How it Appeared on the Market
This program was created by the Frenchman Yves Champollion in the beginning of 1999, as there were not many translation memory programs on the market, and those available were very expensive. In a word, the market was in need of a more economically accessible translation memory product.
Wordfast was created in this context. To satisfy the needs of the market. The other fundamental aspect that the creators of this program worked on was the ease of use. Beyond just being “reasonably priced,” it was “easy to use” for translators with only basic computer skills.
When it was adapted by a large translation agency, Wordfast created version for Macintosh and Linux to satisfy the necessities on the corporate level.
Wordfast is basically a collection of Word macros that use translation memories similar to those already described for TRADOS. It accepts Word, Excel, Power Point and Acces files.
Within a translation agency, projects may be managed using both of these computer assisted translation programs without causing any inconvenience, as both translation memories may be exported into text (.txt) format and imported into the memory of the other program, thus being completely compatible.
The way a translator works with these two programs is very similar: bilingual document that are controlled by special keys, as seen in the image above, are created, and the translation memory is saved.
Advantages of Wordfast
One of the most important characteristics of this translation program is that the free version may be used indefinitely, though in this case, the translation memory is limited to only 500 segments. For reference, the demo version of TRADOS is limited to 100 segments.
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