Firstly, it must be explained that computer-assisted translation tools (CAT) are not automatic translation tools. In fact they are completely different, despite the fact they can often be confused.
Automatic translation tools are designed for translating texts with hardly any interaction on the user’s part. The quality of automatically generated translations is generally quite poor, and therefore its use is not recommended except in cases where time is the top priority and the purpose is simply to get a rough understanding of a text. It usually takes longer to revise an automatic translation than to do the translation from scratch.
Computer-assisted translation tools (CAT), however, work by storing pairs of segments or sentences (original and translation) in a database (the translation memory) which the system later “draws on” if it finds identical or similar sentences. The translator can hence edit them as she sees fit, quickly identifying the minor variations. This means considerable time and money savings, and is a great aid for the homogeneity of the terminology, a key aspect when assessing the quality of a translation. In fact, thanks to this technology, it is also possible to consult the memory at any given time and with just one click to see how a specific term or group of words has previously been translated.
Our professionals work with the most sophisticated computer-assisted translation tools on the market (SDL Trados, Wordfast, etc.). These tools support practically any kind of file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, OpenOffice, TXT, PDF, InDesign, QuarkXpress, HTML, XML, PHP, ASP, etc.) and once the translation is completed, they generate documents in exactly the same format as the original, with hardly any subsequent layout work needed.
Included among the key functions of these translation tools are quality control functions (terminological as well as in areas regarding spelling, punctuation, segments not translated, numbers, dates, etc.)
It also provides the possibility of networking. The translation memory can be stored on a server and used and fed by several translators at the same time, which is extremely useful if the project at hand is urgent and/or quite large in size, as this simplifies subsequent homogenisation tasks.
• Analysis reports on repetitions and matches
• Recovery of identical or similar sentences
• Quality control and terminology check
DID YOU KNOW…?
We can “align” all of your files translated by other professionals not using this technology so that we create a specific translation memory which belongs to you.
This way, any files which you will need to translate from then on will be analysed against that memory to find repetitions and matches. You could save a lot of time and money and would also be assured that the translators use the terminology found in the memory.
This post is also available in Español (es).