A state-of-the-art tool for modern translators
The best translations are always performed by highly qualified professionals. Translators approach a document with an advanced knowledge of the source and the target languages, their expertise in the subject matter, and their awareness of the world itself.
So why are CatTools so important for modern translators?
Its initials stand for "Computer Aided Translation" and it is a computer application that allows a faster and more efficient translation approach of text documents thanks to the use of Translation Memories and a series of additional options.
But why does a translator need CatTools?
We might also ask ourselves why mathematicians use a calculator instead of doing the calculations mentally. It is simply a matter of practicality and effectiveness. CatTools, in the same way as calculators, help the translator to perform a better and more precise work.
How does it work?
A CatTool divides the text in "segments" to be translated (i.e., sentences) and presents them in a way that is easier for the translator to perform the translation. Each source segment is associated with a target segment (i.e., the translation performed by the professional), and it is then stored in a database called "translation memory" (TM), that can be reused in future projects related to the same client. The translator can thus work faster and more easily, but also ensure terminological coherence in current and future projects.
Advantages and Utility of CatTools
CatTools not only allow us to work with TMs but also with "term-bases" (TB) i.e., with glossaries, hence ensuring that the same vocabulary is respected along the project and that similar sentences are always translated in the same way. This is especially useful for translating technical manuals where there can be a lot of repetitions, extremely long documents or when it is necessary to split a translation between different translators. A CatTool ensures coherence throughout a same document and a same project or several related projects. Terms are agreed upon and then added to the term-base to guarantee consistency of a same term by different translators.
Do modern translators always use CatTools?
In documents such as International Organization reports, newsletters and press release documents or literary texts that do not contain repetitions, many translators prefer not to use CatTools in order to better concentrate on the idea that the author is conveying and to give more freedom to their creativity but in general CatTools can be used for any kind of translation or proofreading project.
Which are the most popular CatTools in the market?
MemoQ, Trados, Wordfast, SDLX, Transit, Across, Idiom, Omegat, Swordfish, Déjà Vu, Anaphraseus, Omegat-plus.