CAT Tools Overview

CAT Tools Overview

In the translation business, manual translations hold a lot of significance. That’s because even today, machines cannot match the linguistic expertise levels of human beings and the latter’s intellect. However, one cannot discount the fact that human-driven translation is prone to errors. These errors reduce the translation’s quality score. Besides, each error can potentially degrade the user experience. Thus, using cutting-edge translation technologies becomes imperative. These tools are called CAT tools. Let’s overview CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools to get a better understanding of them.

What are CAT Tools?

CAT tools are programs translators and linguists use in document translation. They help translators enhance the productivity and quality of translations. In addition, linguists and translators can edit, manage, and store previous translations. Many people believe CAT tools translation is devoid of human intervention. But that’s a myth. CAT tools provide a helpful environment for translators and enhance the translation process. So, as a translator, you cannot expect the CAT tool to translate for you.

Computer-Assisted Translation Tools Features

Let’s overview some CAT tools used in translation.

1. Term Base

Also addressed as translation glossaries, term bases are databases providing definitions or specific instructions for using translated terminology. One can consider it a dictionary used with translation memory to look up terms relevant to the context. In addition, term bases help maintain translation accuracy across various projects via the consistent use of common or exclusive terminology appropriate to a particular business’s context.

2. Translation Memory

It is a record of translations created earlier and aligned with the source texts. It can help split enormous multilingual documents into translation segments. The memory helps you save time and increase translation consistency by saving all earlier approved translations and reusing them while translating similar content.

3. Quality Assurance Features

As the name suggests, QA features help perform quality checks and prevent errors and numeric mismatches, identify deviations from approved terminologies, missing text, etc. You can begin the QA process before sending a document for translation, continue it during the translation and editing process, and conduct checks on the final document.

4. Style Guide

While translating, translators have to ensure that the original meaning and context don’t change. Style guides provide a set of guidelines serving as a rulebook to translate accurately and simultaneously retain the original intent. It can prove helpful in every context, especially when translators have to convey a brand’s unique attributes.

Benefits of CAT Tools for Translation and Business

Here are some benefits of CAT tools for translation and business.

1. Translation Consistency

The term bases and translation memories allow the translation of multiple texts with equal consistency. CAT tools improve and evolve with time. Translation memories and databases of earlier translations can help you use earlier approved translated content and thus reduce the translation workload as well.

2. Increased Productivity

CAT tools eliminate the need to copy and paste translations into a particular template. Instead of doing all of it, you can focus on translating the excerpts requiring translation. The CAT tool takes care of the rest and yields a clean copy of the original document in the source language once completed.

3. Higher Flexibility

Some factors determining the adaptability of CAT tools include compatibility with exchange files from other CAT tools, set user-based access authorization, integrations and inbuilt modules allowing workflow customization, and multiple device accessibility to allow remote use.

4. Considerable Time Savings

The matching technology of CAT tools fosters increased efficiency. Translators don’t have to retype everything every time. It helps save many person-hours at the company level.

5. Improved Translation Quality

Tools like quality assurance enable translators to deliver better quality and more accurate translations, thus matching customer expectations.

What are the Disadvantages of CAT Tools for Translation?

No software or tool is perfect. CAT tools aren’t an exception. They can potentially divide the source file into tiny separate segments like a sentence or a phrase. Thus, the tools can only comprehend the sentence’s context and not the entire document. Hence, translators cannot fully rely on CAT tools for translation.

We hope the above provided you with an overview of the various aspects of CAT tools. Please email us at to hire translators or know more about our expertise.

Ref. No – FLB10231041

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