New to translating- which software/version to buy?
Thread poster: JanaW (X)

JanaW (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:07
French to English
+ ...
Jul 31, 2014

Hello all,
I am new to this field and so far all I have is Microsoft Word. Hoping for a recommendation for which translation program to purchase? Trados is the only one I've heard of, but there are several versions.
I am hoping to slowly build a career in translation over the course of a few years.
Thanks for any input.


 

Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:07
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Start by the free ones and move on. Jul 31, 2014

http://www.my-across.net/en/translation-workbench.aspx

http://www.wordfast.com/products_wordfast_anywhere.html

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

Just for starters.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bargepole Jul 31, 2014

I recommend Wordfast Classic . I also recommending avoiding Trados like the over-priced, over-complicated monster it is.

 

Yan Yuliang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:07
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Trados, if you truly need one Jul 31, 2014

It is expensive, but the most widely used translation memory software ever.

I would disagree that it is over-complicated. It provides a lot of functions, but it takes only a couple of hours for you to master the basic operations, provided, of course, that you receive proper training.

I started using Trados 2007 six years ago, and have now moved on to Trados 2014. The latest version has a layout similar to Microsoft Windows. Just last month, I taught someone how to use Trados Studio 2014 to do translation - it took only two hours. Of course she needs a couple of days to get some hands-on experience. Usually in a week or after two or three translation projects, you'll get familiar with the basic operations.

It's just my two cents, of course. No matter which tool you choose, don't be afraid! You can start with some basic concepts such as Translation Memory, Term Base, etc. and then move on. You'll find it pretty easy, amazingly easy. Over 90% of your daily operations can be mastered in a couple of days. Advanced features? You always have time to learn more after you get familiar with the tool.


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:07
German to English
+ ...
Figure out what you need it for first! Aug 1, 2014

What types of translations will you be doing? I see that you have software localization in your profile, for instance. There are tools specific to software localization. Will you be translating highly formatted texts? Wordfast Classic (which I like and have used for many years) won't be great for those. Do your clients want Trados compatibility or does that not matter? Will you be translating unique texts - advertising, for example? If so, you might not need a tool at all. Personal reviews are great, but only after you actually know why you need the tool and the features that would benefit you most.

I personally use Trados Studio 2011, MemoQ 2013 and Wordfast Classic because that what suits my work best as it has developed over the years. What might help is searching ProZ and doing some google searching for comparisons of the various tools. YouTube also has a lot of free demos, as do the websites of the various CAT tool companies.


 

JanaW (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:07
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 1, 2014

Thank you for the suggestions. I am so glad I found ProZ and this great community!

Daina, also thank you for noticing that I had software localization in my profile- I must have clicked that by mistake, I'm not even sure what it is exactly! Ha!

Thanks again. I think I will explore some of the free trials first and see which one I like as I start working.


 

HSahner
Germany
Local time: 17:07
French to German
+ ...
Try them out Aug 1, 2014

Hi Jana,

I agree with Daina. If most of your clients require Trados, you maybe think about buying Trados, even if it is expensive.

I personally started with MemoQ as it is less expensive and has a good compatibility to most trados and other formats. And my most important client uses it, tooicon_wink.gif. Futhermore, I just liked it more than Trados in terms of operating philosophy. But that is for sure a matter of personal taste.

Nevertheless, I recently bought a Trados license because I was encountering problems with some Trados formats using MemoQ (some sdlproj-Files which weren't aligned properly caused trouble and TTX and TMW-Files couldn't be proceeded at all).

I think you should download the trial versions and see what suits you best (Trados gives you 30 days and MemoQ even 45 days for trial). If you already have some good clients, you can also ask them what they use.

Regarding your question about the different Trados versions, SDL has a very good overview of the different functionalities on its website. I wouldn't go for the Starter version as it really does not suit the needs of a full-time professional. The Freelance version is fine.

I wish you the best of luck in building career in translation.


 

Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:07
Member (2014)
Dutch to English
+ ...
MemoQ Aug 1, 2014

I personally love MemoQ as it is very simple to use and never causes any problems, but you will get a different answer from everyone.

I have also used Trados for years and found it to be overly complicated and difficult to use. Typically, features that you have to devote time to learning in Trados are just self-evident in MemoQ.

Unfortunately, Trados is indeed the most widespread and although compatibility between different tools is much better than it used to be you may find that agencies insist you have Trados if you want to work for them. MemoQ does seem to be gaining ground though.


 

Sarah Lewis-Morgan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:07
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
I've been looking into Across, but I'm not very happy about it! Aug 1, 2014

I've only just joined this site and saw Across advertised as free, so I took a look at the website. None of the information I want to check out - system requirements, user manual - is available; I just get a Page Not Found message. Which leaves me with less than full confidence about downloading it. I've been translating for a while with no translation S/W, but I have seen the odd client specifying Across or some sort of S/W as a requirement. Has anyone tried to access Across recently? Is there a problem with it?

 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:07
German to English
+ ...
Same experience Aug 2, 2014

I also prefer MemoQ to Trados. Trados Studio 2011 just seems to have some quirks that are annoying - e.g., why do I always have to restart the program to "open for translation" files that I have added to a project? Why can't I get the glossary converter to work no matter what I try? - but that's another thread! I keep Wordfast Classic, which served me well for many years, because I have legacy memories in that format.

Re: Across - I have no personal experience with it, but a colleague I work with closely is forced to use it for a particular client and has described it as being extremely clumsy and cumbersome to use.


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:07
German to English
+ ...
PS Jana, re: your profile Aug 2, 2014

Jana, I would take all of the personal stuff out of your profile and concentrate on what you can offer clients.

 

JanaW (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:07
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 2, 2014

Thank you Daina for your feedback. Since I am new to this field I am not sure what "experience" to put down, but I am getting some good ideas by reading others' profiles. Thanks again! Much appreciated.

 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:07
German to English
+ ...
No problem! Aug 4, 2014

JanaW wrote:

Thank you Daina for your feedback. Since I am new to this field I am not sure what "experience" to put down, but I am getting some good ideas by reading others' profiles. Thanks again! Much appreciated.


No problem, Jana. Here are just a few resources you might find helpful:

Corinne McKay - Thoughts on Translation blog
http://thoughtsontranslation.com/author/corinnemckay/
She has a book and a class for beginners.

The Translator's Tool Box: A Computer Primer for Translators
http://www.internationalwriters.com/toolbox/

Secrets of Self-Employment: Surviving and Thriving on the Ups and Downs of Being Your Own Boss
by Paul and Sarah Edwards

ATA
http://www.atanet.org/


 

Hannah Keet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:07
German to English
+ ...
My opinion Aug 6, 2014

In my opinion, either Trados or MemoQ are the best options: Trados as it seems to be the tool of choice for many translation agencies, and MemoQ because it's so simple and easy to use. You can get trials of both CAT tools; when the 45 day trial runs out for MemoQ, it turns into the 4free version. It is limited in terms of use, but as the name suggests, free.

In terms of support, I found that MemoQ were excellent. The one time I had to contact their support team, the issue was remedied extremely quickly. When I contacted Trados for support, I remember thinking their system was overly complicated (I had to ring two different telephone numbers to get help submitting my request online(!)) and they took a lot longer to remedy the simple issue.

I've not used Across, but I've heard several translators complain about it.


 


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