We have been working hard to make Smartcat even better. Committed as we are to giving freelancers the tools they need to simplify and streamline translation tasks, it is always a joy to get feedback and suggestions. Recently Teddy Okuyama, Japanese to English translator, gave a no-holds-barred review of his experience with Smartcat.
There are several other free cloud CAT tools. But, I think Smartcat has already reached the top in terms of being ‘free’. Unlike the others, it doesn’t have restrictions. Wordfast Anywhere has a language pair restriction – it only allows one language pair per user. Memsource free edition has a one-project restriction. If you want to run more than one project at a time, you’d need to subscribe to one of their premium editions. CafeTran has a size restriction on .TMX and .TBX files. But Smartcat has none, and it even comes with free OCR.
As our readers may be aware, Smartcat is absolutely free for freelancers – translate any number of words, for any client, without paying a cent. Payment is required only for use of premium OCR and machine translation features.
Teddy also had some words of praise for our web-based interface:
Smartcat has amazing usability. The user interface can simply be described as ‘beautiful’. The screen shot below is an example of their workbench. The shortcuts are easy to understand, and the buttons are intuitive. A clean and simple look like this would reduce the burden of multiple hours of continuous translation on the eyes.
At the same time, Teddy noted that “Smartcat is still new” and “still needs improvement”. Here is one cosmetic glitch that he pinpointed:
There’s also a weird design mistake. Look at the image below – you’ll see credit card logos. But these logos can’t be clicked and are just there for the design. But this freelancer edition is a free tool, so having a credit card image on the bottom makes no sense at all.
He mentioned a few technical issues he encountered and gave suggestions on what to add in future versions of Smartcat:
Uploading translation memory also had some problems. In the end, I just gave up on uploading my own translation memory. Smartcat also doesn’t handle .TBX yet. If you want to upload a glossary, it has to be in Excel format.
Although to be fair, a number of the suggestions are already in active development behind the scenes.
Read the full review on Teddy Okuyama’s blog.
Thank you, Teddy, for pointing out these growing pains! We want Smartcat to be the platform of choice for all translators, whether working from Japanese or any other language!
Do you have your own questions, suggestions, or ideas for Smartcat? We’ll be excited to receive them at email@example.com.