Monday, 7 October 2013

What are the advantages of CAT tools?

          The term Computer-assisted Translation does not refer to Machine translation of texts which is provided for free by many engines and websites such as Google translate, Reverso and Bing. CAT refers rather to the human translation which is facilitated by desktop computers and the software installed on them. These software are called CAT tools. They have many features which cannot be ensured by a human being, so the translator uses them as tools to improve his performance and increase his daily out. Indeed, CAT tools have many advantages when working on big projects, especially technical ones, because they won't help much in literary or creative translation. 
               So, one may cite that:
1. CAT tools help the translator to keep track of his previous work by creating Translation Memories "TMs" which enable him to save time when translating recurrent expressions or similar ones.
2. CAT tools enable him to keep Term Bases "TBs" which enable him to be consistent in all the translated documents, i.e. using the same terminology along the project.
3. The translator can even use the client's TMs and TBs when required, consequently this will save him a great deal of research.
4. CAT tools enable the translator to have a machine translation from his workbench. All he has to do is to set his preferences when creating the translation project.
5. The translator can align his previously translated documents
6. They enable the translator to work on all types of formats and to save the translated documents in multiple formats.
7. Some CAT tools have servers which allow the translators to work on projects in teams.
8. Wordfast anywhere, for example, allows the translators to access the user-friendly environment wherever they might be and to share their TMs free of charge.

N.B: You can download free trial versions of these software and some of them are open-source.
More posts on CAT can be found here.