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.
Second CAT Tool
My second CAT tool was CafeTran Espresso. Being Italian, just the name of it made me want to try it (*sips coffee*). Two years ago it costed €80 and came with free upgrades for 1 year and 2 licenses. Now on their website, which I notice has been completely redesigned, I see that it costs €80 annual or €200 as a one-time purchase. This makes me think that this CAT tool must be catching up very well, and I must say that I was pretty happy with it. I remember noticing right away that the user interface was simpler than the one offered by OmegaT and that CafeTran Espresso had a more professional feel. By now I had found my first client, I was creating and using terminology databases as well as many translation memories. Oh, and they offer awesome support.
Third CAT Tool
I was happily using CafeTran Espresso when I found out about Swordfish (US $320) and I purchased it, most of all because I wanted to take advantage of the 60% (!!!) student discount before my final year of university ended. I believe I came to know about Swordfish because at school I started learning about document alinement and term extraction and wanted to get my own software capable of these features. In fact, on maxprograms.com, among other products, you can find Swordfish, which comes with useful plug-ins ‒ like Anchovy for term extraction ‒, and Stingray (US $100 - 60% student discount), which is a document aligner. I bought them both and I actively worked on them on a daily basis. I don't remember having many problems and, again, I was using building many terminology databases and translation memories.
Fourth CAT Tool
Wordfast Pro. I downloaded this software exclusively because an agency I collaborate with only works with it. By the time I downloaded and used this CAT tool I was at ease with such software. You'll realize that they don't differ much one another after all, except maybe for the colors of the user interface. Therefore I don't have much to say about Wordfast, but I would like to mention that I feel discouraged when I am not offered a perpetual license: Wordfast offers a 3-year license at €400 and 50% off on any future 3-year renewal. The good news is that you can download it and use it for free with some limited features (this never prevented me from working on a project).