Is Wordfast a good option after Trados ?
Thread poster: Flora Sellin

Flora Sellin  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:12
English to French
Aug 14, 2012

Hello,

I'm currently working for a German translation agency. They've worked with Trados but were disappointed (hard to get help from customer support, expensive upgrades, etc) and wish to change for another CAT tool. What they basically need is a tool to analyze files to be translated and to manage the TMs. I've done some research and I feel like Wordfast could be a good option, but I still have some questions for the ones among you who work/have worked with Wordfast.

Have you ever experienced difficulties when it comes to compatibility with Trados TMs or when cleaning a Trados-translated file with Wordfast (and vice-versa)?

Does Wordfast provide technical support, and is it reliable?

Is there any drawback working with Wordfast that would make you recommend another CAT tool?

Thank you in advance for your answers and for any further comment that could help me!

Flora Sellin


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:12
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Training Aug 14, 2012

Flora Sellin wrote:
They've worked with Trados but were disappointed (hard to get help from customer support, expensive upgrades, etc) and wish to change for another CAT tool. What they basically need is a tool to analyze files to be translated and to manage the TMs.


What they might need is some training on how to use Trados. I always wonder about the negative comments regarding Trados, when in many cases the problem is not the software, but users who neither read the documentation nor invest som etime in proper training.

But this is not your question. You question was: "Is there any drawback working with Wordfast?".
I can tell you one - there are quite a few translators (including me) who won't touch Wordfast and won't therefore be available for specialist jobs from this agency.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
For starters Aug 14, 2012

Flora Sellin wrote:

I've done some research and I feel like Wordfast could be a good option


There are two entirely different products, namely, Wordfast Classic (WFC) and Wordfast Pro (WFP). Which one are you eying? Unless you specify, you get a mix of different comments that would not help much.

Have you ever experienced difficulties when it comes to compatibility with Trados TMs


Very funny. Even Trados is not compatible with Trados (try opening a TM created in Trados 7.5 with Trados 6.0 and see). What would you expect from another tool? The only option is to export all your TMs to TMX.

or when cleaning a Trados-translated file with Wordfast (and vice-versa)?


If you mean cleaning up a so called uncleaned RTF in WFC, there should be no problem.

Does Wordfast provide technical support, and is it reliable?


Dunno. My questions about both WFs were addressed adequately by the respective Yahoo! mail lists.

Is there any drawback working with Wordfast that would make you recommend another CAT tool?


a) WFC is an addon to Microsoft Word, which in turn is a bag of shit bugs. Since reliability is my priority, this is a bad option.
b) WFP is a standalone program and relies on non-Microsoft libraries or addons (not sure, what exactly) for import/export of MS Office files. Problems with formatting sometimes. The filters are being improved, yeah, but still not perfect.
c) both are proprietary programs. If you fail to extend your license in time (and some users complain about the relicensing process in the Yahoo! groups), you’re left in the middle of nowhere crying over an incomplete job.

I do ≈ 85% of my jobs with OmegaT, ≈ 10% with Anaphraseus, ≈ 5% with WFC/WFP (tend to use mostly WFP for the reason a) above).


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Pardon? Aug 14, 2012

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

I always wonder about the negative comments regarding Trados, when in many cases the problem is not the software, but users who neither read the documentation nor invest som etime in proper training.


A program making you cough up a kilobuck must require no training at all. Really, you first must spend a helluva money for a Trados license, then yet more for training. A racketeer policy, I’d say.


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:12
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Do you have a drivers licence? Aug 14, 2012

esperantisto wrote:
A program making you cough up a kilobuck must require no training at all. Really, you first must spend a helluva money for a Trados license, then yet more for training.


If so, why? A car that costs you several kilobucks should require no training at all.

I am not aware that other professional software packages such as Indesign or Framemaker are much cheaper or require no training. We are talking about a software for an agency, not for a freelancer.

As an agency that hopefully makes a lot of kilobucks, the cost for a professional software package are negligible.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Finnish to French
Aspose Aug 14, 2012

esperantisto wrote:
b) WFP is a standalone program and relies on non-Microsoft libraries or addons (not sure, what exactly) for import/export of MS Office files.

For Office file formats, Wordfast Pro relies on Aspose. So does memoQ, since version 6.0 (previous versions required an installed version of Office to do the conversion of DOC/PPT/XLS).

Check for com.aspose.*.jar files in /Wordfast/Plugins


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:12
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Some agencies use WFP exclusively Aug 14, 2012

One big American agency I often work for always sends both source files and the WFP-format files (txml). Since years. And there is hardly ever any problem with the software. I find working with WFP much more intuitive than with SDL Studio (I've got no training on either). WFP is designed with the freelancer in mind, Studio with the agency in mind (forcing discounts upon freelancers). That's why SDL software has been more successful. IMO

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:12
English to Russian
+ ...
Trados TWB for me Aug 14, 2012

I have used the "classic" Trados (Translator Workbench and TagEditor), Trados Studio, Wordfast Classic and Wordfast Pro in my work, and remain strongly in favour of the old Translator Workbench (circa version 7.0). I prefer the Word plugins (such as TWB and WFC) to standalone programs because you see your segment within the actual flow of text, which is sometimes necessary to choose the correct translation out of several possibilities. A standalone program gives you a sequence of segments, which does not necessarily correspond to the actual text structure, especially in files with complex formatting. My own ranking of these tools is as follows:
TWB - excellent user interface, somewhat buggy but in a consistent way, stable, scales well to large TMs, good user manuals.
Wordfast Classic - I only tried older versions and abandoned them in favour of TWB because of poorer stability, "chunky" performance, somewhat less refined interface and very deficient user manuals. Will check newer WFC when I have time.
Trados Studio - unnecessary lumping of Trados and SDLX into one package, plus an ugly GUI shell on top of them. A typical product of profit-driven development. Tried it and quicky rolled back to old Trados.
Wordfast Pro - stable, sleek at first glance, but a real usability disaster, the brightest example of which is the default binding of Shift+Space to the analysis function. Hitting this key combination accidentally while typing gives you a nasty surprise. User manuals are still very deficient.


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Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 22:12
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
WFP and Trados Studio - not the same league Aug 15, 2012

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Wordfast Pro - stable, sleek at first glance, but a real usability disaster.


I agree with you, Anton.


My personal opinion:
Comparing WFP to Trados Studio (or to other sophisticated CAT tools like memoQ or Deja Vu) is like comparing an Opel Corsa to a Mercedes limousine. Same core idea, but pretty different look and feel, not to mention the power.

Regards,

Gyula


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Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:42
Member
English to Gujarati
+ ...
Price for service too Aug 15, 2012

esperantisto wrote:

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

I always wonder about the negative comments regarding Trados, when in many cases the problem is not the software, but users who neither read the documentation nor invest som etime in proper training.


A program making you cough up a kilobuck must require no training at all. Really, you first must spend a helluva money for a Trados license, then yet more for training. A racketeer policy, I’d say.


I should admit I am satisfied with Trados because I trained for it. Though I should mention that even the service for a brand new licence comes only at a price. Not at all like anything else where the manufacturer looks after you for 6 months at least.


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
why limit your sky? Aug 15, 2012

I never could understand why both clients and translators are so arid about CATs: the former are not sure why they really need this or that specific version of a CAT whereas the latter simply don't know how to get and to work with it properly... Thus I think it has very little to do with translation.

Personally I never liked any version of Trados, nor enjoyed WF pro much, nor other even free CATs, but when I have to deal with MS Word documents I always have a tiny WF3.35x with me--more than enough.

Back on the topic: any decent tool is always a good option after one can handle it properly, not before.


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