A golden age of CAT tools?

We seem to be living in a golden age for Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools, with many excellent choices available and prices falling thanks to competition.

CAT tools enable translators to work smarter and faster by providing all the resources and features they need right at their fingertips, and translators who have mastered a CAT tool can achieve substantial productivity gains.

Ten years ago, Trados Studio was the clear-cut industry standard, and you had to fork over a thousand dollars for the privilege of using it. If you were a Mac user you were out of luck. Today, Studio has plenty of competition from MemoQ, MateCat, Memsource, and many others. Wordfast and OmegaT run natively on the Mac, and OmegaT is free and open-source. Some of the big language service providers (LSPs) use their own custom web-based CAT tools. Many translators switch among several CAT tools, which is not hard to do because they are very similar and offer roughly the same feature sets.

The cloud-based Memsource stands out as a tool with a bright future. While not as full-featured as Trados Studio, it is much snappier and more responsive than Studio even when running on the cloud thanks to its advanced REST implementation. And its pricing model (free to translators) is hard to beat.

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