Brief Introduction to CAT tool

For translators whether professional or beginner must know about CAT tool. CAT tool is short term of “Computer Aided Translation”. CAT tool can make translation process easier. Every profession has each of the supporting software. Indeed, CAT tool is the right software for translators. However, CAT tool is different from translation machine. CAT tool cannot provide translation result automatically, it means that we have to translate the text manually.

The commonly used CAT tools of translators are SDL Trados, OmegaT, Smart CAT, Wordfast, MemoQ, etc. However, the price of CAT tool license is much expensive, indeed. For 1 license of SDL Trados Studio Freelance 2015, we have to pay 695 EUR, for 1 license of WordFast is 500 EUR, and 1 license of MemoQ is 620 EUR. Still, CAT tool can be a profitable investment for us who are dealing with translation industry.

One CAT Tool is not enough

Clients usually offer translation job with certain file format. Sometimes, they have prepared file in form of package of export result for specific CAT tool. That is why it is not enough having one CAT tool only. Yet, it is still possible for us to use only one CAT tool. For example SDL Trados, it can handle several of file formats. By this reason, this CAT tool is very popular among translators. In addition, Wordfast6 has same level popularity with SDL Trados. However, every CAT tool has specific capability and characteristic which may not belong to others CAT tool. Therefore, it is not enough to have only one CAT tool.

The Advantages of Using CAT tool

  1. Accelerating Translation Process

When translating a document with large volume with short deadline, using CAT tool can be the right choice. CAT tool is equipped with features to set Translation Memory and Terminology. Every saved translation in Translation Memory can light up can ligth up the translation duty because the similiar sentence in a segment do not need to be translated twice. In the Terminology list, translators can do translation consistently because they do not need to memorize a lot of terms. In addition, CAT Tool provides interface that supports the translators effectively. The document is divided in to segments and in a segment consist of source text and target text.

  1. Improving Translation Quality

Beside it can accelerate translation process, CAT tool can also improve translation quality. One of CAT tool functions is keeping the terms consistency on a translation because it is one of the factors determining on a translation result like technical text containing instructions. The terms consistency are used to make it easier for the readers to understand the instructions of the text. Therefore, the text needs special treatment because it has terms that must be translated consistently. It is different from literary works which is more flexible.

  1. Simplify the Editing

After translating, the next step is reviewing and editing. By the supporting of CAT tool, reviewing and editing process will be easier because the interface divides into segments. A segment consists of two parts they are source text and target text. So that, the translator can compare the source text and the translation result freely. In addition, CAT tool is also equipped with feature in correcting the typo. Therefore, CAT tool can make reviewing and editing process easier.

  1. Make it Easier for Translator in Getting Translation Order

If a translator applies job to a translation agency, the agency usually gives some requirements. One of them is concerning on mastering CAT tool. Indeed, the using of the software is reasoned because a translation agency usually works on on the order in large volume with short deadline, and worked by several translators at once.

Therefore, CAT tool is useful to support translation process. In addition, CAT tool is also as our investment in translation industry. Hopefully, this article can be useful and expand our knowledge about translation, especially about CAT tool.