CAT stands for “Computer Aided Translation Tool”. A CAT tool is a computer program that helps a translator to work efficiently.
The main function of a CAT tool is to save the translation units in a database, called translation memory so that they can be reused for any other text, or even in the same text.
Why use CAT tool?
When you use a CAT tool for translating you will be a better and a faster translator. This is because of the creation of Translation Memory and Term Base that helps the translator to build the database of translated text. This in turn enables leveraging Translation Memory for any future translation, pick only those segments of text that are not earlier translated. In consequence, you will make more money and/or you will have more leisure time.
Some of the important CAT tools.
1. Translation Memory Software
The main function of a CAT tool is to save the translation units in a database, called translation memory (TM), so that they can be reused for any other text, or even in the same text. Through special “fuzzy search” features the search functions of CAT tools even find segments which do not match 100 %. This saves a lot of time and effort and helps to make a coherent and consistent translation.
Some examples of translation memory software: Trados Workbench, DéjàVuX, SDLX, StarTransit, MultiTrans, Similis, MetaTexis…
Steps to create a translation memory:
- Go to Windows / Start /All programmes/ SDL Internacional SDL Trados 2006 / Translator’s Workbench. The software will start running and will request the user name.
- Go to File / New.
- A window will show where you have to choose the source and target language by clicking on Add…. Then, click on Create….
- A window will display where you have to enter the name for the TM and browse where to save it.
Note: Next time you open Translator’s Workbench, the last memory used will be opened by default.
Steps to open a translation memory: (You can double click on the icon of the TM you wish to open, or open Trados Translator’s Workbench)
- Go to File / Open
- A window will be displayed, where you have to look for the TM you want to open, and once found, click on it.
Usefulness of a translation memory: The Trados TM will provide an existing equivalent sentence in the Target Language if it matches 100%.The Trados TM will provide suggested words or phrases in different colors if the equivalent sentence does not match 100%. Confirm these suggestions or simply type your own words or phrases. Click Ctrl & Enter to confirm and move on to another sentence.Once finished translating the whole text, click File …. Save as ….. Rename the file …. Saving is accomplished.
2. Language Search Engine Software:
The linguistic search engine works like traditional search engine except that they do not search on the internet but within a database of translation memory. Linguee is a software that contains multi-lingual dictionary and a useful tool for language search of terms previously used and its meaning and translation in other words.
3. Terminology Management Software
Among CAT tools, there is also terminology management software. The programs of this type enable automatically search for the terms in the translation that are in the translation task. Also after translating the term, the translator can then check whether this or that term has been translated correctly and consistently throughout the whole draft.
Some examples of this type of software: SDL MultiTerm, LogiTerm, and Termex.
4. Alignment Software
Text alignment programs allow the translator to build a translation memory using the source and destination of the same text: the software divides the two texts into segments and attempts to determine which segments agree with each other. The result of this operation can be imported into a translation memory software for future translations. Here are four examples of alignment software: Bitext2, TmxBligner, YouAlign and LF Aligner.
Other important tools that help the translator to perform better and faster
- Spell checkers (Proofread).
- Grammar checkers (Grammarly, Reverso)
- Terminology databases or online dictionaries ( TERMIUM Plus, IATE)
- Search tools (ISYS Search Software and dtSearch Desktop)
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