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Our policy on advertizing and Public Relations

Wordfast is a no-advertising project.

The translation/localization industry is a narrow niche, and the Press there is very confidential. It`s made of a few glossy magazines aimed at localization execs and privileged readers. Since readership is limited and costs are high, these magazines are in large part supported by expensive adverts. No wonder prime advertisers get wonderful reviews. (Seasoned decision-makers are aware of this fact and are little impressed by advertising big guns: they know that in the end, they will pay the bill.)

Were we to indulge in advertising, our retail price would need to be raised significantly. Localization is too narrow a niche to support both advertising and reasonable prices: we`re not in the l'Oréal/Coca-Cola market. Wordfast is comparable to its competitors, but its retail price is not inflated by advertising campaigns and 4-star promotional events.

We wish to salute a few courageous magazines like Multilingual & Computing, Language International, and MDÜ (Germany) who have decided to publish fair and substantial reviews of Wordfast in the absence of any advertising revenue. They truly serve their purpose - to inform translation professionals.

Wordfast now owns the largest (you read correctly, the largest) translation-tool public discussion group, where membership is totally voluntary. Here are some verifiable figures as of 6 may, 2003:

Tool Public discussion group Subscribers
DéjàVu 1,237
Trados 1,911
Wordfast 2,067

Another source of reliable information is the popularity of Wordfast among members of PROZ. PROZ is arguably the finest and largest independent community of translation professionals in the world. The number of PROZ members reporting Wordfast ownership places Wordfast in second position after Trados - but for how long?

In its last edition of 2002, the prestigious German magazine MDÜ (Mitteilungen für Dolmetscher und Übersetzer, edited by the Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer) has published a round-up of the major translation-memory tools. What is impressive is their massive investment and seriousness in thoroughly testing translation tools. A 28-page article covers the essentials, but the magazine also has a pull-out addition of 24 pages that details their findings and benchmarks. The last two columns in the six-tool comparison are occupied by Trados and Wordfast.

That MDÜ dared compare the two tools was in itself an earthquake. Trados was then priced 850 Euros in its barebone "freelance" edition (no alignment, no PowerPoint support, no term extraction etc) and up to to a whopping 5,500 Euros in its complete version, while Wordfast was still being free at the time (but soon to be priced 170 Euros - complete with alignment, PowerPoint support, term extraction etc). Comparing a 5,500 Euros tool with a freeware could sound insane, so there must have been some compelling reason to do so.

MDÜ was wise enough not to rate tools, they simply compared them. MDÜ is known not to sell its soul, relying very little on advertising - could this explain their 48 years of publication?

That Wordfast was comparable, feature-for-feature, with the heavyweights in the industry tells a lot. Localization executives will certainly appreciate the real cost-cutting prospects of having a translation taskforce equipped with Wordfast, knowing how well Wordfast integrates with existing localization platforms.

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Yves Champollion translation localization consultant consulting. en fran�ais