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List of free CAT tools (since Google Translator Toolkit is shutting down)

Google Translator Toolkit will be retiring on Dec. 4th.  So long, old friend! At Amara we are passionate about sharing great solutions for collaborative video translations.  We also know some translators may use several tools to help create the best translations. We are curious about every aspect of translation and would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Did you use Google Translator Toolkit and will you miss it? 
  • What were your favorite features if you used GTT?
  • Do you know of other useful free alternative CAT tools?

Whichever tools you use to help make content more accessible, we applaud you and wish you happy subtitling!

--Erin at Amara


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Thanks for starting this thread, Erin. 

Yes, I used the Google Translator Toolkit and I'll miss it. 

What I most liked about it was its collaboration friendliness. 

Not quite as clear-cut: the possibility to add one's translations to the GTT general thesaurus: I mean it was great when we and a teacher were collaborating on an English-Italian translation of a written tutorial. We hadn't noticed that the tutorial was full of double spaces, so when the GTT aspired it from the site, it interpreted the double spaces as periods and thus mis-split the text. For a couple of paragraphs, we corrected the splitting, removed the extra periods. But then we decided it would be faster to  remove the extra spaces with a text editor's find and replace, and reupload the correct result. We also deleted our first GTT project after having copied our work there. But wow, when we reuploaded the corrected text, the GTT automatically offered us our formerly translated parts, That was great. Nevertheless, a general thesaurus of all translations added in the GTT was a bit worrying, even if you were theoretically able to add them to your own private thesaurus instead of the general one.

I mean, it's like Google's sound recognition, which now provides remarkably good automatic captions, great speech-to-text resources - but also flags copyright infringements, sometime erroneously (if something in the public domain has also been reused by some corporation who banged their copyright on it, for instance).

Now if the GTT disappears on Dec. 4, will its version in the YT creators' studio subtitling tool also disappear? Because if the latter survives, then it will be possible to also use it for collaborative translation of texts that are not subtitles ;) Let's see then.

But even if that should disappear, lets you download not only existing subtitles, but also their automatic translation. 

There are "normal" online collaborative translation tools too: see Transifex that is used to localize the website. But those I've used - only as translator / coordinator - seem to require serious tech skills to set up a project. Hence the above suggestion of rather, hem, hijacking some simpler tools.



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Thanks Claude!  You have fantastic insights into the world of transcription/transcribing/subtitles! 

I do know about this CAT tool: Smart Cat (  

There is a free option, and the tool itself gets good reviews.  Have you ever tried it?

Re: the thesaurus:  I can see why having your transcriptions automatically added to a general thesaurus would be a bit worrying - I would want those to only be added to a private thesaurus, as you would.   And I would guess that the GTT version in the YT creators' studio subtitling tool will also disappear.... just a guess, though, but it would make sense.  But who knows? We shall see :)

--Erin at

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Apologies for the delayed replay: I wanted to first try Smart Cat, but there's been a daisy chain of family health issues - over now, thankfully.

Smart Cat feels a lot like GTT, with a few differences in the layout that will require some adaptation of user's habits. Unable to judge about the automated translation provided because the text I chose was too short. But it seems a good solution. AT-for-free option means users' edits will go to improve the thesaurus. Impatient to see what will happen with YouTube translating tool.



-No change to the YT tool for translating subtitles, yeah! 

OK, no way to use thesauri, whether the general one or a personal one, but the tool could still be used to translate any text - not only subtitles - by editing the automated translation. 

  • Upload a mock video to YouTube (like that streams in the Amara Sandbox)
  • Pretend you want to create subtitles in the language of the text you want to translate
  • Choose Upload and upload your text, preferably with one paragraph for each sentence (or meaningful syntactic unit if the sentence is very long)
  • Save your "original subtitles".

You can now pretend you want to translate them:

  • Activate the "automatic translation" option
  • If the automatic translation is too bad, use the "remove automated translations" option
  • If it's usable for editing, improve it in the translation interface.

Once you're done, download your mock translated  subtitles. If need be, use the Remove line breaks tool. And you can also allow the community to "add more subtitles", i.e. to translate your text.

(I've been dabbling in this hijacking of subtitling tools for translation since 2009 :D)

Very cool Claude!

Has anyone heard of CafeTran Espresso? I came across while doing some reading. I have not tried this software, but there is a free-forever version. It must be downloaded, but lets you have glossaries up to 500 words and supports translation memory files up to 1,000 translation units. Hope this can be helpful to someone. :)

Thank you, Stella!

Interesting aspect: it is really multiplatform, not only Mac and Windows, but also Linux - which I use ;)



Very good

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This site has a bundle of knowledge. Here I got mostly all types of knowledge. I also have something to share with friends. I also want to write such a beautiful article. 

Thank you for this suggestion, Jask Sun.



Thanks for these great suggestions

drift boss

useful information

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I have a question on i can see diesel fuel near my location easy the subtitles, but when i go to the YouTube link of the video i cant see the  what can i do.

Thank you for this question, Robert.

However the link you gave is to a google maps filter, not to a video.

Can you please give the link to the video you mean? 

Thank you in advance. 


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