Logo

Software Localization


Dr. Tom's Independent Software Reviews

presents:

Comparative Reviews


Software Localization Tools Comparison Chart and General Conclusions


 
TRADOS
STAR
Alchemy
Passware
schaudin.com
TRADOS Corporate 5.5
Transit XV
CATALYST 4
PASSOLO 3.5
RC-WinTrans 6.01
Type
Translation Memory
Translation Memory
Software Localizer
Software Localizer
Software Localizer
Translator Assistance Tools
Spell Checker
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes through Macro
No
Thesaurus
Yes
No
No
No
No
Glossary / Dictionaries
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Terminology Database
Yes
Yes
No
via TRADOS
via TRADOS
MT Interface
No
Yes
No
No
No
supported File Types
DLL, EXE
Yes with T-Window Collection
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
RC
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
RTF (Win 95 Help)
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
RTF (Text)
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
TXT
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
DOC
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
FrameMaker and SGML
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Ventura
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
HTML, XML
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Software Leveraging
Fuzzy Matching
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes through TRADOS
Concordance
Yes
Yes
Yes (Replica)
Yes
Yes through TRADOS
Perfect Matching
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Help/Doc Leveraging
Fuzzy Matching
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Concordance
Yes
Yes
Yes (Replica)
No
No
Perfect Matching
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Paragraph based
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Software Engineering & Testing
Pseudo Translate Expert
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Validate Expert
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
General Variables
Protection Mode
Dongle
Dongle
Dongle
Dongle
License Key
TMX-Import
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
simultaneous data base access over LAN
Yes
Yes
No
?
?
price in € (most featured license)
€ 5,450
€ 1,595
€ 6,691
starting at € 2500
€ 840
price in US$ (most featured license)
$4,886
$1,430
$5,999
starting at $2288.5
$753
system requirements
Pentium II and 64 MB RAM
P 133 and 48 MB RAM
486 DX2 PC and 16 MB RAM
486 PC and 16 MB RAM
400 MHz x86 CPU
editor
external / internal
internal
internal
internal
internal
source and target in tables?
No
Optional
Yes
Yes
Yes
display of concordance
percentage
color and percentage
?
?
?
editable Metatags?
yes
yes
choice
viewable Metatags?
yes
yes
choice
target preview
yes
no
?
?
?
technical support
within 72h, competent
within 48h, incompetent
within 48h, competent
within 72h, competent
within 48h, competent
support free/costly
expensive
expensive
free
free
free
printed documentation
good, includes a tutorial: ++
dissatisfactory without tutorial: 0
very brief: -
very brief: -
missing: --
help/pdf docu
good, includes a tutorial: ++
dissatisfactory  without tutorial: 0
very brief: -
brief but well organized: +
very good: ++
learning the software: classes available?
yes, expensive
free online tutorials
yes, expensive
$450 per student;
free online tutorials
?
?
package includes
CD-ROM, printed manuals, dongle
CD-ROM, printed manuals, dongle
CD-ROM, printed manuals, dongle
CD-ROM, printed manuals, dongle
downloadable software and documentation
software ergonometry
+
++
+
+
++
handling of large tmx databases
++
-
--
time to learn
easy to learn
easy to learn
quite complicated
easy to learn
easy to learn
linking external dictionaries
no - only MultiTerm
no - only TermStar
yes
yes
yes
direct translate from Excel
Yes (T-Window Collection)
Yes
No
No
No
direct translate from PowerPoint
Yes (T-Window Collection)
Yes
No
No
No
Link to MT
No
Yes
No
?
?
Network Version?
Yes
Yes
No
?
?
TM management
good
good
alignment: file types
RTF, DOC, HTML and XML
all supported file types
RTF, XML, DLL/EXE/RC
No
No
time to establish a new project
fast
medium
medium
fast
fast
project wizard?
No
No
No
No
No
integration with speech recognition software
bad
good
?
?
?

top

General Conclusions:

As none of the reviewed software applications proofed to be a total lemon nor absolute superior to their competitors, there is no simple answer to the question of which single product would serve you best. In addition, the value of such tools varies greatly with your individual needs and circumstances. The first thing you have to answer to yourself is the question, if you are positive that you will only localize software and never accept any task to translate other kind of data. If this is the case, you should consider to buy one of the specialized tools for software localization: CATALYST, PASSOLO or RC-WinTrans. If in contrary, software localization is only a small fraction of your translations or the software localization also requires to translate larger text corpuses such as help files, manuals, documentation or web sites, you are much better of choosing a general translation memory solution such as TRADOS or TRANSIT.

Another variable in the decision process are the preferences of your clients: If, for instance, you anticipate to translate a lot for one of your clients and those guys want you to use a certain software, you would be ill-advised to buy another tool and risk loosing that client. It is a matter of fact that besides personal likes and dislikes, once you've got used to any of the reviewed tools they will all increase your productivity and consistency. In software localization, your clients choices can also determine the file format you have to handle: binary files such as EXE, DLL or OCX - or RC files? In the first case, you can use any of the three reviewed products, whereas PASSOLO can not handle RC files. In contrast to this - PASSOLO is the only of the three specialized software localizers which can save back translated EXE files on a Windows 9x or ME system.

If your decision is not influenced by the choices of your clients, there are still several other aspects to take into consideration which can be approached by the following questions: Did it take you years to master your word processor? - Do you have terrible trouble finding files on your computer? - and - Do you have a crisis every time you have to install a program?
If you answered yes to all these questions, you might have problems using Alchemy CATALYST as a specialized software localizer and STAR Transit as a general TM solution. You should instead have a look on the demo versions of PASSOLO or RC-WinTrans and TRADOS, respectively. On the other hand, if you're a experienced computer user and are fine messing around with tags in all their glorious forms, you should seriously consider Transit or Alchemy CATALYST, respectively. Both are by far the most powerful applications in their group but do not necessarily glitter by being easy to learn or use.

Finally, I was told, there are people out there, for whom price does matter. In the product group of general TM solutions, TRADOS is about 3 times as expensive as its competitor Transit - a difference which is not in the least bit justified by more capabilities but wrong marketing structures. Similar things on the specialized software localizers: Pricing at 6000 US$, Alchemy CATALYST is the most expensive product in this review - that is more than six times the price of its competitor RC-WinTrans and about twice the amount of PASSOLO's Team Edition. Unfortunately, CATALYST's Translator's Edition at 599 US$ is no alternative to the much more costly Localizer or Developer editions at 3500 and 6000 US$ as it lacks the ability to allow for leveraging of previous translations. On the other hand, CATALYST is the superior tool to handle the XML file format in this review. In this aspect, it even exceeds the abilities of the two general TM solutions. In addition, it provides the most elaborated project management of all three software localizers and offers several functions, usually only seen in general TM solutions. However, as PASSOLO and RC-WinTrans offer many of these functions by close integrating with TRADOS, which Freelance version is at US$ 645, I doubt that this high pricing is a good marketing strategy.

top

 

© 2000 by Dr. Thomas Wassmer, e-mail: tom at softreviews.org