The Knowledge of the Translator

What is a CAT Tool? Why is It Used?

Translation has been the only thing throughout history that ensures communication between communities and nations that speak different languages. Translations were originally delivered verbally or were written on paper.

It serves as a vital bridge between two or more languages and underwent a technical transformation over time. First, professionals today perform translations previously written on or erased from paper on computers.

As in other sectors, advanced technology pushed translation techniques to the higher levels. Technology companies involved in the translation sector and translators active in this sector collaborated and created CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools.

Frequently-Used CAT Tools

Some of the most frequently used CAT Tools can be listed as follows:

  • SDL Trados
  • MemoQ
  • Memsource
  • Idiom
  • Across

There are certain disagreements in the translation industry today about which of these translation tools and software to use. These differences mostly exist between older and younger translators. The rest of the article explains in detail the effects of CAT tools on the translation process, the translator, and the resulting quality of the translation.

What Are the Advantages of CAT Tools?

  • Increased Translation Speed

Using CAT tools in translation hastens project delivery compared to translations completed using traditional methods. Repeated segments in the translated file are indicated in green as “CM (Context Match)” or “100%”, which the program automatically fills. Thanks to this feature in CAT tools, the translator does not have to do anything and can continue to deal with other parts of the translation. Another feature of CAT Tools is that translations are kept in the built-in memory, and if segments that are somewhat similar appear, the program shows the previous translation. For example, when translating a new segment similar to an old one with a rate of 79% (fuzzy match), the old translation is placed entirely onto the target side, showing the differences in the previous source and helping the translator save time by modifying only this text.

In addition to these auto-fill and suggestion features, CAT tools offer the translator shortcuts such as “CTRL + Enter” to confirm segments and move on to the next segment. You can move more quickly through translations thanks to shortcuts like these.

Translation Specific View

CAT tools provide all the features the translator needs in one window, because they focus on translations in terms of appearance and structure. In a single window, the translator can view the source text, target text, previous translations, word count, the translation progress, and other features.

Thanks to the collection of all functions that may be necessary for a high-quality, fast, and consistent translation in one window, the translator can concentrate completely on the translation and complete the work more carefully. As the human factor is largely active in traditional methods, frequent inconsistencies—translating the same sentence differently at the beginning and end of the text—may appear. However, while working with CAT Tools, there will be constant recommendations for translating the same or similar source texts. You can avoid inconsistencies even when distracted.

Since the translator has mastered all the work processes in one window, he or she can work more comfortably and follow the progress. The translator can best plan the translation process.

Consistency and Quality

The job could be a translation project comprising only 250 words or contain multiple files and 60,000 words. In both cases, using a CAT tool is a more professional choice than traditional translation methods. Translation memories save translations made with CAT tools, which can also create term bases. Even if many different translators work on large and long-term translation projects, the translation and terms used in the translation will be consistent.

The translation memory provided by CAT Tools eliminates the need for translators to repeatedly search for new terms. Translators can search in the translation memory in seconds using “Concordance” to see how the relevant term was translated previously.

Sustainable Translation Processes

Translations to be performed with CAT tools are generally prepared as project packages. A package is created using the text to be translated, and the translation is performed in this package. After completing the translation, the final version of this package is created. Although this process does not work exactly the same for every CAT tool, it is generally the same.

Simplifying the Translation Process

When compared with folders containing dozens of zip files in turn containing hundreds of .docx or .doc files, the process of translation by project using CAT tools is clearly understood to be a systematic and easy-to-follow process.

What Are the Translation Quality Assurance Tools?

Using Quality Assurance (QA) tools such as XBench and Verifika becomes easy because translations can be exported from CAT tools along with the source text. These QA tools help to fix errors by comparing source and target texts, and the translator can easily fix the errors he or she didn’t regard as possible.

Translation, of course, can also be done by opening two Word documents side by side. But using a CAT tool in translation, for the reasons mentioned earlier in the article, positively affects the translation process, the translation quality, the translator’s performance, and the entire workflow and allows for more work in less time and better quality work, and also ensures that the client and translation company are satisfied with the final result. CAT tools are software programs developed to comprehensively improve the translation process, so it is important that they are used optimally in all translation jobs.

Written By: M. Furkan Şahin

Date of Publication: 12/24/2019

Target Audience: All Translators, Students in the Department of Translation Studies, Beginners in Translation, Translators Looking for Ways to Improve Themselves

  • 0
  • Paylaş: