13 08:34]


Hi Nicolette,

How is SDLX messing up the layout of Word documents? Can you give some examples please, preferably in the CAT tools technical help forum?

The only way (that comes to my mind) that layout of Word files can be messed up is when you do not apply format painting in the SDL Edit program.

You never have to convert rtf documents manually. This happens automatically in the project wizard.

Regards,

Piotr


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Joris Bogaert  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:49
Italian to Dutch
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Two CAT tools, different clients Apr 18, 2005

I found Gianfranco Manca's reply very usefull. Two categories of CAT tools suggest that any translator should use at least one of them in a decent way, if you like it or not.. Different clients require different CAT-tools and interfaces...

I work both with Trados and DVX, and both are fine (and of different families). Trados can also handle some Quarkxpress files after a simple conversion, while with DVX you need to purchase an expensive tool to do so. TMX is an expensive tool, but the two-column interface is a great feature. I will start using OmegaT (wich is free!), it has the same interface as DVX. I don't know SDLX but I've heard it works like DVX, in many ways. DVX is very user-friendly, but it's price is far too high. A correct price is provided by Wordfast, and (of course) the open-source OmegaT (which needs Java Runtime interface- free)...

Has anyone worked with OmegaT? What about Fusion Tm, a CAT tool that supports multiple on-line glossaries? Does anyone know how (and if) it works??


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