A week ago my opinion of CAT tools was:
- hellish expensive
- confusing – so many different versions, so many new terms
- Trados seemed the epitome of both of the above and yet it seemed to be almost unavoidable unnecessary; I’d translated before and even during a 3 month internship with a translation agency I’d never really used a CAT tool.
However, I have using Memoq for a few weeks now (trial version) and although it took some getting used to, I have finally seen some benefits:
- dealing with PDF conversions: I battled with a particularly unruly one in December and now realise that a CAT tool would definitely have helped and enabled me to return a translation matching the original rather than the plain text file I submitted
- repetitive documents: I worked with a file yesterday with a lot of repetitions, find & replace in a word processor would have been a help but it was all a lot easier in Memoq
- term bases/translation memories: still getting my head round these, but yesterday it enabled me to produce a translation consistent with previous work done for the client using a term base and this morning it’s nice to have some of my work pre-translated, even if it’s mainly the basic parts!
The expense still sickens me and I have yet to see if it will work out as cost-effective. I have no intention of upgrading every year, I have yet to see why this should really be necessary but as the last week has shown, that could all change.