Large projects equal great challenges. That’s when a full spectrum of technologies used in software commonly known as CAT tools comes in handy.
This mysterious abbreviation means simply computer-assisted translation, which more and more often accompanies translators and proofreaders in their daily work. However, little is being said about their measurable benefits for clients – and it’s definitely an issue worth exploring.
CAT tools and challenges in translation
Even though CAT tools are not only used with particularly extensive or repetitive projects, they’re definitely most often mentioned while we are talking about such issues. Today we will also focus on this issue and we will present the advantages of modern technology that translate into real, measurable benefits. The range of programs available to translators is incredibly wide and their possibilities vary greatly. CAT tools include simple proofreading modules incorporated into other apps, as well as separate software allowing work with term bases or dictionaries. The latter are usually used in case of complex projects – what’s so unique about them, though, and why are they so useful?
Consistent terminology – higher quality, lower price
A text is uploaded to the program and broken down into segments that usually correspond to sentences. Translating every single piece builds a translation memory – you can assign it to, e.g., a particular specialisation or, in case of long-term cooperation, create a translation memory dedicated to a given client’s needs. This way it’s easier to achieve one of the key components of a good translation, namely maintaining consistency in translated phrases… which often turns out to be far more challenging that it would seem. This is quite probably the main advantage of using CAT tools, especially when we receive a glossary with required translations of indicated terms. All of these are added to a term base and a suggested translation of a phrase appears next to every segment where it can be found, ensuring its consistent and reliable translation throughout the whole document.
An extensive term base is also a priceless aid in case of repetitive projects, shortening the lead time significantly. Every completed project expands the resources. During long-term cooperation it translates into the possibility of visibly shorter project completion time and increased flexibility when it comes to lead times. CAT tools are also used to manage translation projects, making the communication between all involved specialists a breeze. This solution enables direct communication, quick problem-solving, and – finally – timely completion of high-quality translations, even if there were any problems.
Getting familiar with new technology
Modern technology has boldly invaded our daily life and it’s no different when it comes to the translation industry. The availability of CAT tools is changing, just as the ease and frequency of their use, not only among freelance linguists, but also translation agencies This not only significantly facilitates the work of translators and proofreaders, but above all guarantees consistent, timely translations.