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Comparing SDL Trados Studio 2017 and CafeTran Espresso

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Name SDL Trados Studio 2017 CafeTran Espresso
Review breakdown
(22 reviews)
(10 reviews)
Most helpful review
From CAT Leader to Playing the Catch-up Game
From CAT Leader to Playing the Catch-up Game PROS 1. Trados is still considered by many to be the best CAT tool out there – if not the most advanced or reliable, at least the most comprehensive one. 2. Their support is supposed to be good. (As long as you are ready to pay for it.) 3. It is actively developed and marketing is aggressive, and with clear messages – not the case with Atril's marketing, which I would call unpredictable. 4. If you are looking for a separate term managing solution (and do not mind the glitches and the counter-productive interface logic) MultiTerm is your best choice. 5. On-the-fly spell checking using Microsoft spell checker (Déjà vu X3 and MemoQ still cannot figure that out). 6. Segments are marked clearly depending on the stage the file is in (translation, reviewing, etc.) This used to be a Trados-exclusive feature (and a very useful one, I might add), but now their competitors offer it as well. 7. There is an actively developed platform (SDL OpenExchange) where third-party vendors and enthusiasts publish Trados add-ons, some of which are indeed very helpful. CONS 1. Where do I start? Trados is a behemoth – installation packages are big, installation is slow and sometimes troublesome, until recently activating the software was mission impossible for many. It has happened to me that Windows would have to be reinstalled with no chance of returning the license before that and the amount of trouble that would create when trying to activate the newly installed Trados was often mind-boggling. While working, it creates a multitude of unnecessary files in obscure locations. 2. I have been using – and paying for Trados – since 2007, and it that period there has never been a version that I would call reliable. You either cannot get your file in, or you cannot get your translation out. And in between the software used to crash every hour or so. Version 2011 was the first ‘more stable‘ one. The new version 2015 is much more stable than version 2011 when it first came out (they practically sold a beta, or so many freelancers thought – check the forums on this site), but it will still crash and give the odd error message when least expected. 3. Until recently Trados used to cost an arm and a leg (or both), and every year you would have to pay them more for a ‘new’ version, which more often than not was just the old version with a few bugs fixed – come on, SDL, this is not a nice way to treat paying customers! In recent years, they have been forced to reconsider their price policy by the success of the ‘young lions’ at Kilgray, and the low prices of Atril's Déjà vu X2 and X3. Of the ‘Big 3’ CAT makers Trados is the only one that obstinately sells a separate term solution (Multiterm), instead of incorporating it with the project manager like their competitors at Atril and Kilgray. Why? You guessed it correctly: money-wise it is better to sell two overpriced products than just one. Cost aside, Multiterm and Trados simply do not – and have not over the past 7 years – work/ed together flawlessly, they act more like products made by different vendors, who do not like comparing notes. Example? You can now add terms to your term base with a single click, but if you want to edit a term... No, sorry, you cannot do that from inside the editor, you have to open both Trados Studio and Multiterm as two separate products to be able to edit the term. Warum, SDL?! 4. Things are happening notoriously slow at SDL. New technology finds its way there last. Their aggressively advertised AutoSuggest v1 feature (which they initially tried to sell separately) was hopelessly outdated for years (Déjà vu X3 being the leader in offering revolutionary CAT technology), but they would be the last to admit it. What they still call ‘impossible’ is what their competitors at Atril and Kilgray have been offering for 2 years now. In version 2014 for example the threshold for creating an AutoSuggest dictionary was lowered (as a result of the public outcry), and still it was not low enough to make it convenient for the freelancer. Compare this to the fact that Déjà vu X3 creates ‘autosuggest’ entries on-the-fly even from the last segment you have just confirmed. Now, finally, AutoSuggest 2 has emulated the success of Atril's AutoWrite and is offering on-the-fly suggestions even from the last segment you have just confirmed. 5. You will have to pay for a support package. Sometimes I think they keep Trados in a state of disrepair, just so that they can sell support packages. I am sorry if this hurts someone’s feelings, but until recently, Trados was the sole king of the CAT market, raking in huge profits, and I simply cannot understand why it would be so unreliable, and known problems would not be fixed over a period of 7 years, etc. Why? Anyone? 6. Version 2015 is still far from perfect. The sliding panel for adding new terms can drive you crazy, and you will waste precious time looking for important options buried deep in the re-modeled interface. CONCLUSION This is the most comprehensive tool out there (can open the widest range of formats), but it is usually somewhat outdated, it costs a lot to buy and renew, and it is both complex and sometimes unreliable. Just like with Windows XP, the old versions of Trados are the most widely used ones (outsourcing translation companies still have them), and this is what dictates the market. While the competition at Kilgray and MemoQ has developed immensely over the past 2-3 years, and is offering more reliable and small footprint software with (in certain respects) better advanced features, SDL seems to be losing momentum, and ultimately – clients. They have drastically lowered their prices, but if you check the promotions page on www.proz.com, you will find out that they still sell less than their nearest competitor Kilgray. Although, they seem to finally be on the right track with Studio 2015, precious 3-4 years have been lost and now SDL has surrendered its position of CAT leader and is playing the catch-up game with Kilgray (in terms of new customers) and Atril (in terms of technology).
123 out of 142 found this review helpful.

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Great new features with each new build
Just in a few words, it is different. CafeTran's developer is not only a programmer but he is a translator as well, that is why he adds all those unique features helping translators. One pays EUR 225 only to upgrade from SDL Trados Studio 2009 Freelance to 2011 version but you can buy CafeTran at only EUR 80. Amazing! Just read the features at http://cafetran.wikidot.com/
22 out of 24 found this review helpful.

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Product description Translate faster and smarter using the world’s #1 computer assisted translation (CAT) tool for translation professionals.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 is the complete CAT tool for language professionals who want to edit and review projects, use agreed terminology and get the most out of machine translation in one simple desktop application.

Used by over 250,000 professionals worldwide, when you choose Studio, you become part of the largest translation community in the world.

Top reasons to use SDL Trados Studio 2017:

  • Do more in less time: all the tools you need when translating, reviewing or managing terminology.
  • Innovative features that increase your productivity such as predictive typing, self-learning machine translation (MT), quality checking and advanced tools for cooperating more easily with reviewers.
  • Easy to learn, easy to use and a workspace you can arrange to suit your needs.
  • Accelerates your translation thanks to maximum reuse of previous work.
  • Opens all common file types – anything from Microsoft Word and Google Docs to sophisticated formats like Adobe InDesign – so you can work with any project.
  • Access to apps to make you even more productive and complement your translation activities via
  • SDL AppStore.
  • A rich library of free learning resources including regular webinars, video tutorials, blogs and regular networking opportunities.
  • A global presence with more than 55 offices in 38 countries to ensure we are always on hand.

New features and functionality in SDL Trados Studio 2017:

  • AdaptiveMT, powered by Language Cloud, learns from your post-edits from job to job so that machine translation output is unique to your tone, terminology and style. Edit and save MT suggestions to adapt your machine translation output in real time and see the learning in future results.
  • upLIFT Fragment Recall offers fragment suggestions directly from your translation memory in real time, when you have no full or fuzzy TM match.
  • upLIFT Fuzzy Repair uses matches from all your trusted project resources, such as translation memories, termbases and machine translation, to automatically repair fuzzy matches.
  • Merge segments, even those separated by hard returns.
  • Learn about all the new features on www.translationzone.com/trados2017.
Welcome to CafeTran Espresso -- the feature-rich CAT tool that is fun to use!

Whether you are an experienced user of the big-name CAT tools, or a translator getting ready to use a CAT tool for the first time, please consider CafeTran Espresso. This powerful tool was built lovingly, from the ground up, by a person who is both a developer and a translator himself. It is packed with creative and useful features that not only help you to work faster, but also make your job more fun.

CafeTran also boasts a passionate user community, and an attentive developer, that help each other with support at all hours of the day. With this tool, you are never alone!

Free to download and run, up to 1000 translation units, CafeTran Espresso works on Windows, Macs and Linux machines. Why not download and give it a try right now?

Main features
  • Cross-platform translation environment (Mac-Windows-Linux)
  • Stand-alone (no Ms Office required)
  • Based on open standards XLIFF and TMX
  • Very fast using RAM for translation memories
  • Uses as many translation memories as you like
  • Handles lots of file formats
  • Integrates Internet resources and machine translation (Google and Bing)
  • Spell checker and thesaurus (requires free OpenOffice/LibreOffice)
  • Autowriter completes and suggests words on-the-fly based on activated memories
  • Handles formatting tags easily
  • Alternative clipboard workflow to translate unsupported formats
  • Creates translation memories from existing translations (Documents alignment)
  • Segments and terms mangement in a preferred SQL database
  • Network memory server for remote or team work
  • Software localization - Java, Mac and .NET
Price SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance - Ideal for freelance translators (€495/$825/£595/¥100,000)
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Professional - Ideal for companies (€2,595/$2,895/£2,395/¥360,000)
File formats Work with any file format and any project. View list. XLIFF & Full list of file formats
License type Perpetual Perpetual
Operating system Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Linux, Mac OS 7, 8, 9, OSX 10.3.4 and higher , Windows 95, 98, ME, NT & 2000, Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.6 and higher, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and higher, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.4 and higher
System requirements Intel or compatible CPU-based computer with 2 GB RAM and a minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. For optimum performance, 4 GB RAM and a recent Intel or compatible CPU is recommended. CafeTran Spec sheet
Compatibility Open standard file formats XLIFF, TMX, TBX & OLIF, interoperability with other CAT tools and an app store making it possible to integrate with any workflow or te Support for multilanguage translation memories (TMX format)
Support and upgrades offered/included Free installation and licensing support and free online community help from SDL employees, Paid support available for unlimited specialist support and free upgrades Installation support, Free community support, Free technical support via support ticket center, Free upgrades for duration of license/Subscription
Support and tutorial links http://www.translationzone.com/support/ CafeTran Google Group
Free trial Download a 30-day free fully functional trial of SDL Trados Studio 2017 Use for free until you reach 1000 translation units
Languages supported Virtually any language combination that is also supported by Microsoft Windows. View list. All major languages

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