The importance of Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools in providing quality translation services

12th Apr 2013

First and foremost it is important to define what is a CAT tool. A CAT tool is a form of language translation in which a human translator uses computer software to support and facilitate the translation process. It is necessary not to mistake CAT tools and machine translation as the last one is purely done by a machine and consequently it lacks  the accuracy and quality due to the lack of context among other factors.

Translation technology dates back to the years of the Cold War when the information gathered by the intelligence services had to be translated without delay. However, the real emergence of the CAT tool market took place in the 90s due to the rise of the Internet and the opportunity for translators to exchange data worldwide.

There are several reasons why it is important nowadays for a company to be provided with CAT tools in order to enhance and optimise its translation services.

Consistency is one of the main reasons. Consistent terminology within a document and throughout a project is especially important in technical translation. CAT tools allow projects to standardise their glossaries and individual translators to use terms consistently.

CAT tools facilitate the creation of easily and rapidly retrievable terminology cards and glossaries. They allow correct terminology databases to be created, which contain not only the expression in the source and target languages, but the context, examples, and images can also be stored, and the categories provided for describing the expression can becustomised freely. This is particularly important for regular clients who always need the same type of text to be translated and therefore want to be assured that consistent terminlogy is used throughout.

Consistency in terminology is also achieved thanks to Translation Memories (TMs) which are created from previous translations and used in future projects.

Furthermore, TMs enable companies to increase their production and manage the workload efficiently so that deadlines can be met without neglecting the quality of the final product.

Another important advantage of using CAT tools is that they let the both Project Managers and  translators to  work with formats other than Word (Excel, PowerPoint, Visual Studio, Java, HTML, XML, etc.) without modifying the format. This feature is particularly important when it comes to tight deadlines as translators do not have to spend time formatting the files and they just have to focus exclusively on translating.

We at Pearl Linguistics are equipped with CAT tools to offer and provide our clients with innovative solutions.

We follow a Quality Assurance process before delivering any translation project and we make sure that there are no omissions, typos, spelling mistakes, mistranslation and that terminology is used consistently.

We provide translation services in all languages and we use the lastest technology to assist us within the  process to deliver quality translation services.

Beatriz Vera Rodrígue, Translation Project Manager


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