Updated: Jul 18, 2019
If you are not a language service provider you might have not heard about CAT tools, an acronym that stands for Computer-Assisted Translation. This post is to share my experience with such tools and maybe help any person new to this industry to choose one of them.
🇮🇹 You can read this blog in Italian here.
Fifth CAT Tool
Since I first started learning about the CAT tool available on the market I encountered SDL Trados Studio again and again. And again. I read plenty of blog articles and comments of translators who used/use it, and sometimes they just love(d) it or they just hate(d) it ‒ or both. My opinion is that "it's just another CAT tool".
If you go on their website you read "The world's #1 translation software"; I cannot confirm if that's true, but the blog article CAT tool use by translators: what are they using? published on the Proz.com blog site confirms that it's the most used among professional translators:
Read the article, it's very interesting. If you're wondering whether I bought SDL Trados Studio or not, the answers is yes (it's installed on a Windows virtual machine and I use it on a Mac thanks to Parallels Desktop). I eventually did invest €795 in this CAT tool for some main reasons: many of the most interesting job offers I stumble upon request this specific CAT tool, and in some way the European translation industry and my areas of specialization "pushed" me to buy it. I don't hate it and I don't love it, it's just "another tool". SDL Trados Studio is currently the CAT tool I use the most, with Wordfast Pro coming second. I rarely open all the others I have mentioned, but I keep them installed in case a potential client requires the use of one of them.
My bottom line is that having a (specific) CAT tool is by no means mandatory. Every case is unique. At professional conferences I met very successful translators who work with none at all! However, being a technical translator, I realized right away that these tools are very helpful in increasing my productivity and in assuring terminology consistency throughout a translation project.
Have fun translating and find the solution that fits your needs!
What does your CAT tool evolution look like? Did you go through as many software as I did?