[Please note that some of the entries are very old.*]

Saturday 20 November 2010


I'm Hans. I'm a Mac. I bought my first Mac in 1987, a Mac Plus, usually referred to as the "Big Mac." It was godsend, compared to the computers I used before.

However, in 1994 I started translating. My publisher insisted on me using WP 5.1, hell for people used to MacWrite and Word:mac. No dictionaries for my language combination, English to Dutch. Probably no CAT tools either for the Mac, but I hadn't heard of those tools at that time anyway. I had to switch to Windows, using Macs for everything unrelated to translating.

Some 13 years ago, I bought my first CAT tool. Not the one translation agencies want you to buy so they can rip you off with 100% discounts for "perfect matches", and 99% discounts for 0.0001% matches. No, I bought DéjàVu. DV made more sense anyway, since it's based on databases as opposed to Word macros. I must say that I was - and am - very pleased with DV, and I am grateful for the marvellous service Atril provided.

But the times have changed. Most of the standard dictionaries are available for the Mac nowadays, and the Internet provides a lot of help for us, translators. And Macs can run Windows. However, that's not what I want. I am looking for a CAT tool that runs natively on a Mac. Wikipedia offers an excellent list of CAT tools * for all platforms, and the number of tools suitable for the Mac has increased sensationally the last couple of years. To me, CafeTran looks the most promising. It can handle most formats, it can refer to a number of databases, and it is affordable. However, for someone used to DV for so many years, the learning curve seems to be steep. Hence this blog. It will not only inform you on my progress (if any), but it will also force me to continue my efforts to master CafeTran.

* This list of CAT tools has been edited recently, and for reasons unknown it now omits most tools. You can find the complete list here.