Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New translation memory tools are exciting, but new and more productive ways of working with them are even more exciting!

We were one of the first translation companies to put translation memory tools (or CAT tools) to serious use, way back in the 1990's. Back in those days, Trados was the translation memory tool of choice for most translators. And over the years, we've stuck with translation memory systems made by the same vendor. They've changed hands a couple of times, but we've stuck with the product.

But recently, we've had cause to take a fresh look at the translation tools market. And we've found some new CAT tools have much to commend them. In particular, we've been very impressed by a translation memory tool called MemoQ.

Over the past two years, we have watched MemoQ evolve from the "that has potential" category into a fully-fledged, mature, stable tool for use by professional translators. And we've grown to really like it (not least because of the brilliant technical support and customer service that they provide).

In the meantime, the supplier of our main translation memory tools committed a few customer service gaffes (most notably, the "Spend £4,000 upgrading to our new version now, or lose all reduced-price upgrade options. And yes, we know our new version is not stable, and really needs another six months of development work before we sell it to clients....").

So we've taken a bold decision, and changed our primary translation memory tool at SalfTrans. Which in turn, has meant changing and reviewing our workflows a bit (in itself, never a bad thing). And it has meant rolling out a training program across our translator team.

And this morning, I have a really, really huge smile on my face: MemoQ has announced that their new release, version 3.6, includes a new workflow for translating Word files. This new workflow involves converting the Word files via the DocX format, rather than via RTF, and it is a much more stable way of handling file conversion. Which in turn, means we can do our job more easily, and focus on the really important parts of our company's work, like concentrating on really good translation, really clear writing, consistency of terminology and exciting stuff like that.

Well, we find it exciting!

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