If you are new to the wonderful world of translation, then you may not be familiar with CAT tools and the many benefits you can gain from including them in your translation workflow.
CAT tools (or computer-assisted translation tools, to give them their full name) are pieces of software which help a human translator to do their job more efficiently. (They are not to be confused with machine translation tools, where a machine does the translation!)
There are many different CAT tools out there, but most of them can:
- Store past translations in a memory: The CAT tool can then suggest these previous translations to the translator, if they are given the same or similar text to translate in a new project.
- Store a bilingual glossary: This is useful if it is important to always translate a particular word or phrase using specific terminology.
But what exactly are the benefits of having a CAT tool in your translation workflow? Are they worth it? We believe the answer is yes, and this blog post will look at three reasons why!
For more detailed information, check out our full-length guide on this topic:
1. CAT tools can lead to reduced costs
As mentioned previously, CAT tools store past translations in a memory. When a new translation project comes along, the translator can use the CAT tool to compare this new project against the translation memory. If the CAT tool recognises any of the new content as being identical or similar to any previously translated content in the translation memory, there will usually be discounts applied. This is to reflect the fact that the translator’s workload is reduced, since they will not have to translate these sections from scratch.
2. CAT tools can lead to reduced turnaround times
The fact that CAT tools can be used to compare new projects against the translation memory can also lead to reduced turnaround times. As the translator works through new content, the CAT tool uses the existing translation memory to suggest previous translations which are considered similar. This allows for increased productivity on the translator’s side, without sacrificing valuable time having to go back and cross-reference previously translated documents.
3. CAT tools often have quality assurance features built in
Most CAT tools have in-built quality assurance features – such as auto-correct, and the automatic flagging of missing translations, missing tags, inconsistent numbers and repeated words – which aid the translator as they work their way through a job. This also helps the Project Manager during the quality assurance stage of the project, saving time overall and spotting any potential issues missed by the translator.
I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction to the benefits of CAT tools in your translation workflow. For more in-depth information and advice, read the full-length guide here. The guide covers:
- what computer-assisted translation is and how it differs from machine translation
- common features of CAT tools
- 5 benefits of including computer-assisted translation in your translation workflow