CAT Tools: When Technology Intervenes to Enhance Quality and Save Time!

The evolution of the translation industry has recently picked up the pace thanks to the introduction of new technology-powered solutions. Unlike what was previously thought, machines did not replace human translators or take over their jobs. Technology, on the contrary, helped linguists save time, produce more, and enhance the quality of their work.

Nowadays, the vast majority of translation companies are leveraging technology and capitalizing on a full suite of computer assisted translation (CAT) tools. In this article, we dive deep into what CAT tools are, how they work, and why they are important not only for translators, but also for your business.

What are CAT tools?

The term computer assisted translation or CAT tools refers to the software that linguists use to come up with better translation within shorter timeframes. CAT tools are now considered the necessary technical toolkit of any professional translator. These computer assisted tools form a comprehensive translation management system that ranges widely from translation memories and term bases to predictive texts, spell and grammar checkers, text alignment software, and quality assurance solutions.

Never confuse it with machine translation

CAT tools are nowhere close to machine translation, although both are powered by the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). While all machine translation applications, even the smartest neural engines, produce an automated inaccurate translation, CAT tools give the upper hand to the human element. CAT tools are equipped with translation memories and glossaries which suggest translations from previously human translated texts and leave the translator a space to edit and add his touch.

Under the hood!

The collaboration between humans and CAT technologies always result in a high-quality output with the least margin of error, but how does this collaboration go? CAT tools are usually characterized by its easy-to-use interface and utmost ability to integrate with different file formats. Once the translation team receives the source documents of a new project, they transmit them directly to the CAT tools which extract the plain text, break it down into smaller parts, known as segments, and display them to the translator(s).

The software then automatically matches the new segments with any previously translated units stored in the translation memory or term bases and suggests different options to the translator. Linguistic search engines can also access larger online databases and suggest wider translation options in line with the context of your project. Additionally, autocorrect and predictive text messages pop up to help translators along the entire translation process.

Furthermore, there is a set of quality assurance software applications that check your translation for any possible spelling or structural errors. There are also the project management systems that organize every translation task and allow project managers to track the progress of any project.

Does your business require using CAT tools? And why?

For the most part, your business would need a CAT tool-driven translation no matter what your industry is. The point is CAT tools bring a myriad of benefits neither machine translation nor pure-human efforts could come up with. These are three main reasons why your translation service provider must be employing reliable computer-assisted tools and technologies:

  1. Faster turnaround time

In a global competitive marketplace, your business needs proper translation and localization solutions within tight timeframes. Backed by advanced translation memories and terminology management capabilities, CAT tools save linguists the hassle of translating duplicated texts or searching the same terminology twice. Furthermore, there are software programs that apply the necessary grammar and spelling checks and others that take over the additional quality assurance steps. With all these functionalities fulfilled, CAT tools speed up the translation process and help get the job done at a faster turnaround time.

  1. More consistency

Accuracy and consistency are two critical elements of any proficient translation, especially when it comes to detailed technical texts that include many specialized terms. CAT tools and translation memories ensure consistency across the entire content and guarantee the same words and structures are used to translate any repetitive texts. CAT tools are the only way to ensure consistency in big translation projects where different translators, editors, and proofreaders are involved. The software also displays the original text more explicitly to the linguists so the translation process goes smoothly and no phrases or paragraphs are missed.

  1. Lower cost

Employing a full set up of CAT tools requires human translators less work, and thus reduces the cost of the total translation project. Whether you are charged per word or per hour, adequate computer-assisted translation technologies will effectively cut the word count and decrease the working hours. This is highly evidenced across long-term and large-scale projects, where translation agencies that possess efficient CAT tools offer highly competitive prices due to the help of their advanced technologies.

Since 2004, EuroLingo has established its name as one of the most reliable sources of competent translation services in Eastern Europe. We believe our highly advanced CAT tools and translation memory systems are one of the key reasons behind our remarkable success. The effective collaboration between our experienced human translators and cutting-edge technologies is what distinguishes our services and sets us ahead of the cut-throat competition. We are always dedicated to provide comprehensive language solutions at competitive rates and fast turnaround times. Contact us now for more information.