The translation business is a unique sphere where creativity and passion for words meet modern technologies on a daily basis. Veteran translators that can boast extensive track record of finished translations have experienced many groundbreaking advances in their work. Young language professionals, on the other hand, work not only on their translation skills, but also try to make the most of cutting-edge tools that come in handy when tackling everyday tasks.


Undoubtedly, the emergence of Computer-Assisted Translation – CAT tools – was a milestone in the history of translation. Such software significantly supports the work of both individual translators and agencies, contributing to shorter lead times and perfect consistency of terminology. It also enables the creation of a reliable translation memory tailored to our needs. Many professionals, however, face the everlasting dilemma: which software should they choose? Today, we will attempt to answer this question by comparing two of the most popular programs available on the market – SDL Trados and memoQ.


How does Computer-Assisted Translation work?

In such translation environment everything starts with creating a project. Once the source and target languages are selected and files are uploaded, we can choose either an existing term base and translation memory or create entirely new assets. Computer-Assisted Translation is priceless when it comes to the completion of multi-stage projects that require consistent terminology while translating similar files. Previously translated segments will appear in the new project and terms found in the term base will provide automatic suggestions with correct translation. These fundamental rules of operation are similar for most CAT tools.


What is memoQ and how is it used?

The first version of memoQ was launched back in 2006, with available tools tailored mostly to the needs of translators and project coordinators. Intuitive user interface, as well as possibility to work with both desktop and cloud-based solutions made memoQ a real threat to the unrivalled king of CAT software, Trados. The advantage of memoQ lies in a wide range of comprehensive tools that facilitate the work at every stage of project completion.


What do we appreciate memoQ for?

– With the program, preparing a precise statistical analysis of the text, as well as counting repetitions, can be done in the blink of an eye. Once our translation memory is ready, we can compare the new file with the resources available and check how many segments have to be translated from scratch.


– Translation memory and term base management makes the work easier for translators and ensures term consistency and compliance with clients’ guidelines. These solutions help shorten the lead time and make work more efficient!


– Extensive quality assurance (QA) module enables thorough check of the prepared translation to spot potential inconsistent translations or differences in numbers.


MemoQ is the tool of choice for linguists and freelance translators, as well as translation agencies. The latter mostly point to effortless control of the translation process, a plethora of tools available within the program, as well as the possibility to complete the whole translation process using only one program. MemoQ may have arrived a little bit later, but it managed to fight its way to the top and join the ranks of most eagerly chosen CAT tools – and that speaks for itself!


Trados Studio – what type of program is it?

Trados can boast the longest experience of developing translation software, spanning over thirty years. For years, this pioneer solution dominated the translation business market, being the sector’s favourite pick when it came to tools facilitating linguists’ work. Currently, Trados sotftware covers a bunch of products appreciated by both individual users and companies. Trados offers solutions whose possibilities span far beyond ordinary work with text files. The products also help translators manage the business and financial aspect of their professional work.


Trados’ main advantage lies in its widespread use. Many large companies, constituting both your potential employees and clients, work with this particular software and are keen to cooperate with translators familiar with the same program – so it can work to your advantage on the job market.


It’s not a flawless solution, though. Compared to other CAT tools, it’s less intuitive and requires far more training, which can be discouraging – after all, we want to make the most of the new software as soon as possible. Ccommon problems include issues with tags or recovery of data previously entered into translation memories. It’s also worth mentioning that Trados remains on the more expensive end of the spectrum, which can significantly impact the final choice.


Why should you invest in translation software?

Regardless of whether we work independently in the translation business or are a part of a translation agency team, investing in CAT tools is always a chance to make the work easier and shorten lead times while maintaining unparalleled translation quality. Every project contributes to the future success and each translated word expands your translation memories, creating resources that are tailor-made to the needs of your clients.


With translation memories you can guarantee consistent translations both in terms of language and service quality. And even if computer-assisted translations may not always be the best solution – for it’s definitely risky when it comes to creative literary texts or precise medical translations – many translators admit that implementing translation software in their daily work was a milestone in their professional growth. Clients, on the other hand, benefit from translations prepared with the use of cutting-edge tools that enhance work efficiency and translation quality.