5 Free Phrase Alternatives (former Memsource)

As the translation industry continues to evolve in 2024, the tools used by language professionals remain a point of discussion. Phrase, previously known as Memsource, has been a popular choice for many due to its robust features. However, its pricing model may not be feasible for everyone, especially freelancers and small-scale businesses. This has led to a growing interest in free alternatives that offer similar functionalities. Let’s examine five CAT tools to identify the best Phrase alternatives (or “Memsource alternative”) for various translation needs.

Phrase: Why is it popular

With its rich history as Memsource, Phrase is celebrated for its comprehensive cloud-based translation management system. It offers advanced features like translation memory, terminology management, and project automation, making it a powerful tool for large-scale translation projects. However, its cost and limitations can be a significant barrier for some users, prompting the search for more accessible CAT tools that can provide similar capabilities.

Overview of Phrase alternatives


A notable open-source CAT tool that offers essential features like translation memory and glossary support is OmegaT. It’s particularly favored by individual translators and small teams who value a straightforward, no-cost solution. OmegaT’s simplicity, however, means it may lack the advanced functionalities found in more sophisticated tools. Its user interface is basic, and while it supports a range of file formats, it doesn’t offer the same level of automation or integration as some other tools. OmegaT is ideal for those who need a reliable, basic CAT tool without the frills of more complex systems.


Zanata is a collaborative, web-based platform designed for team-based translation projects. It supports translation memory and version control that facilitate teamwork and consistency in translations. Zanata’s standout feature is its global collaboration capability, allowing teams in different locations to work together seamlessly. However, Zanata may not provide the depth of project management features that large, more complex projects require. It’s best suited for projects where multiple translators need to work together while maintaining a high level of consistency.


Pootle offers a user-friendly web-based platform for translation and localization, supporting various file formats and integrating well with version control systems. Its strength lies in community-driven translation projects, featuring functionalities like suggestion voting and translation memory. Pootle is effective for open-source projects and community translations, but it lacks the advanced project management and automation features needed for professional translation tasks. Its interface is intuitive, making it easy for new users to get started. But then again it does not have more sophisticated analytics and reporting tools found in other alternatives.


A desktop-based CAT tool (and an offline cousin of Pootle), Virtaal is known for its intuitive interface and essential features like translation memory and quality checks. Designed for translators who prefer a streamlined, desktop environment, Virtaal offers a focused and efficient translation experience. Its simplicity is its main appeal, though it might not cater to those seeking extensive cloud-based functionalities or advanced project management tools. Virtaal is particularly effective for translators who work independently and do not require extensive collaboration features.


Doc3 distinguishes itself in the market with its exceptional blend of affordability and comprehensive features. It’s particularly suitable for freelance translators, offering a free version that even supports DeepL API keys for high-quality machine translation at no extra cost. Unlike other free tools, Doc3 combines an intuitive interface with a robust set of features for professional translators, including support for all standard file formats (such as SDLXLIFF, MQXLIFF, or TRANSIT PPF), making it a versatile and practical choice for a wide range of translation projects. Doc3 stands out for its ability to offer a professional-grade translation experience without the associated costs, making it a unique proposition in the market. Its user-friendly design and compatibility with various file formats make it accessible to translators of all skill levels. Also, its integration with DeepL as well as other machine translation platforms provides an added advantage for those requiring machine translation support.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Needs

The search for free Phrase alternatives (or a “Memsource alternative”) in 2024 reveals a diverse array of tools, each catering to different aspects of translation and localization. From OmegaT’s open-source simplicity to Doc3’s unparalleled balance of cost-effectiveness and functionality for professional translators, these tools provide valuable options for those seeking efficient CAT tools without financial strain.

Doc3, in particular, emerges as a noteworthy choice for its ability to bridge the gap between affordability and professional-grade features. This makes it an ideal option for freelancers and small businesses looking for a comprehensive yet cost-effective translation tool.

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