“14 reasons why I
like Déjà Vu best”
by Steven Marzuola
The only Translation Memory
product I have ever purchased is
Déjà Vu, from Atril.com. I have read the Trados
and WordFast user groups, used a Trados demo a couple of times, and
tried WordFast. I have also done dozens of web searches and looked at
perhaps hundreds of pages, searching for other translation tools,
articles, reviews, and opinions.
Here are my personal reasons to stick to DV and to view most
other products skeptically. This is limited to first-hand observations
and experience with DV 3.0. For example, I can't comment on all the
different file formats, because my work is almost exclusively with
Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). I started this list in 2003
and have learned a lot more since then, but my feelings
are still the same.
- DV is robust. I have never lost any work due to a crash,
or power failure, except sometimes the sentence I have been working on.
It also “feels” robust. When I use WordFast, I fear
going to click in the wrong place at the wrong time, or press the wrong
key, and really foul something up. From screen shots and descriptions
of Trados, I have the same feeling.
- DV is logical to me. The
work flow is, you import a document, you pre-translate it (optional),
you finish the remaining translations, you export to 2 columns for
spell-checking and proofreading in a different environment (optional),
and finally export the finished translation.
- DV is flexible. Not every tool is needed with every job and
every translator works the same way. DV has tools for modifying
databases, customized options, joining/splitting segments, isolating
text, checking terminology and numbers, etc.
- DV's display shows you several sentences or paragraphs
above and below your current working point. It also lets you scan
rapidly up and
down in the document using simple keystrokes, and you can return to
your work point the same way. In WordFast, I have this feeling that I
don't know where I am in the document.
- DV is fast; rather, it helps me work fast. I routinely
translate well over 1000 words per hour into English, and my
finished product has the same style (to me, and my satisfied customers)
as doing it by hand in MS Word. Speed is obviously
one of the top 2-3 reasons to use TM, but because of language
variations it is impossible to give an exact measurement of the
increased productivity. What few metrics there are show DV is at the
- DV lacks some of the complexities of other TM tools. For
I don't understand this “cleanup” thing that Trados
users talk about. It sounds like something that takes time and causes
trouble, and DV doesn't have it. Good. [I now know about cleaned
and uncleaned files. But in my work, my customers are not interested
in my TM, only in the results.]
- DV allows you to handle many documents simultaneously. I
over 80 files open at once, while other users have worked with hundreds
and even thousands. If you need to change a word or phrase that appears
in every document, it can often be done with a single
- DV presently includes almost all the tools you need for TM
single package. Trados and others make you buy some pieces separately,
and I understand that certain features are not available on the
Freelance version. It * doesn't have the Trados
for “matches found”, but I don't have any need for
[* Applies to DV version 3.0. DVX provides this information.]
- DV's Assemble function provides translations that are not
correct, but which often require only a few keystrokes and are almost a
pleasure to fix. Maybe “pleasure” is not the right
but I am comparing the effort required to tasks such as (a) editing a poor
translation, (b) editing a machine translation, and (c) editing a
WordFast translation. As a trial, I imported my DV glossaries into
WordFast and used it for several days. It didn't do as a good a job at
putting together reasonable “first guesses”. Other
make the same comment about Trados.
- DV files are compatible. The same file format has been in
at least 2 years. No need to handle converters or keep older versions
around. Even so, DV users have access to the latest version at no extra
charge. For business reasons and with the upcoming release of DVX, this
may change in the future, but they have earned my loyalty. [Note:
DVX was released in early 2003.]
- The makers of DV are not in competition with me, which is
the case with SDL, the Star Group, and Trados.
- DV has the most helpful and enthusiastic user
the possible exception of WordFast (which is currently a free product).
DV inspires that kind of loyalty. [WordFast is no longer
free, although its price is much less than any other product mentioned
- DV lets me maintain one set of databases, and handle
from oil well drilling, construction, electrical, legal and commercial
documents, thanks to subject and client tags. I can also add my
customer’s glossary and use a terminology check feature.
- Microsoft owns 20% of Trados. [no longer true; in
June, 2005, SDL announced that it was acquiring Trados.]
- New! The
terminology check function. DV allows you to define a list of
terms that absolutely must be translated a particular way. The program
examines each sentence and confirms this. It also confirms
whether numbers have been reproduced correctly. This
is something that should be standard among TM programs, and maybe it
is, but in DV it works very well.
(added August 2007).
- New! Déjà
Vu includes SQL functions, which allow the user to select sentences and
make changes throughout a project
This list was intended to have 10 items, and I got carried
away. Yes, DV has some peculiarities and bugs. Its longtime users
have added many terms to informal “wishlists”. But
I'm still a huge fan.
Last revised: August 21, 2007
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