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General strike against TRADOS and other expensive CAT tools
Thread poster: Thomas Johansson

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not really Feb 23, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:
Have you never encountered jobs from a regular client or potentially new client that you could not take on because you didn't have the required CAT tool?

Actually the rationale should be a different one in my opinion: I prefer not to take jobs which require a tool I don't have or a tool I dislike or that makes me inefficient. If the tool is a good one, I will happily buy a copy, do the job, and keep a happy customer.


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Points Feb 23, 2011

Kay Barbara wrote:

Paula Borges wrote:

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

they are actually quite cheap for the kind of increased return you can get. Trados is not expensive to me or any other "expensive" CAT Tool, for that matter. Why would I strike against a tool which is helping me increase my profits is a mystery to me.


Let's once again remind you that's not the same for everyone.

You say Trados is not expensive to you - but that's not the case for everyone else. Like I said, you must consider the local economy and currency factor, as well as someone's personal finances.

Thomas is from Argentina so he probably has the same outlook as me.

Like I said before, Trados does not apply discounts for developing nations so it's price can be 9x higher than other tools. For translators here, it can be a very costly tool, one month's work, three month's rent or even the price of a cheap car. Try to remember there's no threshold, tax exemption or deduction and you will see why we prefer cheaper tools. If you consider this is being enforced on students who are in trouble trying to pay back their loans and that they can do the same with much cheaper tools you'll see where we're coming from.

Also, in this reality it would have no return, well, not for someone who doesn't work in technical areas. Around here I've seen people being asked to buy tools and lower their prices and offer discounts - they gain nothing out of it except for the possibility to continue working, but for less.

Agencies are often turning into vendors for commission and not being AT ALL transparent about the fact they are suggesting this specific tool for their own profit (not only Trados) - which is not an acceptable marketing practice in most places. They lead people to believe they are simply offering you a discount because they have special conditions, not because they're actually selling it for profit. Other times they will deceive unemployed people who aren't translators telling them they'll make a lot of money by purchasing this tool.

I am surprised this has been ignored.

If I can do my work with a cheaper tool or if I prefer another one, why should I have to get this specific one?

Maybe the tools are also driving the rates down. Some people I know (end-clients) said they received people who represent certain CAT Tools in their offices, and just basically saying: if you make sure you translator provider uses this tool you can get much, much cheaper translations.

Some tools are designed to make OUR lives easier, others may have other goals as well.





Out of curiosity I just checked on SDL's website. When I want to buy SDL Trados Studio and choose UK as my location, the price is GBP660, for Poland it is GBP678 and for Brazil it is GBP582. So SDL does apply a discount/different pricing according to your location. Whether this is a "reasonable"(!) price for John Doe I cannot say.

Paula, you are going on about agencies selling CAT tools for commission and I won't deny that they exist. But are you saying that this is the rule rather than the exception? Of course there are scammers and crooks (as in any industry) but there is a good number of decent agencies out there too. This picture that is painted here about agency seems to have a very negative bias.

Moreover, no one is obliged to use those CAT tools and if translators use them, it is their choice to grant customers any discounts. If someone tries to "enforce" discounts, I decline. This has worked nicely for me so far.

You go on to say that for some people there would be no return if someone's working outside technical areas. While this is another topic altogether, I do think that there can be benefits outside technical areas (at least this is what I experience in my specialty field)

You said that maybe CAT tools are also driving rates down? I beg to differ, after all it is translators who accept rock bottom rates.

Paula Borges wrote:
The fact is we're spending more to make less and maximize the middleman's profit as the need for translations increase in the global world.


I don't know who you are referring to with "we". If "they" are really doing that, they should stop it immediately... they should maximize their profit instead.

I do believe that the need for translations increases in this day and age, so everyone can try to stand out above competitors by means of qualification/specialization. Then you don't have to compete primarily on price.



1- 582GBP, depending on the currency rate, can be over 2,500 BRL. It's a huge sum for most translators here. That was the actual price when someone first offered it to me. Not at the moment, (because it's more favorable for us now) but one could get a postgraduate degree for that price. Considering currency rates and earnings between Europe and Brazil, you have to agree that's not a significant difference either.

This isn't a discussion about CAT Tools - it isn't possible to work without them anymore! Wordfast saves me a lot of time, regardless of the texts I work with.

It gets frustrating that everytime someone questions the Trados monopoly people will assume they're against CAT tools. I like them so much I even invested my time and money in several Wordfast courses. I've tried both and frankly I think Wordfast suits me better, is simpler and more user-friendly. So that's MY choice.

It suits me just fine, so why should I have to pay a lot more for a different tool?
If I can get a cheaper tool that has everything I need, why do I need to give up on profit, education, leisure, hardware?

The pressure to buy Trados is not really a problem for me, I admit, since around here seems to happen a lot more often with IT translators.

2- The fact that agencies acting like vendors are not many. Does that make it ok? I don't care if it's just one, it doesn't sound ok to me. We have very clear laws here about how you cannot market something when you're not being transparent about doing it for profit, or by promising unrealistic benefits (hey, unemployed guy, wanna be rich? become a translator by buying this, it's very easy and you can do it in the comfort of your own home).

Funny that you call them crooks, because my point was the developers are not unaware of this. In fact, they name these agencies their "official representatives".

What to say about representatives of certain cat tools (not just one) visiting end-clients and promising them "if you demand the use of this tool you'll be able to pay a lot less for translations". This is not only detrimental to freelance translators, but agencies and the translation market as a whole. Does that happen? I can't be sure, but some people I know who work in big companies say they've had these visits before. Should we ignore this?

As for great agencies, of course there are many, in fact most of them - and thankfully they let me work with whatever tool I want - because they are interested in quality, not price.

But why do I worry about the pressures newcomers and students are facing? Because they will shape the future of our profession.

Translation is in high demand. Last night I saw a newspaper ad "Want to make money and have a great profession? Become a translator, the course only lasts two months and each student has their own computer!" - you easily realize this isn't a translation course but CAT Tool training/preaching.

When one sole provider has a huge market share, and everyone believes no other product can compete with it, they can charge whatever they feel like.

Thankfully we are the market too, and even agencies are starting to realize there is more than one CAT tool available and the benefits are pretty much the same.








[Edited at 2011-02-23 16:34 GMT]


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
New tools Feb 23, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thomas Johansson wrote:
Have you never encountered jobs from a regular client or potentially new client that you could not take on because you didn't have the required CAT tool?

Actually the rationale should be a different one in my opinion: I prefer not to take jobs which require a tool I don't have or a tool I dislike or that makes me inefficient. If the tool is a good one, I will happily buy a copy, do the job, and keep a happy customer.


But you can't be buying tools all the time - you might keep the customer but you'll waste time and money.

In my case, I've never lost a client because I didn't want to buy a tool. I explain to them I have already invested time, money, courses in a tool and I'd rather master it - which means I can do their job quicker and more efficiently - than waste my time buying and learning new tools. You know "time is money", especially for us.

I really don't see how having more than one tool can be useful/practical/profitable.

Of couse you must remember (once again) problems to do with location. I don't know how many hours someone in Poland has to work to come up with 600EUR, but on average here it's usually a three weeks to a month's worth of work, on average. Considering estimates that say a person in my country/city spends 3 months of the year working JUST to pay taxes, most of us simply can't afford to be buying many tools.

So what I'm saying is that maybe in Europe buying a lot of tools is not that much a big deal, but in high-taxed places with weaker currencies such as South America (probably the case for Thomas as well) it would practically mean that we'd be better off working in the mall.


 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:15
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
?? Feb 23, 2011

Paula, you keep complaining how much translators are suffering because they are pressured to buy yet another CAT tool. Yet many posters here have said that they have never felt pressured and that it was their own decision to invest in Trados. And you yourself have expressed several times that:

Paula Borges wrote:
The pressure to buy Trados is not really a problem for me, I admit, since around here seems to happen a lot more often with IT translators. (...)

As for great agencies, of course there are many, in fact most of them - and thankfully they let me work with whatever tool I want - because they are interested in quality, not price.

But why do I worry about the pressures newcomers and students are facing? Because they will shape the future of our profession.



In my case, I've never lost a client because I didn't want to buy a tool.


So all your complaining

It suits me just fine, so why should I have to pay a lot more for a different tool?
If I can get a cheaper tool that has everything I need, why do I need to give up on profit, education, leisure, hardware?

is actually hypothetical, isn't it? (BTW, could you explain why you'd have to give up on hardware or education?)

And based on rather wild assumptions:

As for great agencies, of course there are many, in fact most of them - and thankfully they let me work with whatever tool I want - because they are interested in quality, not price.

Just because you don't like SDL/Trados, you insinuate that any company requiring the use of Trados is more interested in money than in quality? Have you not read the many legitimate reasons brought up in the course of this discussion why agencies/companies require the use of a particular tool?

Why do you assume newcomers or other translators will choose a different approach from your own? After all, you were apparently able to distinguish between the different CAT tools out there and pick the one best for you under your particular circumstances. Why should any other translator be less business savvy?

The "pressure" to buy Trados is much less now than it was some years ago. Today, there is real competition for SDL. What do you think made them throw out their old software and create a completely new system, Studio, pretty much from scratch at tremendous cost? Because they had to include features their competitors had been offering already for a while and which were not possible in their old system. And as I said before, hardly anybody has to buy Trados today just because some agencies require Trados: There are other tools available that can be integrated into a Trados workflow. If a translator purchases Trados, it is indeed their own choice. So it seems this part of your argument is pretty much moot.

With regard to your other complaint - agencies acting as vendors for SDL.
Actually, if this is SDL's way of approaching software sales (I have never encountered SDL nor any other vendor do such a thing so I have to take your word for it that these "agencies" are authorized by SDL), you should be happy about it as this is the clearest indication of under how much pressure by the competition SDL actually is. They had their cushy monopoly for many years because they used to be the only game in town. These days are gone. So be happy that you can choose as you did without losing jobs or clients because of that.

BTW, why do you list Trados among the software tools you offer in your ProZ profile?
If you're so in favor of a boycott, the first thing you should have done is take Trados off your list or never added it in the first place.


 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
More of the same Feb 23, 2011

First of all, I'm not the one suggesting a boycott, let me make that clear. If you already have a tool and you like it, of course you should carry on using it! I just used the opportunity because I thought we could have a healthy discussion about marketing practices and pricing - since we're the consumers here.

Maybe you didn't read previous posts in which I explained why in certain places Trados might mean giving up new hardware or further education - because of currency difference
... See more
First of all, I'm not the one suggesting a boycott, let me make that clear. If you already have a tool and you like it, of course you should carry on using it! I just used the opportunity because I thought we could have a healthy discussion about marketing practices and pricing - since we're the consumers here.

Maybe you didn't read previous posts in which I explained why in certain places Trados might mean giving up new hardware or further education - because of currency differences, economy, high tax, lower income, higher costs of living and less discounts. This means a translator here has to work a lot more than a translator in Europe to buy this software, and this varies a lot with the currency fluctuation. It's generally the price of a new computer or a CPD course - so I'm expecting you to understand why translators in developing countries prefer cheaper tools. It's a massive price difference between one and the other, because some of them offer really great discounts for people in developing countries. If we take the average rate and the currency factor in consideration, a translator located in Brazil would have to work three times more than one in Europe.

Regarding my complaint about agencies acting as vendors, maybe I was coming from a point of view in which this approach is illegal here. You cannot sell something unless it's clear you're doing it for profit, and you cannot promise unrealistic benefits (the actual term is "misleading advertising") or even try to persuade a newcomer that one cannot work in the industry without this tool and that there aren't others (which is not true). There are issues related to unfair competition etc etc.

So yes, even if it doesn't directly affect me it does affect students, the market and the future of our profession. Perhaps we shouldn't see this as some of us being "crybabies" like someone said, but as a healthy discussion we're having as consumers. Why should we not feel this or that price is unfair and try to make it go down? This is an aspect of "free market" too!

I've had client send me files originally from Trados and I opened them with no problem. I admit I don't know much about tech stuff but I believe all they have to do is save it with the appropriate extension? I'd be grateful if anyone could explain.

Forgive me if I am being misunderstood, but if you were seeing adverts of "courses" and "agencies" in the local newspapers promising that anyone with "some" knowledge of a foreign language can become a translator and make a lot of money just by buying and learning a program you'd probably feel strongly about it too.

End-clients have meetings with representatives that explain the "wonders" of CAT tools. I'm sure not all of them are that clueless but some people I know ended up thinking translation was mostly made by the machine and it has become much easier. Therefore, it doesn't take as long (there's a program doing it! - they think), doesn't require skills and it should cost a lot less. Some people have told me "some people came to my company and told me if we request our translation provider to use this program we'll pay much less for translation" - of course I don't know to what extent that actually happens, but as the ones actually buying these softwares should we not discuss it? Is it a sin to bring it up?

We can talk about bugs and things we want improved and developed, so why can't we talk about prices? Should the developers focus on on clients, agencies or translators? Aren't there a lot of people in the market who still believe you must have this one specific tool to deliver high quality work, still unaware of the fact that other tools are not "inferior"?

As consumers, we should discuss every aspect of the products we buy, and that doesn't make us crybabies, but more active, conscious consumers instead.


[Edited at 2011-02-23 22:48 GMT]
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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 14:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
List of CAT tools Feb 23, 2011

Here is a tentative list of CAT tools.

Whether you decide to participate or not in the strike, I hope this list can be useful as a general reference to CAT tools currently offered on the market.



Classification of CAT tools

I have here divided the CAT tools into those which are "OK" according to the so far proposed criterion for the strike and those which are "NOT OK".

NOT OK
CAT tools costing more than EUR 100 as a one-time fee or more than EUR 50 per year in license fees

OK
Any other CAT tools



Notes:

  • The criterion:
    I had hoped for a discussion about a suitable criterion but such a discussion didn't happen. I have therefore decided to simply stick with the originally proposed criterion for the purpose of this tentative list.
  • Arbitrariness and pragmatics:
    As someone pointed out, the criterion used is of course somewhat arbitrary, but this is unavoidable. The important thing is to set some sort of criterion that enables us to distinguish pragmatically between different CAT tools for the practical purposes of the strike.
  • Errors or omissions:
    Please let me know.




NOT OK

RC-WinTrans 9 Translator Group License http://www.schaudin.com/web/products_v9.aspx ; https://www.schaudin.com/shop/ShopOnline.aspx?scc=EUR EUR 3,390

Alchemy Publisher 3.0 Professional Edition, 5 Multi-User EUR 2,999

SDL Trados Studio 2009 Professional EUR 2,295

Passolo (SDL Passolo 2011) http://www.translationzone.com/en/shop/shop_main.asp EUR 1,940

Déjà Vu X2 Workgroup http://www.atril.com/en/purchase.aspx EUR 1,490

Multilizer Professional for Developers http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 1,413 (USD 1,928.75)

Multilizer Professional for Documents http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 1,413 (USD 1,928.75)

RC-WinTrans 9 Global http://www.schaudin.com/web/products_v9.aspx ; https://www.schaudin.com/shop/ShopOnline.aspx?scc=EUR EUR 1,375

SDL Trados Studio 2009 Freelance Plus EUR 875

SDL Trados Studio 2009 Freelance EUR 845

Alchemy Publisher 3.0 Freelance Edition, Single User EUR 749

Transit NXT Professional – 12 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 720

Déjà Vu X2 Professional http://www.atril.com/en/purchase.aspx EUR 660

Wordfast Pro Plus http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 650

RC-WinTrans 9 Translator http://www.schaudin.com/web/products_v9.aspx ; https://www.schaudin.com/shop/ShopOnline.aspx?scc=EUR EUR 590

LogiTermPro http://terminotix.com/index.asp?name=LogiTermPro&content=item&brand=2&item=12〈=en EUR 583 (USD 795)

Wordfast Studio (Classic and Pro) http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 500

Catalyst (Alchemy Catalyst 9.0) Translator/Pro Edition, Standalone License EUR 499

PROMT Freelance 9.0 Translator http://www.promt.com/translation_software/ EUR 475 (USD 650)

Heartsome Translation Studio Ultimate (Full) EUR 468

TransitNXTProfessional – 6 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 420

Multilizer Lite DoublePack http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 395 (USD 540.00)

Transit NXT Freelance Pro – 12 month http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 360

Wordfast Pro http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 350

Wordfast Classic http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 350

Multilizer Lite for Developers http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 327 (USD 447.05)

Multilizer Lite for Documents http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 327 (USD 447.05)

Wordbee Freelancer Edition 1 year ; http://www.wordbee.com/ EUR 290

Heartsome Translation Studio Professional EUR 268

Déjà Vu X2 Standard http://www.atril.com/en/purchase.aspx EUR 250

Wordfast Studio (Classic and Pro) - discount freelance translator/developing economy ; http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 250

Swordfish http://www.maxprograms.com/products/swordfish.html EUR 240

TransitNXTProfessional – 3 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 240

Transit NXT Freelance – 12 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 225

Multilizer Translator Pro http://www2.multilizer.com/ EUR 219 (USD 299.03)

Transit NXT Freelance Pro – 6 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 210

Wordfast Pro - discount freelance translator/developing economy ; http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 175

Wordfast Classic - discount freelance translator/developing economy ; http://www.wordfast.net/ EUR 175

Wordbee Freelancer Edition 6 months ; http://www.wordbee.com/ EUR 169

MetaTexis for Word NET/Office http://www.metatexis.com/index.htm EUR 139

Transit NXT Freelance – 6 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 135

Transit NXT Freelance Pro – 3 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 120

SDL Trados Studio 2009 Starter Edition annual license fee EUR 99

Transit NXT Freelance – 3 months http://www.star-portals.net/Transit/default.aspx EUR 75






OK

MetaTexis for Word Pro http://www.metatexis.com/index.htm EUR 99

Swordfish - Student License Key http://www.maxprograms.com/products/swordfish.html EUR 96

MetaTexis for Word Lite http://www.metatexis.com/index.htm EUR 39

Across Personal Edition, v5.0 SP1 Free License for Freelance Translators FREE

ForeignDesk http://sourceforge.net/projects/foreigndesk/ ; open-source ; project appears inactive FREE

GlobalSight http://www.globalsight.com/ ; open-source FREE

Gtranslator http://projects.gnome.org/gtranslator/ FREE

Lingotek Collaborative Translation Platform free to translators for individual use for client projects FREE

Lokalize http://www.kde.org/applications/development/lokalize/ ; license under GNU GPL FREE

MemoQ http://kilgray.com/products/memoq FREE

Mneme (Beta release) http://www.logos.net/en/technology/translation_memory.html FREE

Multilizer 2011 Lite for Translators http://www2.multilizer.com/ FREE

Okapi Framework http://www.opentag.com/okapi/wiki/ FREE

OmegaT http://www.omegat.org/en/omegat.html FREE

OpenTM2 http://www.opentm2.org/ FREE

Open Language Tools http://java.net/projects/open-language-tools/ ; http://www.translationdirectory.com/article507.htm FREE

Poedit http://www.poedit.net FREE

Pootle http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/pootle/index ; http://pootle.locamotion.org/projects/pootle/ FREE

QT Linguist http://doc.trolltech.com/main-snapshot/linguist-manual.html ; http://qt.nokia.com/downloads/downloads#lgpl FREE

Similis Freelance http://similis.org/linguaetmachina.www/index.php FREE

Tstream Editor v. 4.2.29 ; http://tstream.xplanation.com/portal/ FREE

Virtaal http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/virtaal/index FREE

WordFisher http://www.wordfisher.com/ FREE



[Edited at 2011-02-24 03:42 GMT]


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:15
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Against the silly boycott Feb 24, 2011

I am against the boycott, as I believe it is based on ignorance of actual software development costs (as demonstrated by Thomas' ludicrous estimates of how much it should cost to develop a basic CAT tool), ignorance of how markets work, and ultimately, not in the best interests of professional translators.

 

Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:15
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not a boycott Feb 24, 2011

No, it isn't about that. But I'd like to know how come certain developers can offer tools and charge less?

To me, it's about the freedom to choose which tool suits you best. I've tried a few, and I'll stick to Wordfast Pro, because it's simple, user-friendly, no bugs and I don't think it's overpriced (considering the discount they offer here).

It's also about educating clients about how tools actually work (in the sense there is no 'miracle tool') and the fact that the
... See more
No, it isn't about that. But I'd like to know how come certain developers can offer tools and charge less?

To me, it's about the freedom to choose which tool suits you best. I've tried a few, and I'll stick to Wordfast Pro, because it's simple, user-friendly, no bugs and I don't think it's overpriced (considering the discount they offer here).

It's also about educating clients about how tools actually work (in the sense there is no 'miracle tool') and the fact that there is more than one or two available.

Of course that's just me but all I'm saying is that we should be entitled to experiment and choose. As consumers, we're also entitled to question prices, marketing practices and put pressure for them to lower prices - after all, that's how the free market operates, right?

I don't think anybody is literally suggesting a boycott, but something like: "you don't feel comfortable spending that much and would rather opt for a cheaper alternative? go for it, it's ok!"
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Åsa Campbell  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 04:45
Member
English to Swedish
I'm with you Feb 24, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

I am against the boycott, as I believe it is based on ignorance of actual software development costs (as demonstrated by Thomas' ludicrous estimates of how much it should cost to develop a basic CAT tool), ignorance of how markets work, and ultimately, not in the best interests of professional translators.


I totally agree with you Riccardo.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:15
French to English
+ ...
Maybe more enlightenment is required then... Feb 24, 2011

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
I am against the boycott, as I believe it is based on ignorance of actual software development costs (as demonstrated by Thomas' ludicrous estimates of how much it should cost to develop a basic CAT tool), ignorance of how markets work, and ultimately, not in the best interests of professional translators.


I agree that there may be an underestimation of the costs of developing a marketing specialist software, or at least an unfair comparison with the price software in other specialist markets. I also think that to some extent that's besides the point. I deplore the fact that the "fuzzy match" mentality propagates the view of translators as some kind of neo-Marxist collectivity of potato farmers. But I recognise that it would then be advocating that same mentality to assume that software publishers are entitled to profits purely based on the raw production cost of the software.

But I wonder if more information might be beneficial on the actual market. Some on this thread have suggested that the obligation for translators to use a CAT tool is ultimately driven by client workflow needs. I must admit, I'm slightly suspicious of this on at least two counts:
- I see jobs advertised by agencies specifying that they need the translator to use "Wordfast or TRADOS or [miscellaneous other CAT tool]", i.e. "any of several CAT tools is OK, we just need you to use a CAT tool" -- if the requirement is due to workflow needs, don't they need you to use the particular CAT tool of the client, not any old tool?
- if a particular client is doing so much translation that they see a need for CAT tools, why don't they just hire in-house translators?

But I don't have much actual data on, say, percentages of jobs received by an agency that demand a particular CAT tool versus what for me are "normal" jobs where the client just needs to "go from A to B" (where A and B are, say, Word documents) without caring about the intervening process. Can anybody-- maybe somebody who has worked as a PM at an agency-- enlighten us on what the actual percentages are, or what the market actually looks like from their point of view?


 

Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:15
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Is this list right? Feb 24, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:

OK

[…]
Poedit http://www.poedit.net FREE

Pootle http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/pootle/index ;
[…]


I thought Wordfast Anywhere is the first CAT tool I tried to use. Surely Poedit and Pootle should not be in this list?

Poedit and Pootle deal with PO files. Unless you do PO-based software localization, I am pretty sure these two are not what you consider normal CAT tools.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:15
French to German
+ ...
Price criteria Feb 24, 2011

I am not sure about the validity of your list, Thomas. There is multi-users and single-users software in there, as well as prices for temporary licences and permanent licences. It also contains specialised programmes which are not used that much.

I have arbitrarily taken the prices of the 3 most expensive, "regular" programmes of your not-OK list and calculated an average (A). I made the same for the 3 less expensive, "regular" programmes of the same list and calculated a
... See more
I am not sure about the validity of your list, Thomas. There is multi-users and single-users software in there, as well as prices for temporary licences and permanent licences. It also contains specialised programmes which are not used that much.

I have arbitrarily taken the prices of the 3 most expensive, "regular" programmes of your not-OK list and calculated an average (A). I made the same for the 3 less expensive, "regular" programmes of the same list and calculated a second average (B).

My somewhat mathematical, but still arbitrary, decision was to say that the average from (A) and (B) should represent the "highest price freelance translators should pay for a CAT tool" according to the gist of this discussion (C).

Then we have:
A = 823
B = 253 (more precisely: 252 2/3)
C = 538

This is only a first approach, of course, and still we have not benchmarked the features of those programmes - which would be useful as some colleagues simply don't need some of those, while some others will need more.
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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Misleading - And are you sure your work is profitable? Feb 24, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:
OK
...
MemoQ http://kilgray.com/products/memoq FREE

This is misleading information. MemoQ is not for free. Today in Kilgray's shop, memoQ translator standard costs Eur 149, and memoQ translator pro costs Eur 620.

So according to your criteria, it is "not OK", and yet, it is the most profitable tool I have ever used. I do more work in less time and am less tired at the end of the day than with my previous tool (Trados 2007), and it has increased my productivity in well over 30%, with the added benefits of more consistency and quality control.

If paying Eur 620 is "not OK" for you, then I would not produce 30% more, and that would "not OK" for me and my customers...

Let's be honest, folks. If you cannot invest Eur 620 (Eur 50 per month) and then a yearly maintenance fee of Eur 155 (Eur 13 per month)... you should not be in the translation business. Clearly your activity is not a profitable one!


 

Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 14:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
just some comments on the list Feb 24, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

I am not sure about the validity of your list, Thomas. There is multi-users and single-users software in there, as well as prices for temporary licences and permanent licences. It also contains specialised programmes which are not used that much.



Okey, fair enough. The list is just preliminary, meant to be improved.

Please note that the whole thing took me some 10-12 hours to compile/research (perhaps partly because of my currently slow internet connection) and that I therefore could not spend too much time on each item on the list.

Let me explain my procedure briefly.

First, I compiled a list of CAT tool names from different sources, most notably the list of CAT tools given as options for our proz.com profile pages plus names that I found in other sources (some forums discussions, I think). I have no personal experience of most of these tools, and most I have not even heard of before myself.

For each item on the list, I have focused on trying to find its price to purchase for us, as freelance translators, for our personal, professional use. For this reason, I have not paid too much attention to whether they are multi-user or single-user tools.

However, when it has appeared to me that a certain tool is not meant for individual freelancers at all, I have mostly decided to leave it out from the list. (For the reason mentioned, i.e. time, there may of course be a few inconsistencies in this regard - please point them out specifically and I get around to it in an updated version of the list)

I have also left out tools that have appeared either not to be under development anymore or not to be available to the general public.

Also, for some tools, I am still waiting for information by email from the vendors, and have left those tools out for the time being.

Also, please note that the list has been compiled mainly to provide a guide for which CATs to target at the strike, not to be used for the sort of calculations you've done (as per below), so I am not surprised if you would not find it valid from that particular point of view, at least.



I have arbitrarily taken the prices of the 3 most expensive, "regular" programmes of your not-OK list and calculated an average (A). I made the same for the 3 less expensive, "regular" programmes of the same list and calculated a second average (B).

My somewhat mathematical, but still arbitrary, decision was to say that the average from (A) and (B) should represent the "highest price freelance translators should pay for a CAT tool" according to the gist of this discussion (C).

Then we have:
A = 823
B = 253 (more precisely: 252 2/3)
C = 538

This is only a first approach, of course, and still we have not benchmarked the features of those programmes - which would be useful as some colleagues simply don't need some of those, while some others will need more.



Interesting and constructive approach.

My sincere feeling, however - and I am aware that many do not agree - is that pretty much all commercial, "regular" CAT tools have had their prices unnecessarily inflated. Which means that, to me at least, both A and B probably represent unnecessarily inflated prices.

In any event, reflecting on your approach, I might suggest - quite from the top of my head - as a possibly useful principle: identify the least expensive "regular" CAT tool that has a reasonable set of features fine for most regular translation needs, and then assume the price of that CAT tool as a reasonable maximum price level. (I.e. along the rough lines of: "if that price works fine for that vendor, then it should also work fine for other vendors.")

On the other hand, I feel that we should not let ourselves be led to much either by current prices (for the reason I just mentioned, i.e. the overall "inflatedness" of prices) nor by the particular tendencies of the discussion in this thread (which I feel has been too much influenced by assumptions, guesswork, lack of experience of real programming, and so on).

[Edited at 2011-02-24 06:48 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:15
French to German
+ ...
Further comments Feb 24, 2011

Thomas Johansson wrote:
(.../...)
Interesting and constructive approach.

My sincere feeling, however - and I am aware that many do not agree - is that pretty much all commercial, "regular" CAT tools have had their prices unnecessarily inflated. Which means that, to me at least, both A and B probably represent unnecessarily inflated prices.

In any event, reflecting on your approach, I might suggest - quite from the top of my head - as a possibly useful principle: identify the least expensive "regular" CAT tool that has a reasonable set of features fine for most regular translation needs, and then assume the price of that CAT tool as a reasonable maximum price level. (I.e. along the rough lines of: "if that price works fine for that vendor, then it should also work fine for other vendors.")


First of all, thanks for the compilation, Thomas. In addition to be time-consuming, it was certainly not a labour of love - so to say.

I agree that your principle is valid too from the vocational point of view, even if I disagree with its conclusion (just because it is not up to me to decide what the publisher needs or wants, quite in the same way as I don't let clients dictate their prices for translation services).

However and be it with the 1st or the 2nd hypothesis, all my CAT tools have prices comprised between B and C which, from a Western European point of view solely, are IMHO not over-inflated.

In the framework of the current discussion, my definition of an excessive price would be something along the lines of purchasing/"having to purchase" a tool in the A-B price range when the tool in question doesn't include features offered by tools in the B-C range.


 
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