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What's the most user-friendly CAT software?
Thread poster: Charlotte Fleming

Charlotte Fleming  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:11
Member (2018)
Italian to English
+ ...
Oct 5, 2018

Hi all,
I'm a newbie to CAT software and to this site. I've started off using OmegaT but I find it really clunky and unintuitive; I also followed their instructions for downloading a dictionary but they didn't seem to work. What (preferably low-priced) CAT software do more experienced members recommend? I've looked in the Translation Tools drop-down menu and there's plenty of choice but no info to base a decision on.

Or should I just uninstall/reinstall OmegaT and persevere w
... See more
Hi all,
I'm a newbie to CAT software and to this site. I've started off using OmegaT but I find it really clunky and unintuitive; I also followed their instructions for downloading a dictionary but they didn't seem to work. What (preferably low-priced) CAT software do more experienced members recommend? I've looked in the Translation Tools drop-down menu and there's plenty of choice but no info to base a decision on.

Or should I just uninstall/reinstall OmegaT and persevere with it?

Thanks for any/all advice!
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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:11
Member
Italian to English
Subjective Oct 5, 2018

I think the question of "user-friendliness" when it comes to CAT tools is extremely subjective! Some translators will rave about a certain CAT that others absolutely loathe. So I fear the only way to find one you love is to give them a try.

On a positive note, most CATs give you the opportunity to try them out for a while for free. Trados and Memsource are probably the most popular among agencies; I have Trados (2015 version) and I wouldn't be able to do without it no
... See more
I think the question of "user-friendliness" when it comes to CAT tools is extremely subjective! Some translators will rave about a certain CAT that others absolutely loathe. So I fear the only way to find one you love is to give them a try.

On a positive note, most CATs give you the opportunity to try them out for a while for free. Trados and Memsource are probably the most popular among agencies; I have Trados (2015 version) and I wouldn't be able to do without it now.

You are lucky in that there are loads to choose from now, many more than a few years ago, so if you are committed to finding one you like and learning to use it, you should find one that fits the bill.

[Edited at 2018-10-05 11:49 GMT]
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Thomas Pfann
Kaspars Melkis
Giulia Piantoni
Dan Lucas
Kevin Fulton
José Henrique Lamensdorf
 

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 17:11
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
memoQ Oct 5, 2018

Because it's intuitive.

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Thomas T. Frost
Anna Augustin
 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:11
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Wordfast Oct 5, 2018

I find Wordfast user friendly and intuitive; I started using Wordfast Classic but switched to Wordfast Pro after a few months. I still use WF pro 3 though, as I found version 5 less intuitive so have still not got round to using it. There is a freeware/test version you can use to see whether you are happy with this CAT tool.

I also like MemoQ and use it for some of my clients, but it may be worth looking into its subscription model before committing - renewing after letting your lic
... See more
I find Wordfast user friendly and intuitive; I started using Wordfast Classic but switched to Wordfast Pro after a few months. I still use WF pro 3 though, as I found version 5 less intuitive so have still not got round to using it. There is a freeware/test version you can use to see whether you are happy with this CAT tool.

I also like MemoQ and use it for some of my clients, but it may be worth looking into its subscription model before committing - renewing after letting your license lapse sometimes means you will need to pay for renewal counting from the moment your previous license ended. All explained pretty well on the Kilgray website.

Although there are many clients requiring Trados, I find I can usually work with Trados packages and files.

I agree with Fiona - this seems to be a very personal, and often quite strong, preference.
Good luck!
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neilmac
Fiona Gilbert Riley
 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:11
Member (2019)
French to English
+ ...
Marjolein: working with Trados? Oct 5, 2018

Marjolein: You wrote: "Although there are many clients requiring Trados, I find I can usually work with Trados packages and files."
What do you mean -- that you can "work with" Trados using other software packages you have, or you've found you don't need trados? Thank you.

[Edited at 2018-10-05 16:26 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
CafeTran? Oct 5, 2018

Have you considered upgrading to "Plus" membership here? Or maybe that's what you have already. One of the many "perks" of the package is a free CafeTran licence. There are a lot of other things that benefit those who are new to professional translation.

 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:11
Member
English to Italian
Trial Versions Oct 5, 2018

Most CAT tools have trial periods, so why don't you take advantage of that? Personally I find memoQ more intuitive, compact and less scattered than Studio (although I feel its quality has been deteriorating as of late), but you should try them out for yourself.

At any rate, I believe they are #2 and #1 (respectively) as far as overall usage and diffusion are concerned, so I'd look into those first, especially if you think you'll be working with agencies quite often.


Matheus Chaud
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Déjà Vu Oct 5, 2018

Don't ask me why. Well, actually yes, do ask me:

1. User-friendly
2. The best total ownership ratio among the “mainstream” CAT tools
3. It doesn’t “keep your target file hostage” (as some mainstream CAT tools do)
4. They have a new version release evert three years or so, not every year, as some other “mainstream” tools do
5. The support is just excellent; I’ve used it maybe five or six times and always “on spot”

Disclaimer: n
... See more
Don't ask me why. Well, actually yes, do ask me:

1. User-friendly
2. The best total ownership ratio among the “mainstream” CAT tools
3. It doesn’t “keep your target file hostage” (as some mainstream CAT tools do)
4. They have a new version release evert three years or so, not every year, as some other “mainstream” tools do
5. The support is just excellent; I’ve used it maybe five or six times and always “on spot”

Disclaimer: not in any way related to them. Just a happy user.

Good luck!
MD
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Selcuk Akyuz
Matthias Brombach
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
WFC Oct 5, 2018

All the CAT tools cut texts into choppy 'segments', rendering the translation rather unnatural, because of different tempo, various length, alternative words order, collocations, readability and so on. While it might be ok for manuals and techy stuff, unless it's about 'paragraph' segments, such inter-lingual semi-finished products require much extra work, alas.

I mostly work with MS documents, so (providing you don't mess with hidden
... See more
All the CAT tools cut texts into choppy 'segments', rendering the translation rather unnatural, because of different tempo, various length, alternative words order, collocations, readability and so on. While it might be ok for manuals and techy stuff, unless it's about 'paragraph' segments, such inter-lingual semi-finished products require much extra work, alas.

I mostly work with MS documents, so (providing you don't mess with hidden tags) WordFast Classic is pretty natural for the native Word environment. Of course, it's not always the best solution for other formats/workflow styles, but is fine with me. Sometimes I use MemoQ, DejaVu, or free Wordfast Anywhere (freetm.com) for non-NDA docs.
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José Henrique Lamensdorf
 

Charlotte Fleming  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:11
Member (2018)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 5, 2018

Thank you all very much. Making use of the trial periods offered seems like good sense, so I'll give them all a go and see where I end up

[Edited at 2018-10-05 17:09 GMT]


 

Agnese Zuravska
Latvia
Local time: 18:11
English to Latvian
+ ...
Memsource Oct 5, 2018

Everyone forgot about the most user-friendly one - Memsource. It is really easy to understand and best of all, you can use it for free and in your browser!
The free versions allows to have only 2 active translations at one given moment but that can easily be bypassed if you know how to zip your files together.


Mirko Mainardi
IrinaN
 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:11
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
How the CAT tool does the text segmentation Oct 5, 2018

The following link is to a discussion of a few years ago and it is probably just as relevant today. It's about how the text to be translated is split into segments (sentences) and, in particular, whether the CAT tool insists on doing it all automatically (using end-of-segment rules that you can define) or mostly automatically but allowing you to define manually what is the next segment to be translated. It is because OmegaT uses fixed segmentation rules that I do not use it (you can define the r... See more
The following link is to a discussion of a few years ago and it is probably just as relevant today. It's about how the text to be translated is split into segments (sentences) and, in particular, whether the CAT tool insists on doing it all automatically (using end-of-segment rules that you can define) or mostly automatically but allowing you to define manually what is the next segment to be translated. It is because OmegaT uses fixed segmentation rules that I do not use it (you can define the rules but they are fixed for the translation of the whole of one document). I use mainly Wordfast (the "classic" version, which is a big macro for Microsoft Word).

https://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/204631-segmentation_rules_are_not_intelligent_manual_adjustment_is_vital.html

I hope this is useful to somebody!
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Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Why would you want to use a CAT tool? Oct 6, 2018

Charlotte Fleming wrote:

What (preferably low-priced) CAT software do more experienced members recommend?


What do you expect from a CAT tool? How have you been translating until now?


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:11
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Depends on the type of translation Oct 6, 2018

Hans Lenting wrote:
(Why would you want to use a CAT tool?)

Charlotte Fleming wrote:

What (preferably low-priced) CAT software do more experienced members recommend?

What do you expect from a CAT tool? How have you been translating until now?


Whether it is beneficial to use a CAT tool depends on the type of translation you do. "CAT tool" usually (perhaps always) means a TM (Translation Memory) tool. I use it because it can show me how I have translated similar sentences. My translation work is usually technical, not literary, so it also makes sense for me to search for individual words in the TM. When my usual translation agency sends me a translation job, a TM of previous work for the same client or on the same subject is often sent with the text to be translated, so I can see how similar or related sentences and terminology have been translated. The TM tool can also easily search the other TMs that I have accumulated during my translation work.


[Edited at 2018-10-06 18:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-10-06 18:55 GMT]


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:11
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Déjà Vu: Quite happy, too, and ... Oct 7, 2018

Merab Dekano wrote:
Just a happy user.

... still after years. Especially, when it comes to term and TM managing.


Selcuk Akyuz
 
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