Thursday, 25 March 2010

Current overview of CAT tools

My first experience as a trainer was extremely rewarding. I named the presentation "Current overview of
CAT tools”  (Computer-assisted translation tools )and it led the participants on a bird’s eye tour of the basics of Computer Assisted Translation, the tools that help professional translators to increase productivity, save time and offer consistent terminology in the work delivered.

I started translating many years ago in the prehistory of the translation era, that is, with rudimentary tools: pencil and paper, and I delivered many a translation written on an electric typewriter (those were the modern times!), but I was an early adopter of every new tool offered by the technology that make the life of translators easier. I remember my first computer with a RAM of 128 K, the first text editor, my first printer... Then in 2002 I learnt about CAT tools and my passion for these started.

What was pioneering then is a must today, as it is hard to imagine a competitive translator working without at least a CAT tool. The ability to work source and target in a single document and the segmentation that presents you with a single unit at a time for translation are worth the investment in time and money. Segments provided by translation memories can then be reused and even shared with other colleagues!

Several key aspects CAT tools were covered in the presentation, including translation memories, the segmentation of texts, the meaning of new, fuzzy and repeated segments, terminology management, document analysis and alignment. This was followed by a practical demonstration of the above concepts in a SDL Trados environment. The presentation was closed by a brief description of the leading products in the market such as SDL Trados, Wordfast, Déjà Vu, MemoQ, MetaTexis and Across.

I am thankful to the participants in the presentation for their excellent feedback and by their intense interest in the subject, and to IPEI, whose facilities provided a friendly and cozy environment for the event.

Haydée Incicco

Don´t miss Haydée's next talk at IPEI on Friday 16th April at 6:30 p.m.!

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