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First steps with CafeTran Espresso 2015

CafeTran Espresso is a CAT tool written by Igor Kmitowski. It is Java-based and therefore works on Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 2015 introduced a new pricing scheme and a new trial policy: as per June 2015, CafeTran can be purchased either as an annual subscription (€80 per year) or as a one-time payment (€200 euros); CafeTran can now be used in trial mode without time restrictions, with TM’s containing up to 1000 TU’s and glossaries containing up to 500 term pairs.

This video shows how to translate a Word document from scratch in CafeTran Espresso 2015. A project (Finnish-English) is created by dragging & dropping the document. The three main elements of the interface are presented: the grid, the segment panes and the tabbed pane. The project glossary is relocated (docked) next to the segment panes. Sample terminology is imported from an Excel file into the project glossary. A reference memory in the TMX format is added to the project. The document is translated using such features as auto-assembling (F1), subsegment matches (F2), auto-completion, auto-propagation and concordance search. A new term pair is added to the project glossary. Tags are inserted into the target segment. Finally, the translated document is exported.

Other posts show how to translate the same document (using the same terminology and memory resources) with other tools: STAR Transit NXT, Translation Workspace and memoQ 2015.

Related posts:
First steps with CafeTran Espresso (2012 edition)

First steps with SDL Trados Studio 2015
First steps with memoQ 2015
First steps with Wordfast Pro 4
First steps with Memsource Editor v. 5 (2015)
How to translate with Translation Workspace XLIFF editor
Transit NXT – Translate with imported resources

12 comments to First steps with CafeTran Espresso 2015

  • It is nice.

    You could also have shown:
    – drag the TMX onto the Dashboard to open it; this also sets the language combination for the project
    – click the green check mark above the grid to quickly export the project
    – use dragging over the glossary or TM to insert text into the target segment pane, this also works for multiple words
    – quickly surround text with tags by holding the Ctrl key while dragging over the text

    DraggingTran would have been a good name too

    Bonus tip: add words with opposite meaning to your glossary too

    That way you can click in a word like ‘decrease’, open the context menu and quickly select the opposite meaning. Depending on whether you use the left or right mouse button for clicking, your choice will be made once or be remembered during the session.

    Also note the smart selecting of words by dragging over the end of the first word of a group up to the beginning of the last word of a group to select. Also a big time saver.

    I hope that smart drag and drop of text will be ready soon.

    And of course the killer feature: the ultra smart Find and replace dialog that allows you to replace terms in the project and TM simultaneously, with proper case handling.

    I’ll stop now 😉

    • Dominique

      Sure, I could have made a 1-hour video covering all the aspects you listed. However, this is a “first steps” video aimed primarily at newbies, and there’s only so much you can cram into 12 minutes (which is already quite long). Most people have a short attention span these days: ideally, a YouTube video should be 3-5 minutes max.

  • Sabine

    I’d never used one of these programmes before but thanks to the video it was a piece of cake

    Thanks !

  • MC

    Hello Dominique,

    I am new to all CATs and your videos have been so helpful in navigating a field that is very perplexing for me!
    About CafeTran: I am experimenting on the trial version, and am wondering how to delete Projects once I am done with them. I think there is a limit to the amount of projects you can store in the freeware and I want to make sure I don’t go over the limit, but I can’t find where to delete.

    Merci beaucoup,

    • Dominique

      I’m not aware of any limitation in CafeTran regarding the number of projects you can store. The limitation is related to the number of units you can store in any given translation memory. As to deleting projects, I’m pretty sure it can be done, but I don’t have access to a machine with CafeTran installed on it right now. I would ask the question on the Freshdesk forum (link on the CafeTran website).

  • JSS

    HI Dominique,

    Cracking video – very useful for me. I’m a Mac-user, running parallels on my machine. I’ve got MemoQ and SDL Trados Studio 14 which are great (trial versions only). I was looking for useful help in starting out with CaféTran and you’ve nailed it.

    Simple, easy to follow and such a good voice to listen to as well! Just what I needed.


    • Dominique

      You’re welcome! I believe the interface of the latest CafeTran 2016 is slightly different from that of CafeTran 2015 back when I recorded the video, but the basic idea is still the same.

  • France

    Simple and excellent demo. Looks easy to use, I like that it can be used on a Mac. Seems to be more simple than Trados. Thank you.

    • Dominique

      Glad you found this tutorial useful! Note that the current version is now 2016 and the user interface is slightly different from that shown in the video. The basic idea is still the same, however.

  • Zanoni

    Hi Dominique,

    Thanks a lot for this short and informative video, it’s very insightful. I have a quick question: which CAT tool would you recommend to someone who is not familiar with CAT tools? I know there is a lot of options out there, so I narrowed it down to 4: Trados, MemoQ, Cafetran Espresso, and OmegaT. You don’t need to provide a lot of details about these four CAT tools, just tell me which one you prefer and why. Thanks again for the video, and I look forward to watching more of your videos.

    • Dominique

      It’s really difficult to answer that question, as it boils down to personal preferences. It’s like asking whether someone in the market for a new car should buy an Audi, a BMW, a Mercedes or a Volkswagen: they will all take you from A to B. Have a look at my “first steps” videos, then try each of them for your own translations. Keep in mind the Trados and memoQ trial are time-limited (30 and 45 days, respectively). CafeTran can be used in trial mode without time restrictions. OmegaT is completely free, so no pressure.

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