Professional translators probably may not think about translating without a CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) Tool. But translators, who are going to start their career in this sector may not know much about it. There are a number of good reasons about the use of CAT Tool. Some of the reasons are pointed out here.
Higher productivity: Using a CAT tool will increase your daily productivity. As many as projects you complete using CAT tool, the required time will reduce inversely. All of your works will be stored in the Translation Memory (TM) and this/these TM(s) will auto fill the target segment whenever it’ll find any segment matched with that of TM. It’ll reduce your typing. Another important element is “Glossary”. You may create your own glossary and it’ll reduce your typing effort by suggesting the word(s) you’re going to type. Moreover, it’ll save you time from searching the words in a dictionary.
No/less worry about formatting: In most of the cases, the output of the translation will be the mirror copy of the source. You need not bother much about the time consuming and tiring formatting of the document. If the tags are used properly, the output becomes exactly the mirror of the source.
No typing but translating: If the TM is rich enough or if the task is similar of a previous one (probably from the same client), it’ll reduce your typing task to a great extent. In such cases, you will only require editing the task.
Consistency: Probably this is the most important aspect of translation. If the consistency is not maintained on a particular document, the outcome may not fulfill the intended purpose. If a document is big enough to complete within a few hours or requires several days to complete, there is every possibility of inconsistent translation. With CAT tool, this problem can be overcome completely. In most of the CAT tools, there is an option like “Consistency Checking”, which helps to ensure the consistency.
Predictability: Almost all the CAT tools have analysis option. Before commencing the translation, the translator may run this option and it’ll give an accurate analysis of the document(s). How much texts and how many segments are repeated, the percentage of repetition, how much texts and how many segments are matched with the existing TM(s). The result of such analysis helps the translator to estimate the time required to complete the task.
Other benefits: Most of the CAT Tools supports multiple file formats. There are a number of online CAT Tools which are free (in some cases). While you use these, you need not bother about saving them, there is no risk of PC crash. You can access them anytime, anywhere. Need not to mention, you’ll not find the same utilities in these online versions as of the premium versions. But these are good enough to complete your tasks. Apart from these, there are a number of other benefits of using CAT Tools.
There are a number of CAT Tools available. The most commonly used and handy tool is SDL Trados. There are a number of versions of Trados. Other handy CAT Tools are MemoQ, Wordfast, Deja vu, MateCat etc.