No matter what industry you work in, your job will always be difficult to do without using the right tools. Fortunately, today there are excellent solutions for any problem you may encounter, including translation.
In the past, translators used spreadsheets to keep track of their work progress. However, with the emergence of computer-aided translation (CAT) tools, they can now work and manage their projects much more efficiently.
CAT tools have rapidly risen in popularity as they support the translation of text from one language to another and handle everything from editing to quality assurance, allowing you to foster consistency, increase productivity, and save money while delivering high-quality translations. In fact, according to a recent survey, the majority of CAT tool users agree that its use enables them to translate more efficiently.
As a result, businesses that operate across borders use CAT tools as part of their global strategies to completely automate their translation projects. If you’re considering making CAT software solution part of your global strategy, below we share the five most common features of modern CAT tools that contribute to producing top-quality translations.
What are the most used CAT tools?
A translation memory (TM) provides translators with a large record of previously created translations aligned with source texts. It is basically a large database of translated documents. Users can use the translation memory function to split large multilingual documents into translation segments, such as texts, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs memorized in the database.
Once the translation memory finds identical segments, that is, full or similar matches, in a new translation project, it will allow users to reuse previous translations with or without making changes. If you come across plenty of technical, scientific, or legal jargon, a translation memory will come in handy as you can save all previously approved translations and reuse them to save time and boost consistency.
Also known as translation glossaries, term bases are databases that offer definitions or specific instructions for using the translated terminology. It is essentially a dictionary that you can use alongside the translation memory to search for terms that are relevant to the client you are translating for.
The main benefit of term bases is that they ensure the accuracy and consistency of common, specialized terminology, special names, brand names, and definitions in particular contexts across translation projects.
It is essential to the proper translation of scientific, technical, and legal texts which necessitates a high degree of accuracy and consistency. Once it is well integrated with your translation memory, it will enable you to translate a lot faster.
By implementing a reliable cloud-based CAT tool, you can invite translators, editors, marketers, managers, designers, and even customers to join in on a project or ask for their opinion on specific translation documents. You can pre-translate the content, share it with the collaborators and then decide jointly on matters such as wording or tone of voice. Everyone can check the progress of a project and enable multiple users to conduct real-time collaborative teamwork.
Moreover, you can coordinate your team and assign tasks with due dates, and in this way produce the best possible translation.
Quality assurance functionality
Mistakes are bound to happen. With quality assurance (QA) functionalities, like internal spellcheck, you can prevent different types of errors from ruining the quality of your translation. This tool identifies and notifies users of errors in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, format, etc., which the users make when working on the translation project.
QA tools also detect missing text or tags, numeric mismatches, and deviations from approved terminologies, which can lead to unpleasant misunderstandings. You can launch the QA process before a project is sent for translation, proceed throughout translation and editing, and make final checks even after completing the final version. With QA, you won’t have to worry about the accuracy of every small detail and information.
Machine translation capability
Machine translation (MT) is the process of using artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically translate text without human intervention. Users input text in their source language, choose their target language, and the MT engine then produces the translation.
One benefit of MT is that it enables the rapid translation of large volumes of text in a short period of time, which is otherwise impossible when using traditional translation methods. It can help speed up the translation process by translating large volumes of text without human contribution, or alongside human translators who would do machine translation post-editing.
CAT tools are not only there to help you speed up your translation projects, but they’re also a cost-effective way to ensure consistency while boosting efficiency and productivity. Think of them as smart assistants designed to help you optimize your multilingual workflow and provide high-quality products for clients.