Translation tips

How CAT tools can make a Translator’s life easier written


As a professional experienced translator I have been constantly trying to make my work more effective. As my business has been growing and I have started recruiting more translators, I have noticed that most of them are working ineffectively. Their work is slower and less professional than the effective translator and the reason for that is not the translation ability at all.

We are not against machine translation but we are in favour of Human Translation supported by Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. In order to conserve time, money and quality, CAT tools, including Translation Memory (TM), have become very popular with translators, translation agencies, and even clients.

CAT Tools

These tools are basically called CAT which is an abbreviation of Computer Aided Translation. In a more generalized form, they are known as translation memory. The basic aim of this tool is to provide intervention to stop unnecessary human attention. These tools save the translator’s time and the client’s money.

How They Work

There are many types of these tools, but the most advanced of them will recognize the sentences or parts of sentences that are same and alert the translator with an appropriate translation of that particular segment. This tool is best on the contents where some words are used repeatedly and constantly.

Do you need some kind of training to use them?

To a certain extent, yes, especially when you are using an advanced type of this tool. You will have to take a certain training before you can start using it for basic purposes and later, with practice, you will be able to handle it better. Some companies make their own Translation Memory tools. Their basic components include:

-Instant Translations – This feature is pretty much similar to the one pioneered by Google. You simply feed the text and it will be translated into your target language. This gives the translators a little extra help for texts that are easy and basic. They just proofread it make it a part of the whole sentence and keep the flow clear and seamless.

-Translation Glossary – Many of the translation tools allow you to keep a translation glossary at hand. Instead of going to Google or any other website to check for the appropriate synonym for a certain word, the Translation Memory tools allow you to check for glossary words right there. This minimizes the lookup time and keeps the work flow seamless.

-Translation Memory – This is the main component of any CAT interface or tool. The Translation Memory keeps track of the sentences, words and components of a language that was previously translated and pop up with a suggestion when such sentences reappear in the future. It is pretty simple and basic, but if you delve deeper and use it right, you can cut back translation time, cut the costs and make it possible for the translator to bring optimal quality in his work.

-Keyword Extraction – This feature is, perhaps, the most intelligent and useful feature in any CAT tool. The basic purpose of this tool is to check the content, extract information, look for the most dense words and phrases and bring you information that will allow you to optimize your content and make it better for SEO purposes.

So that was the most basic information on CAT or Computer Aided Translation Tools. Use them wisely. But keep in mind that a translation is as good as the translator. These tools are just for your assistance. They are just to enhance the quality and make it superior. They are not meant to be used as a translation machine. Use them, but don’t depend on them.


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