Cloud Translation Blog
MemoQ Alternative for 2020 & Beyond
Looking for a MemoQ alternative for your company or translation agency? In 2020, MemoQ alternatives are gradually entering the market. This may come as a surprise, given that MemoQ was part of the first wave of alternative CAT tools to succeed SDL Trados. Trados has become a legacy translation management system used by many enterprises.
Data from a 2006 survey showed that fewer than 10% of translation management users had heard of MemoQ at the time. This number would increase significantly since then.
Over the years, the software market in general has become accustomed to different UX standards and leans on a shorter learning curve. Additionally, companies are beginning to search for specific solutions to various individual needs that have been realized while using more established translation software programs such as MemoQ.
While MemoQ has a large base of satisfied users, a MemoQ alternative might be sought by the enterprises whose needs have evolved since adopting the software.
In any case, it’s important to note that CAT software is not a small investment. You should familiarize yourself with the reasons why any alternative to MemoQ would be a good fit for your organization. We’re want to help you consider decision that wisely before jumping to a new solution.
In this article, we’ll take you through the possible reasons you might be considering a change, and we explore whether alternatives to MemoQ could fulfill these needs.
5 Reasons to Adopt an Alternative to MemoQ
1. Web-First MemoQ Alternatives Might Offer More Uptime
If uptime is a reason your company is looking for an MemoQ alternative, it’s important to understand that MemoQ is a desktop-first product.
Like many desktop applications, to use the software, you purchase license from the company providing the software (in this case it’s MemoQ) and download the software to your computer. It then runs “locally” on your computer and all data and files are saved to your local computer.
Desktop Software vs. Cloud-Based Software
Users of desktop software can experience system crashes, software incompatibilities, error messages and bugs that may lead to inconsistent performance (downtime).
Cloud-based software (also known as web-based software) only runs on your browser. There’s no software to download or on-premise installation required. So there are no system crashes, incompatibility issues or error messages to deal with.
Web-first cloud software has a reputation for smoother operation and its users encounter fewer software issues than desktop software as it relates to uptime. This is because the interface and experience is developed first and foremost for the web. Many software systems that are developed primarily for desktop and then add a cloud component later will often provide their users with a less-than-ideal experience.
MemoQWeb is MemoQ’s answer to cloud translation. However, it is not a web-first cloud application and is “only available for customers with a MemoQ server or cloud server license, or translators working in online projects,” according to MemoQ’s website.
They say, “It is recommended that you use memoQWebTrans for smaller translation jobs, or in cases when you do not normally use a translation tool, and you do not want to install one.” MemoQWebTrans is their component that allows you to translate files within a browser.
What’s more, upgrading your desktop application requires the download and installation of the updated software version. Sometimes old and new versions will sit side-by-side in the users’ list of applications, making it easy for users to mistakenly open the wrong version if they have not moved the old version to their “Recycle” or “Trash” bin.
Cloud-based translation software does not come without stipulations for correct use. For example, to get the best experience from cloud-based translation software, you’ll want to use your latest browser version. And, cloud-based software requires you to refresh your browser.
You can do this by logging out and logging back in. Software download and installation isn’t required, and the improvements to the software are instantaneous. This can result in a more seamless experience.
Desktop software also requires you to save your files to your local computer. If your hard drive crashes or your computer gets stolen or compromised, you’re likely to lose all your data unless you back up your data continuously.
With cloud-based software, your files are stored at a professional file hosting/storage company like Amazon or Microsoft. These companies provide the highest levels of security, redundancy, and continuously back up your data to ensure you don’t lose it if your computer or device is compromised.
If uptime is the main reason you’re searching for alternatives to MemoQ, making the switch to another desktop-first application won’t guarantee you better stability.
2. Higher Costs for Larger Teams
Perhaps the number one reason a company or translation agency would look for an MemoQ alternative is the cost.
As we mentioned earlier, most people will find that all good CAT tools come at a considerable cost–regardless of where the app lives. However, the savings most often shows itself in the return on investment.
While desktop CAT tools most often operate on a pay-per-seat licensing model, their cloud-based counterparts typically offer various plans for different types users and levels of need (e.g. word count, features, support tier).
Additionally, cloud-based software often provides continuous bug fixes and software improvements everyday that are most commonly included in the same plan cost.
MemoQ Translator Pro currently runs at $770 per “Translator Pro” level license.
For 10 licenses, this means $92,400 paid for the first year. Cloud-based alternatives to MemoQ Translator Pro can come at 1/10 of that price for the same number of licenses. Oftentimes with web-based software, you benefit from plan savings as you add more users to your plan.
Between the known limitations of desktop programs and the cost per license for a large user base, it’s understandable why some enterprises would look at MemoQ alternatives.
In terms of cost, you still need to do the math when you compare a solution like MemoQ Translator Pro to cloud-based solutions to make sure you’re getting a cost-effective solution. Prices vary from SaaS product to SaaS product.
3. Alternatives to MemoQ Might Be More User-Friendly
The MemoQ user interface features a complex ribbon with plentiful options to choose from. It’s functions are very powerful and can perform highly-impressive translation tasks.
However, it’s not likely that regular translation users will touch all of these features.
Meanwhile, simple tasks like creating a new Translation Memory require a user to manually access that specific feature. MemoQ also comes with a long learning curve.
Properly onboarding users requires hours instead of minutes, which can possibly result in a high failure rate of successful adoption. Unless your company can execute training and onboarding perfectly, and all users are committed to consistent and proper use of the software.
On the other hand, cloud-based translation software typically comes with an easy-to-use interface that you can master in minutes–on your own time. With the right cloud-based translation software, a lot of the functionality (such as creating translation memories) happens automatically in the background as you translate. You can easily edit a translation using an online editor and output fully formatted files in seconds.
But alternatives to MemoQ can do you one better.
They not only can save you time while translating, but they can also have an easy-to-use interface with barely a learning curve. This means that instead of spending the time learning how to use the toolbar, you can invest it in better things, such as finding more work or taking a much-needed break.
4. MemoQ’s Desktop App Only Works on Microsoft Windows
One of the biggest MemoQ desktop limitations is that it only works on Windows. It doesn’t work on a Mac or Android computer.
With MemoQ alternatives, users can access their work from 2+ devices and browsers, whereas one MemoQ Translator Pro license will allow use on two computers. If you want to have the program on three or more devices (even if it’s the same user), that will bump up the price.
5. MemoQ Alternatives May Offer More Value for Your Investment
You will never find a good alternative to MemoQ that is both “cheap” and high-quality. Quality takes a wealth of resources to develop, and therefore costs money to buy. But you can certainly find alternative options that are still worth the price tag.
While MemoQ has some interesting features, many of the CAT programs out there share features in common with MemoQ. Both MemoQ and several other brands offer file translation, translation editing, translation memory and more.
However, traits like greater accessibility and an easier-to-use user interface can make a big difference in how you can harness these features to make your professional life easier.
A software system can hand you all the features in the world, but if it takes you ages to get the hang of them, they won’t benefit you much. Some translators opt to forgo the frustration altogether and stick to their old methods of pre-CAT translating.
Thankfully, there is a third option: finding a better alternative to MemoQ for your specific needs. There are likely several of them out there, so take the time to find one that you can be confident is a good investment.
Reasons To Stick with MemoQ
Despite what you see here, you should do additional research on forums (such as ProZ and Quora) as well as independent review websites, to see if a switch is truly right for your company. In some cases, you very well might want to stick with using MemoQ for your translation needs.
- MemoQ has the core functionality offered by many CAT tools
- It can be modified with some MemoQ extensions, as well as 3rd party apps (many are free, but you may need to have a valid license)
- MemoQ is a popular choice of many LSP’s (aka translation agencies), so in some cases in order to get the job as a professional translator, you will need it
If you’re still searching for the best MemoQ alternative with the intent to find a robust, powerful and easy-to-use interface, try Pairaphrase.
Pairaphrase is one of the top alternatives to MemoQ available online. What makes it different from the rest is its strong focus on ease of use combined with powerful functionality, all the while providing the best data security available.
With little to no learning curve and zero installation necessary, you can get your entire translation team up-and-running on this online translation software immediately.
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