What are the pros/cons of using SDL Trados or OmegaT? Which is best for professional translators?
Thread poster: Mike1985

Mike1985
France
May 19

Hi guys,

Well, I'm new here and I've been thinking of either using OmegaT or SDL Trados. The first is free but not the other. Apart from the price, I'd like to know whether the two solutions offer the same service quality and the same functions or if one is better than the other and why? I'd like to have some advice from professional translators who can advise me on which software a future translator should use.

Thanks.
Best,

Mike


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
See information already on the site May 20

There's a tool for comparing different CATS:
https://www.proz.com/software-comparison-tool/compare/82-130/omegat-to-SDL%20Trados%20Studio%202019

And this topic has been addressed in the forums many times. For example:
See more
There's a tool for comparing different CATS:
https://www.proz.com/software-comparison-tool/compare/82-130/omegat-to-SDL%20Trados%20Studio%202019

And this topic has been addressed in the forums many times. For example:
https://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/274576-best_cat_tool_for_mac.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/327919-efficiency_of_using_cat_tools_in_comparison_to_using_none.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/324628-the_best_and_easiest_cat_for_the_newbie.html

Trados was the industry leader for a time, and it is still required by some clients, but many commercial competitors have emerged (MemoQ, Across, Wordfast, CafeTran, and others), as well as the OmegaT free and open source program. There is no one best CAT for every translator -- it depends on what you need and what your clients require or don't require. All the CATs offer trial versions for free in one way or another.

If you've never used a CAT, OmegaT is an excellent place to start, because it is easier and more straightforward than a behemoth like SDL Studio.

Try them out and see what works for you.
Collapse


DZiW
Goumiri Abdennour
rpr
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Mike May 20

Mike1985 wrote:
I'd like to know whether the two solutions (OmegaT and Trados) offer the same service quality...


OmegaT officially does not offer any paid support. If you have any trouble using OmegaT, you should ask a question in one of the various unofficial OmegaT support forums, e.g. here at ProZ.com or at the Yahoogroup, or contact someone that offers free or paid support privately.

The OmegaT user manual is always out of date (the manual that is distributed with the current version is always the manual from the previous version), although this usually isn't a problem because new features tend to be intuitive. The current user manual is for version 3.5 (June 2015) whereas the current version of OmegaT is 4.2. The distance between version 3.5 and version 4.2 is 180 "enhancements" (which may be brand new features or just improvements to existing features) and 120 bug fixes.

Remember, when downloading OmegaT, do not click the green button, but go to the subfolder called "Latest":

omegat which download

Trados offers a support subscription for approximately EUR 175 per year, but I think it's meant mostly for help with serious issues for which the answer can't be found in the user manual. The support is by e-mail, and they claim to answer within 1 hour. The official forums on the Trados web site are frequented by people who actually work for the Trados company. You can also get help from various unofficial Trados support forums, e.g. here at ProZ.com or at the Yahoogroup.

The Trados help file is up to date for the major release version that it accompanies. There is also an unofficial Trados user manual that is quite comprehensive and up to date to the most recent service release, at http://tradosstudiomanual.com/ (approximately USD 50.00).

... and the same functions


No, Trados has more functions (although you may not necessarily use all of the functions). OmegaT has some functions that Trados doesn't have (sorry, there is no list).

...or if one is better than the other and why?


Whether one is better than the other depends on many factors, e.g. if you work mostly for agencies that require Trados or mostly for people who do not require the use of CAT tools, or e.g. what file types you typically want to translate, or e.g. whether you work together with other people on the same project (and how). Objectively speaking, Trados is "better" because it has more features and the features are better developed (i.e. they are often more complete). But Trados is also more complicated.



Unfortunately ProZ.com's new "software comparison" feature compares software on aspects such as system requirements, cost, file type support, and whether there is paid support or not. ProZ.com's old "CAT fight" compared software based on their actual features. It's a pity the CAT fight is no longer available. I suspect ProZ.com scrapped the old CAT fight because it scares away advertisers if their products' deficiencies are laid bare like that.


[Edited at 2019-05-20 07:12 GMT]


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Studio May 20

Hi Mike
I’ve been using Trados since SDLX, must be over 10 years now and while some versions have a few bugs (like the latest 2019) it’s a great translation tool.
See if you can find someone selling their version. A group buy or getting it through an agency can also save you some cash. I’d go for 2017 which runs pretty smooth. It looks like a few people are having problems with the latest 2019 version.
I wouldn’t pay for extra support.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:05
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
A professional IMO should use pro-software May 20

Developing a complex software and keeping it up to date with the competition is not cheap. When I started out in 2002 there were quite a few competitors for computer aided translations software. Most of them have vanished or are barely in business, like Dejavu and Transit. I used Wordfast extensively, but nowadays it cannot keep up with SDL Trados anymore. It looks like SDL Trados will stay in the market for the time being, so your investment is not lost very soon.

 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:05
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
to Heinrich May 20

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
A professional IMO should use pro-software


If your implication is that OmegaT is not professional software, you are quite mistaken. It was developed, is maintained, and is used exclusively by professionals.

Personally, I prefer it to SDL, and only use SDL or Across when I have no other choice.


DZiW
rpr
esperantisto
tcordonniery
Rafael Clergé Blanco
 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


What are the pros/cons of using SDL Trados or OmegaT? Which is best for professional translators?

Advanced search






SDL Trados Business Manager Lite
Create customer quotes and invoices from within SDL Trados Studio

SDL Trados Business Manager Lite helps to simplify and speed up some of the daily tasks, such as invoicing and reporting, associated with running your freelance translation business.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search