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How to use CAT tools?


Working with CAT tools is easier than many think. Besides it's a must today. We show how they work and effective they may be.

Video Transcript

How to use cat tools

Part 1

Text segmenting

When you use a CAT tool the source text will be splitted into smaller parts. These are usually sentences. We call them "segments".

Of course it will be splitted only for the time of translation. In the end you get the ready translation in similar or identical format as the source text.

So, the source text like this – processed by a CAT tool - in this case imported to Trados - will change to a list of separate segments:

on the left the source text, on the right there is a place to put in the translation.

You may ask - Why to split the text?

The answer is: because splitting into segments is the core of using CAT tools.

If we use a CAT tool we translate the source text segment after segment.

We see then exactly what and how we are translating. There is no chance to leave out any part of the text untranslated.

The translation quality is incomparably higher than when we translate by looking at one document and writing in the translation into another one.

Besides, we can come back to already translated parts whenever we want and check them or correct if necessary.

Part 2

Translation memory

Every sentence we translate will be remembered: saved and stored in so-called translation memory.

When we translate a segment and confirm the translation the cat tool will save the sentence. It saves the source text and its translation as a pair in the translation memory.

It happens so fast that we cannot see it. We just translate segments one after the other.

But that's not all. Now comes the best part.

Every segment we translate and that our CAT tool saves in the translation memory can be reused.

It can be reused whenever we come across a new sentence that is similar or identical with any sentence translated before.

In such case the application will suggest a translation we have done in the past. Of course, we may but we do not have to use it.

But, if we translate a text containing many identical sentences or that is similar to a previously translated text - then just imagine how fast we can translate now the new document!

The CAT tool can translate all repeated sentences automatically, they can be translated in seconds, 100% consistent with our previous translations.

To use a cat tool or not to use – that's a big difference as you can see.

Part 3

Final document

When the translation is done the CAT application creates or exports the final version of the translated text.

    After that we have:
  • the translated document
  • the finished project in our CAT application
  • and of course the translation memory from the project
  • that we can reuse in future projects.

Using CAT tools is neither difficult nor complicated. And the benefits of using them can be really huge.

If you want to learn more about CAT tools check out our Ninja courses.

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