We have been using Wordfast Pro software for translation on a regular basis since 2009. While the previous Classic version is designed to provide a translation interface in Microsoft Word, this newer version is standalone and revolves around converting files to its internal format, TXML. In this post, I’d like to share a few thoughts about this software. This time, I will focus on the aspects that appeal most to me, as I am not comfortable with WFP enough to be able to say anything negative with confidence.
Arguably, the best thing about WFP is the generous demo version, which gives you most of the abilities of the full-fledged version. The only limitation is the reduced amount of translation units you can commit to the translation memory. The powerful demo version can prove to be useful in a team environment such as ours. For instance, when three people (translator, editor, and project manager) work on a translation project, they can get by with just one license instead of buying three separate licenses. A translator will use the licensed version to be able to commit translations to, and leverage, the TM. An editor and a project manager can use the demo version, because the ability to commit translations to the TM is less critical for them. This is not as good as a floating license (such as used in QA Distiller), which allows to share one license on an unlimited number of PCs, but is still quite valuable. Thanks to the development team for their generosity!
I also enjoy the ability to switch the translation interface between the table view (similar to SDLX or SDL Trados 2009) and more traditional “source above, target below” view. Although the table view seems to be the default one, I mostly use the classic view, probably out of habit developed during my 7 years as a professional translator. This view makes it easier for me to compare the source text against the target one in the course of bilingual editing. When using this view, each target word is, more often than not, located under the respective source word, so I don’t have to look through the entire segment to find it. In the table view though, I find myself spending more time on this type of editorial check, because it’s more difficult to identify the respective source word. This is especially true for longer segments. The table view still comes in handy when I need to have a look at translation only, e.g. during monolingual proofreading. So once again, it’s good to have two different views that can be switched easily.
Another feature worth noting is the built-in quality assurance function. While this is certainly not a breakthrough innovation, it’s still commendable, especially for a software with an extremely generous demo version. You can perform various types of checks, including terminology check, from within WFP and make changes immediately. Compared to other tools that do not provide a comprehensive QA function, I think this is a powerful advantage.
To benefit from the computer-aided translation technology we use, ask us for an English to Russian translation quote.