October 2016

3 Ways How CAT Tools Improve Translation Quality

Dogs may be man’s best friend, yet it’s cats that translators really appreciate. But I’m not talking about our furry feline friends.

Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools – not to be confused with automatic machine translation – are incredibly useful to translators and ultimately benefit clients too. 

Here are a few ways a professional translator can use them to improve quality:


Format first and foremost

The format of texts, particularly leaflets and marketing, may often be carefully prepared by the author.

It’s important that the translation accurately reflects the same design and format of the original text. After all, it’s essentially the same document just in a different language.

CAT tools store the original layout of source files before breaking the text down into translatable chunks (or segments). The translator then works through the segments without having to pay much attention to design (unless a format change is required in the target language).

Sometimes it’s tempting to get creative with font styles and the like. But a handwritten font style can reduce legibility and make the job of a translator more difficult.

Fortunately, CAT tools support the translator by displaying the segment texts in a clear font, free of any creative touches.

Once the work is finished, the translation is exported into a document and the CAT tool ensures the original formatting is adopted, including any interesting font choices.

A final review by the translator then ensures your document looks exactly as it should.


Consistency is key

CAT programs typically construct what’s known as translation memories. A translation memory (or TM) is a working database of existing translations for any given language pair.

Once a TM has been set up for a project, the translator is able to view his or her existing translations for identical or similar segments.

This means the client benefits from consistent terminology and wording, while the final text is kept coherent for readers.


Enhanced efficiency

Time is money and sometimes the job just needs to get done.

By facilitating a smooth translation process, CAT tools enable translators to work quickly and efficiently.

This is great news if you have an urgent need for a translation and can also not afford to cut corners.

Quicker work also reduces overall costs – so you not only enjoy all the quality benefits professional software brings, you can also expect a lighter invoice and speedier delivery!


[Tweet “CAT tools provide quality, consistency and efficiency benefits for #translation clients”]


I use a range of professional CAT programs including MemoQ by the trusted technology experts at Kilgray.

If you want to find out how you can benefit from all of this, why not get in touch with me here.