MemoQ - part 1
MemoQ belongs to an ever-increasing group of CAT programs, where the translation process takes place in a built-in table interface editor (as opposed to programs that act as a text editor overlay). Working in a dedicated environment accelerates work and allows to focus on translation without having to pay attention to the layout of the text. Obviously, this does not mean that the source text formatting is ignored - the program will take care of the paragraph style autonomously, while the formatting within the documents can be reproduced with keyboard shortcuts or icons (bold, italics) or with markers (for more complex formatting). However, in order to not get lost in source text and to use contextual information (headline, caption, enumeration points, etc.), MemoQ offers an integrated view of the edited document, which is being updated during the translation. It's very comfortable and works very effectively - a similar feature is also available in Trados Studio, but the preview update is slower there. MemoQ is much more convenient to deal with when inserting tags - they can be copied separately (F8 key) or as whole-segment tags (Shift-F8) at once. This solution makes on-text work very comfortable - much less stressful than these in TS, where pairs of tags (e.g. the beginning and the end of the italics marker) are always copied collectively - whereby it is sometimes faster to copy a source segment to a target segment, and to replace the original text with the translation. As I already wrote - there is no such problem in MemoQ. Another nice feature of the editor is the option to define various details - i.e. the type of quotation marks for the selected language, so that in Polish, for example, straight quotes will be converted to curly quotes, as in the Word editor.
During the translation, we can use as many translation memories as we like. Of course, one of them will be the main memory, where new translation segments will be stored and the other ones will serve only as an auxiliary material for searching for similar segments. This also applies to glossaries - you can use many of them simultaneously. It is worth adding that creating or editing of glossary terms is very simple and rapid. It takes place at the level of the program editing window.
The feature that makes work incredibly easy and fast, and what definitely distinguishes MemoQ in a positive way, is matching fragments of segments. It works similarly to "typical" correspondence (concordance), but just on steroids. If when translating the current segment we encounter a previously-translated fragment, the program will not only automatically show this (as does Trados Studio), but will also enable very fast insertion of such a piece into the current segment - using the keyboard (mouse can also be used, though). In case of partial repetitions, this greatly accelerates your work and this solution is fantastically convenient as well - it is enough to master three keyboard shortcuts. For the sake of justice, it is fair to say that Trados is better at dealing with complex chemical names (such as N-[1-Carboxy-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-ethyl]-N-pentanoyl...) - as opposed to MemoQ, which tends to fragmentize them.
Another great feature of the program is the Quality Assurance function - the program will not allow you to export a document containing critical errors such as the absence of all formatting marks in the target segment. In case of such a situation, a window with a list of incorrect segments will be displayed, where we can immediately make corrections. Of course, less serious errors (such as incompatibility of numbers, whitespaces, etc.) can be ignored.
The icing on the cake is the option to work with Trados files - both .ttx, bilingual .doc/.rtf and .sdlxliff files, which makes it possible to seamlessly work with Trados-based clients - unfortunately the memory must be exported/imported via an intermediate format - TMX.
MemoQ for freelance translators is available in three versions:
Translator Pro - For 620 Euro, we get a full version of MemoQ including support for all formats without any restrictions.
Translator Standard - this version costs 149 Euro/year. It does not support contextual matching in TM, the option of using remote TM servers, and the export of bilingual files to XLIFF or DOC format. There is also no technical support.
4Free - the completely free edition of program. It is possible to download the Translator Pro version and use it for 45 days with access to all available features. If after 45 days the license is not purchased, the program will go into 4Free mode, where we can still work, but only on new projects (opening saved files is unavailable), and these can contain only one file and only one (new) translation memory.
Finally, one more thing - Kilgray managed to fit in all these features in a 40 MB installation package, which is over ten times smaller than the Trados Studio installer. I think that the program is definitely worthy of attention, and if anyone is going to buy a CAT program for own needs (without the constant cooperation with a Trados-based company), it is definitely worth taking a look at MemoQ. Personally, I will wait for some time yet, but it is possible that MemoQ will become my main worktool this year.