Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On CATS and Open Sources

The Masked Translator's posting discusses proprietary CAT tools and how they affect freelancers, and advocating open source software instead of the very expensive Trados and SDLX.

His argument goes a bit like this:

(a) Clients use different tools - all expensive - and want you to have them all
(b) All these tools do the same thing, but are often incompatible
(c) Software users are moving away from proprietary programs and into open source
(d) Freelance translators and their associations should do the same
(e) Since there is nothing like it on the market, freelance translators and their associations should create them

Fine. But developing software is time consuming, needs specific skills not cheap to learn, and if something works well, the temptation to patent and sell it is BIG. My solution would be:

(a) All TM software amalgamates into one working version
(b) All agencies use it
(c) Translators buy only that one - provided it is priced correctly

I am an idealist, I know.

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