I found a place on ProZ.com that allows you to compare CAT tools. It’s a place with a collection of ratings and evaluations left by users of various CAT tools, and although it’s not very objective since it’s not one single user evaluating multiple CAT tools, it’s still the largest collection of data that I’ve ever seen. You should all take a look. I’m not sure if you need a membership to access it, but you probably don’t. The address is as follows: http://www.proz.com/software-comparison-tool/cat/cat_tools/2
CAT tool comparison
The first thing I noticed is Fluency’s rapid rise. When I first purchased Fluency, Fluency didn’t even have its name mentioned in Proz’s Group Buy or the CAT tool introduction screen, but it now has many reviews and one of the best ratings. I feel a strange sense of pride regarding this. It feels like other people also agreed with my choice.
The thing I was most interested in was other people’s evaluations of Trados, but it seems they got a more generous rating than I thought. However, translators have also expressed considerable outrage about Trados. I resonate with that outrage. After paying its expensive price and using it with much discomfort, I was dumbfounded to see they’d come up with a new version and blocked the use of the old version after about a year. Even now, when I see that a lot of agencies include notes in their job postings saying only people with Trados should bid, I feel outraged; not at the complacency and ignorance of those agencies, but at the marketing strategy of Trados which dominates the market. It’s my opinion that the rise and fall of the success of CAT tools should be decided and led, not by agencies, but translators as the users.
Even a long time ago, I thought that MemoQ was quite powerful while being cheap, and it seems that my thoughts were right. If MemoQ embraces Fluency’s core philosophy, I have half a mind to switch over. Anyway, I like that the advancement of these kinds of small to medium CAT tools seems to be demolishing the idea that “CAT tool = Trados”, and I applaud MemoQ for it. However, there was criticism that it was sinking into featurism, and I’m not sure exactly what that refers to because I haven’t used MemoQ recently, but I just hope MemoQ won’t repeat the mistakes of Trados.
I haven’t used Wordfast, but Wordfast Classic seems to be evaluated quite positively. I might have to try it out soon.
There are reviews up of online CAT tools as well, but I’m not sure if these people wrote their reviews understanding that they won’t be able to accumulate TM or even use their pre-existing TM. There was a translator who mentioned this point. Memsource is quite a refreshing CAT tool for sure. I’m not sure what to say about XTM… I think online CAT tools should be separately categorized as CAT tools for agency use so that rookie translators don’t get confused.
I’m going to conclude my impressions here. If you take a look yourself, you will be able to get a better sense of CAT tools, not through the point of view of the manufacturing companies, but through the eyes of translators.
(Added later: I’m now able to provide you a discount code for Fluency. Those of you interested should click here.)