I went to memoQfest in Hungary last week. memoQ is a type of translation software* (also known as a CAT tool) and memoQfest is its annual conference where users get together to learn how to get more out of memoQ, meet each other and eat great Hungarian food and see the sights of Budapest. memoQ is one of the two sorts of CAT tools that City Translations uses. Our other CAT tool is Trados Studio, although after going to memoQfest, I feel a little bit guilty even mentioning that we have another CAT tool available. You could feel the love for memoQ in the room (and see it on the tweet wall they had set up).

It is actually getting less and less important for me to have another CAT tool though, as Kilgray (the company behind memoQ) is doing all it can to make sure that memoQ is compatible with other CAT tools. I can already work on at least two kinds of file (ttx and sdlxliff) that someone has sent me from another CAT tool and memoQ is planning better compatibility with other systems in the future, so that translators can even work on my memoQ server with different CAT tools. This is all great news, as it means that City Translations will be able to say yes to working with more and more CAT tools and will be able to reach more and more customers like this.

memoQ is also great for helping me work for customers who don’t have CAT tools and even those who haven’t even heard of them. Not only does it enable me to give you a discount for any repetitions in your text or repetitions or similar sentences compared to previous texts you’ve sent to City Translations for translation, it also has other useful features, such as enabling me to work on types of file I wouldn’t usually even be able to open without specialist software (e.g. InDesign files) and helping us get the best possible use of any reference documents you have.

* Don’t get confused. Translation software or CAT tools are different from machine translation. Machine translation translates everything for you, sometimes nonsensically, sometimes very usefully. Google Translate is an example of machine translation. Translation software/CAT tools, on the other hand, are pieces of software to assist human translators. They store your past translations in an easily and usefully searchable way and show you when you’ve translated a similar sentence before. This makes them a great help with consistency and also means you never miss a whole sentence, as the software divides the text up into individual sentences for you and makes it very obvious if you’ve missed one. 

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