5 CAT Tools That Every Translator Should Use

In a previous post, we explained why companies should consider investing in Computer Assisted Translation tools. Today, we will look at CAT tools in greater detail. You’ll find below an essential kit for any professional translator for quick and high quality translation services.

1. Translation Memory Software

Translation memory software is the most well-known CAT tool. It divides the texts to be translated into units called “segments”. As the translator advances in the translation of the document, the software stores the text in a database of already translated segments. When the software recognizes that a new segment is similar to a segment already translated, it suggests that the translator reuse it. Some translation memory programs do not work with databases created during a translation, but with preloaded reference documents.

Some examples of translation memory software: Trados Workbench, DéjàVuX, SDLX, Star Transit, MultiTrans, Similis, MetaTexis

2. Language Search-Engine Software

Linguistic search engines work like traditional search engines, except that they do not seek results on the Internet, but in a large database of translation memory. The goal is to find, in these banks, fragments of previously translated texts that match the new text to be translated. Linguee, a multilingual context dictionary, is one of them.

3. Terminology Management Software

Among CAT tools, there is also terminology management software. With programs of this type, the translator has the ability to automatically search for the terms in a new document in a database. Some of these systems allow the translator to add, in the database, new pairs of words that match and verify text using various functions: the translator can then check whether this or that term has been translated correctly and consistently throughout the whole draft. Here are three examples of this type of software: SDL MultiTerm, LogiTerm and Termex.

4. Alignment Software

Text alignment programs allow the translator to build a translation memory using the source and destination of the same text: the software divides the two texts into segments and attempts to determine which segments agree with each other. The result of this operation can be imported into a translation memory software for future translations. Here are four examples of alignment software: Bitext2, Tmx Bligner, YouAlign and LF Aligner.

5. Interactive Machine Translation

Automatic interactive translation resembles the programs you use on your cell phone for writing messages: the program tries to predict how the human translator would translate a phrase or sentence fragment.

Other Language Programs of Help To The Translator

Finally, you should also consider other very useful linguistic software for translators:

  • Spell checkers (Proofread).
  • Grammar checkers (Grammarly, Reverso)
  • Terminology databases or online dictionaries, such as TERMIUM Plus, and the IATE.
  • Search tools for “full text” and indexing which allow searches to be carried out into already-translated texts or reference documents of all kinds, such as for example, ISYS Search Software and dtSearch Desktop.
  • Concordant or matching software which are reference tools used to look up a word together with its context, whether in a monolingual, bilingual or multilingual body (such as a bitext or a translation memory).
  • Project management software. With this program, a project manager at a translation company can organize complex projects by assigning translation tasks to different translators and track the progress of each one.

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