Computer-assisted translation tool: What is a CAT tool?

Using a computer-assisted translation tool, abbreviated as CAT tool, is a process which includes the use of software to aid individuals in translating. In case of time constraints, a computer-assisted translation tool can effectively reduce the translation time, enabling the translator to translate content in a timely manner.

Computer-assisted translation is often also referred to as machine-assisted translation or machine-aided translation. Pangeanic uses several tools depending on the format you need your translation in, such as Excel, software (po files), InDesign files for desktop publishing, xml-compliant formats, etc.


The advantages of using a Computer-Assisted Translation Tool

A computer-assisted translation tool facilitates the translation process by resolving the text into smaller, translatable segments. It organizes these segments of text in a manner which makes it easier for the translator to translate the text effectively, and makes the process of translation time-efficient. The segments can be recalled later on and thus the translator ensures that the terminology and writing style of the original is followed. It also provides matches when the material that needs translating is similar to previously translated material – you only pay for the part of the sentence that has changed.

A CAT tool further reduces any chances of errors by saving the translated segments along with the source phrase. A translator can easily access any of the translated segments at any given time to ensure that the segment has been adequately translated. Computer-assisted translation tools were developed to allow the translator to be able to quickly search and alter -if needed- a particular segment of the text. They have also been programmed to assist the translator with the revision in a timely manner.

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The computer-assisted translation tool saves the translated segments and source segments as distinguished translation units. It saves these segments in a translation data base, referred to as the translation memory. Translation units stored in the translation memory can be accessed at any given time to be re-used, either in the same document, or a different one. Computer-assisted translation tools are equipped with special search features to allow the translator to access segments of translated fragments even when two segments do not match completely.

A computer-assisted translation tool leads to the effective use of time and energy resources during the translation process. It also helps to create a translation memory, which can be used later on as training corpus for machine translation engines. The availability of translation units in the translation memory also ensures consistency in the usage of certain terms. This adds authenticity to the translated document.

A computer-assisted translations tool can provide much needed assistance when translating texts of considerable sizes. It effectively helps the translator in the processes involving correct use of terminology, maintaining consistency and proofreading. At times, it happens that the translator is required to translate content which is highly technical in nature. In such cases, or otherwise, complying with a given list of specific terminology to be used accurately in the translated document can increase the work load for the translator. Going back and forth to the provided list to tally your document with the given list of terminology can also be quite time consuming.

Keep reading: Languages that defy machine translation


Computer-assisted translation tools can be programmed to automatically identify any of the places in the document where a specific term can suitably be used. Computer-assisted translation tools work in compatibility with the requirements of the digital age. In most cases we are made to work in paperless environments and computer-assisted translation tools can be of great help while working in such surroundings. It comes with the technology to provide backup support to a translated document ensuring that in case of any mishap, a copy of the document can be retrieved.

Computer-assisted translation tools have greatly increased the efficiency of translation processes while ensuring the availability of quality translation. It is an essential tool for both translators and buyers of translation services.

Contact Pangeanic and a member of our team will advise you on the best tool to use in your case, or if you prefer ask for a free demo and try our translation technology.