Welcome back everyone! This is the second post about Cat-tools, and I hope you like it.
Last week I shared my thoughts about if a Cat-tool is really necessary, and our poll showed some expected results:
77% said they do use/have Cat-tools
3% said they do not have/use Cat-tools
20% said they do not have but will buy it
As we can see, most of the translators have and work with a Cat-tool, and those who do not have are planning to purchase it. Now here is the question: which Cat-tool is considered the best for your needs? I cannot answer this question for you, however, I can share my user experience with two of the most well known Cat-tools in the industry: SDL Trados and MemoQ. It is important to keep in mind that these two software are considered the most popular today, but this does not mean that they are better than any other Cat-tool in the market. You will need to decide which one is more suitable to your needs.
This software was my first Cat-tool. I decided to purchase it because most of my clients only worked with Trados. It is expensive, I admit, but after a few jobs I was able to cover the cost of the product . When I bought my first Trados, SDL had just launched the Studio 2009 version, so I really do not know if the studio version is better or more user friendly than Trados 2007. Today I have already updated my 2009 version to the 2011 one. Here are the advantages of using this tool:
1. Trados is useful in recalling repetitive texts that get stored within the memory of the program.
2. It is also useful in storing terminologies that are specific to a client which may need to be used frequently.
3. It prevents skipping lines when the translated text and the source text are open together. This also avoids missing out on important details such as numbers, names, etc and prevents the wrong spelling of the same.The screen is very clean and the side-by-side view of the source and target text really help you work in a more comfortable way and free of worries about missing non translated texts.
4. Whenever you need to send a quote to your client, it is easier to upload the document in Trados and let the software do the calculations for you.
5. It can help you in increasing the speed at which you work as both the texts are open simultaneously thereby enhancing the volume of work completed.
6. You can proofread your own work using track changes and MS Word spell check, and run the quality assurance feature.
7. You can translate many different file extensions besides only MS Word, Excel and Power Point.
8. You do not need to worry about keeping the same formatting as the original document. Trados does this job for you and lets you preview how your document will be in the end.
I really do like Trados, and I am sure that this software have many other advantages that I still do not know. I watched the tutorial video on their website, however, I still believe that it is worth it to pay for their training courses. As soon as I have an opportunity I will attend one. You can learn more about Trados by clicking here. They do offer a 30 day trial, so how about downloading this trial version and trying it for a month?
I did not know anything about MemoQ until a new client asked me to download the trial version. All of their projects are sent to the translators via MemoQ. After trying it out during the trial period I realized that this software is simply great! Although it is considered a Cat-tool just like Trados, MemoQ has its own particularities that I personally like a lot. Here they are:
1. I like the overall user interface. It’s clean and easy on the eyes.
2. MemoQ gives you information on how far you have gone with the project if you look at the progress notifications.
3. MemoQ uses a column layout, so that you see the source text on the left and the target on the right. On the far right you can see results from automatic searches in the translation memory and term bases attached to the project. The color system makes it easy to see if the results are relevant to the segment you’re translating.
4. MemoQ´s resource center gathers everything related to the project: the translation memories, the term bases, an alignment tool and the project-specific settings.
5. MemoQ is totally compatible with Trados TTX and XLIFF files
6 – MemoQ´s QA test is very good. It gives you a report that leads you to the segment that needs to be amended and you can do it quickly.
7. The software lets you import and export all files and if you made any changes on them, you can upload them back on MemoQ and the software will replace all amendments for you.
MemoQ also offer a 45 day trial and it is absolutely worth it to try. You can find more information about MemoQ and download the trial version here.
Price Tips and Conclusion
Cat-tools are expensive and I really recommend you to take a look at some good deals online. Both websites offer some discounts, but you can also find a great deal at Proz or from someone that is selling their license because they simply do not need such software anymore. I bought my MemoQ from a Group Buy on Proz and got 40% off of the normal price. Just do not forget: before buying, it is worth it to download the trial version to see if you will really like it 🙂
In regards to the question of which one is better, in my personal opinion, although I have both Cat-tools I do prefer MemoQ instead of Trados. This is because after using both I realized that MemoQ supplies my needs in a better way and it is very user friendly. I use SDL Trados only when a client requires to do so, but keep in mind that this is my personal opinion. You will need to try both or even take a look into another Cat-tool that you might be interested in and decide which one is the best for you.