Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) Tools
The EN ISO 17100 standard defines computer-aided translation (CAT) as “part of a translation workflow in which a variety of software applications are used to support the task of human translation”.
The Usefulness of Computer-Aided Translation Tools
Translation tools allow translators to edit, manage and save their translations, which in turn improves their productivity. The multiple functions they include are designed to ensure translation projects can be completed with greater speed and ease. This speeds up the work process while guaranteeing consistency and uniformity.
Difference Between Machine Translation and Computer-Aided Translation
According to the EN ISO 17100 standard, machine translation is “automated translation of text or speech from one natural language to another using a computer system”. Generated by software without human intervention, it helps the user quickly get an overall idea of content, regardless of the source language.
As we explained in our article “Machine Translation – Are Translators in Danger?” , machine translation has many limitations, however. In addition, it is undeniable that the time spent by the translator reviewing and editing such a translation is greater than the time he or she would need to translate the content directly.
CAT, on the other hand, is of great relevance to the translator, who always has the main role, namely that of translating or validating the translation suggested by the translation memory. While these software applications ensure consistency from one translation to the next, using them also helps increase the quality and volumes processed and is conducive to lower costs and shorter lead times in the long term.
Conventional CAT tools
A translation memory (TM) is based on the operation of a linguistic database which stores each translation segment for future reuse. Each memory segment includes source text and target text; these pairs are called “translation units” (TUs).
During the translation work, this intuitive software automatically suggests identical or similar content which was already translated and stored in the TM. This considerably reduces the time required for translation projects, while ensuring the consistency of your translation and maintaining a high quality level.
The translator may accept or replace with new target text the suggested exact or partial matches. The updates are saved in the TM both for later reuse and possible repetitions within the same text. Likewise, unmatched segments are translated manually and automatically stored in the TM.
By updating these TMs while working on their project, translators play a key role in customer satisfaction.
Translation memories are generally used in conjunction with a terminology management tool to ensure content consistency and quality. With such a terminology tool, it is possible to define clear and unambiguous rules for the use of each validated term in the source and target languages and perform accurate and efficient translation work aligned with the terminology used in the targeted sector and the company concerned.
It is not the same as a translation memory since the latter stores text segments and not terms or phrases.
Using such a database allows you to create, edit and manage corporate terminology, quickly find, reference and apply style, brand and terminology instructions for each language or project and thus to translate with more accuracy and consistency, while increasing your productivity.
Advantages of Our Proprietary CAT Tools
“Translation Pool” Memory
As explained above, the translator who works with a translation memory no longer needs to translate the same thing twice and therefore saves precious time. Adding more and more TUs to the translation memory has the effect of speeding up the translation work and therefore making translators more productive. As for the end customer, all the terms already translated and stored in the TM mean cost savings. Faster, better, cheaper!
While our proprietary Translation Pool has the same advantages as traditional CAT tools, it does offer many more additional features. Our translators have the option to perform searches in the language pair of the current project as well as in many other language combinations and source-target directions. Similarly, it can search for concordances in both the database specific to the customer concerned and the databases of all the other customers.
Lastly, unlike other tools, our Pool includes a very useful traceability function. Not only does this feature allow users to view previous translation versions in context and therefore make project revision easier, it also makes sure the process is safeguarded since all the steps and all authors can be traced.
In traditional CAT tools, once a segment is modified in the target language, its previous version is permanently deleted and can never be retrieved, which means that the last translator/reviewer has the “last word”. If the target wording ends up being erroneous or lacking clarity, finding the initial translation will prove very difficult if not impossible.
Based on this observation, PTS developers designed the “Pool” to enable translators to view all the existing translations for the same segment, and this, in context. We are therefore always able to correct any errors or improve the quality of our translations.
Major international companies have long recognised the need for central terminology management.
When reviewing translations, our engineers focus on using the correct terminology, which may involve extensive research in some cases. We understand the importance of terminology management and therefore use a translation memory to ensure consistency in the translation project. For each customer, we create a terminology database which keeps growing with every new project.
We store and document your terminology free of charge every time we carry out a translation for you. Each entry is supported by one or more reliable sources and identified with a colour code: green for terms validated by the customer, blue for those which have yet to be confirmed, and red for the so-called “blocked” translations because they are incorrect or not used by the customer.
Like the Pool, TVS may also be used to search for terms in other language combinations than that of the project; indeed, going through another language to find the solution may prove very useful. The translator also has the option to check databases of other customers for verification purposes.
The system’s advantage is that terminology management allows us to always use, for a given term, the same translation which perfectly fits the specific context. As a customer, you and your colleagues can access it online and actively participate in data maintenance without any restrictions. We then need to ensure data consistency. The system is designed in such a way that you cannot accidentally delete any data whenever you input new data.
This collaboration ensures that your technical texts will be translated unambiguously and that your corporate content will remain consistent.
By implementing systematic terminology management during translation work, PTS guarantees that corporate language will remain uniform over the long term: correct and linguistically logical terminology increases the quality of textual content and improves its consistency.
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