Since the 1990s, scientists and businesses have been working on perfecting computer-assisted translation (CAT) processes. Nowadays, we can proudly use the fruit of their hard work and choose the kind we are most comfortable with. It is safe to say that CAT tools facilitated translation and proofreading processes, making even more efficient human translation a reality.

CAT vs. machine translation

First of all, the key differences between CAT translation and machine translation have to be explained. As the name suggests, computer-assisted processes use the technology available to us today, but only to help the translator. Therefore, a CAT translation is completely different from a machine translation! A good translator would never us software providing automatic translations; however, CATs are specialised software which break the text into sensible bit size chunks, ensure standardisation across the whole document and are completely controlled by the translator and/or proofreader.

Before a CAT tool is marketed, special software is created to split the text into segments, create glossaries and translation memories, transfer source formatting, etc. The goal of writing such a programme is to facilitate the process of inserting the target text by a human professional. It is possible to take inspiration from automated suggestions (e.g. parallel texts found by the software), but everything has to be adjusted and perfected by a person skilled in using the target language.

As for machine translation, the only thing a person has to do it upload a file and then download the ?translation?. It is most often full of errors and misinterpretations as algorithms written for such purposes are not able to recognise linguistic subtleties and creative use of language.

Benefits of CAT

There are many benefits of using CAT tools by translators ? we will mention only the top 4.

1 -The most important is that CAT allows to use the same glossary and translation memory for several projects, so it is possible to maintain consistent vocabulary for projects assigned by the same customer.

2- CAT tools divide the text and display it in two columns (source and target), which makes the document more comfortable to manage and clearer to read. This also aids the editing stage of the translation process.

3- CAT software provides the option to divide a large document among several persons (assigning particular segments to one person only, so there are no overlaps). They may also share the same glossary among them, which significantly speeds up the delivery of a quality product.

4- Another benefit, which we find particularly important, concerns proofreading; a native speaker handling this task sees both the source and target text, so it is easy to fix mistranslation.

We are open to handle your project in a CAT tool of your choice. To learn more about the way we can help you, please contact us via email ( or phone.

About MD Online:

Mission statement: to ensure textually clear, grammatically correct and properly localised proofreading and translations by native speakers of the target language.

MD Online has an excellent track record of providing proofreading and translations to individual academics, institutes and businesses. We are building a solid reputation and have a large number of customers who reuse our services as well as recommended it to others.

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