The truth that so many translators would prefer not to admit is that CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools are effective for some forms of translation. They are, of course, no replacement for a skilled translator who is familiar with the ins and outs of Arabic regional spoken language or the specifics of dialect between Mandarin and Cantonese. But you shouldn’t discount your LSP entirely if there is some utilization of CAT tools.
Computer skills are not only a vital resource for translators to have, but they’re widely used by translation agencies worldwide. The difference that ITC Global Translations understands that there’s a necessary balance between the use of these tools and the actual work put in via the translator’s learned and specialized skills.
Translation Memory Software
One valuable point of CAT tools is that they do often come with software that is notorious for nothing but saving a translator time. Most translators will find themselves with a cache of previously translated work that can come in grand handy with your project. Many times, such as in the world of marketing, concepts are recycled. Therefore, texts, projects and documents typically are too. Of course, the translator will have to be certain that their translation memory software has filled in the blanks smoothly, that the correct sentences are where they should be and that everything is consistent.
But there’s power here. And that power lies in the time that gets saved, whereas, without the translation memory software, the LSP would have to manually sort through previous work.
Concordance tools are another facet of CAT tools that many LSPs greatly appreciate. They show the translator how a specific word may have been translated in the past and display a “glossary” of related and interchangeable terms with quickness and ease.
CAT Tools are great for somethings, like an increase in productivity and, with long-term customers, consistency with their history of preferences.
CAT Tools are great for somethings, like an increase in productivity and, with long-term customers, consistency with their history of preferences. Many LSPs will warn you off an agency or translator that utilizes CAT tools. We won’t speak for or against them, but what we can say is that their usage is nothing to discount your potential LSP over.
Balance. That’s what’s important. You need a translator that does not depend solely on their CAT tools and software. Translation is hard, tedious work, and that may not ever change. No CAT tool is going to eliminate those two things from this field.
For more information about how we here at ITC use CAT tools, contact us today.