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The Goggo effect

Déjà Vu is an advanced Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) program, which was introduced in 1993 and became know as the Ferrari among CAT tools. It was developed by the ingenious Emilio Benito of Atril, who sadly is no longer with us. Quote from his obituary by Michael Benis:

A fond goodbye to the king of CAT – It was with great shock and sadness that the translation community learned of the death of Emilio Benito on Sunday, February 8, 2004 at the age of 56 from complications arising from cancer and its treatment. Emilio earned himself a great many friends in the industry due to the innovative strengths of the Déjà Vu translation memory software system he created, his constant willingness to listen to and act on feedback and his indefatigable support for any users experiencing problems, sometimes nothing to do with the software itself, at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.

The term Goggo effect dates back to October 2007, when the Director of HE Translations, who is a long-standing user and indeed fan of Déjà Vu (you can read Herbert’s testimonial here), experienced performance issues, which, as all computer users know from experience, are inevitable with any software from time to time. Here is a quote from the pertinent message he posted in the Déjà Vu user forum at the time:

Déjà Vu is known as the Ferrari among TM tools. However, some of you may remember that I have a serious performance issue relating to my large terminology database that makes Déjà Vu feel more like a Goggomobil  (I remember them well, because my uncle used to have one, and I had a pedal-powered model) than a Ferrari!

Readers who are not familiar with the (hi)story of this classic example of (non-Audi) ‘Vorsprung durch Technik‘ will find the corresponding Wikipedia page illuminating. A 50-year Goggomobil anniversary tribute published in Der Spiegel in 2005 even mentions Ferrari and Goggomobil in the same article! The possibility that this article provided inspiration for the term Goggomobil effect or Goggo effect, as it became known, cannot be ruled out.

The quasi-technical term has has since been used quite regularly in the Déjà Vu user forum in situations where users experience performance issue with the usually outstanding Déjà Vu software. By analogy, the term can, of course, also be used for performance issues with any software, operating systems or indeed other IT-related issues such as internet access. For example, this blog post was prompted by the subject line of a recent message in an IT forum for translators: “Internet Goggo effect despite superfast broadband 😵”

Incidentally, although one of Herbert’s uncles used to be a proud Goggomobil owner, his father had developed an affinity for Italian technology, as evidenced by a Lambretta scooter, followed by a memorable Fiat 600, shown here with Herbert in the driving seat 😂