Translators are the people who link cultures together, making sure that whatever they translate does not lose its meaning to translation. However, there are times where computers come in handy when we need to perfect a job and get it done on time. This is when CAT Tools come in handy… to translators, of course.
What Are CAT Tools?
CAT Tools, or better known as computer-aided/assisted tools, are tools that translators use to make their lives easier. CAT Tools enable translators and enterprises to save time on the translation process, especially those who do business across geographies and different cultures. So, now we understand the general idea of CAT Tools and what they mean to translators, but what does a CAT Tool really do?
A Memory Power House
The features CAT Tools hold are the reason they make translation easier and faster for professionals. The most common feature in those tools is what is called a translation memory. This feature enables its users to save their previously created translations along with its original course text(s); a function that can be of great help when starting a new project, where a translator can split the document into paragraphs, segments, phrases, and sentences. After splitting the large document, the translation memory quickly starts looking for identical or similar matches from previously saved projects.
Glossaries Just for You
Term base is a translation glossary that provides guidance and instructions on how to utilize translated terminology. Because the main goal of those tools is to guarantee accuracy, this function helps to search for terms that are suitable to your business. And after every project, the CAT software saves all the used terminologies into its translation memory, for consistency and accuracy of future projects.
Computer-Assisted Translation and Machine Translation Are Not the Same Things.
Computer-assisted translation is translation conducted by humans, with aid from CAT tools in order to produce a mistake-free and meaningful translation; in other words, the tools do not translate on behalf of the translators. On the other hand, machine translation solely uses artificial intelligence to effortlessly translate documents, without the interference of humans.
While machine translation is quick, takes less time, and costs way less than any other type of translation, it sometimes should not be used for the mistakes and loss of meaning it brings with translated content. On the contrary, computer-assisted translation is done by actual humans, only using helping tools, because no matter how advanced an AI is, it cannot be compared to humans (at least until now), or even compared to the way a human brain processes language. Translators and enterprises prefer computer-assisted translation, which is no surprise since those tools ensure quality meaningful projects.