Michael Wilkinson: "not all translators – and especially student translators – are prepared to invest in […] software, especially if they are uncertain whether they will be using it on a large scale. One solution is to turn to a freeware program such as AntConc.
The first version of AntConc was released in 2002 by Laurence Anthony. It was a simple concordance program, but since then it has undergone continuous improvement and development. The most recent “stable-release” version at the time of writing (February 2012) is AntConc 3.2.4(Anthony, 2011).
AntConc can run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems, but whereas WordSmith requires additional software to run on systems other than Windows, AntConc runs on all three systems without additional software. In addition, AntConc is able to process texts in almost any language in the world, including Asian languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Moreover AntConc can process both UTF-8 and all legacy encodings on different systems, so it should be able to process texts saved in the operating system default encoding on all systems.
Like WordSmith, AntConc comprises, in addition to the concordancer, various other features, such as a tool for generating word-lists as well as a keyword tool that can locate and identify words that occur with an unusually high (or low) frequency in a corpus when it is compared with a reference corpus. However in the following I shall focus mainly on how well the concordancer serves the needs of the translator.