Why translate with a CAT tool ?

Why should you use a CAT tool? The answer is simple: When you use a CAT tool for translating you will be a better and a faster translator. In consequence, you will make more money and/or you will have more leisure time.

How does a CAT tool help to achieve this? CAT means "Computer Aided Translation". A CAT tool is a computer program that helps to translate text documents more efficiently through four main functions:

  • A CAT tool segments the text to be translated in segments (sentences) and presents the segments in a convenient way, to make translating easier and faster. In MetaTexis each segment is presented in a special box, and the translation can be entered in another box right below the source text.
  • The translation of each segment is saved together with the source text. Source text and translation will always be treated and presented as a translation unit (TU). You can return to a segment at any time to check the translation. There are special functions which help to navigate through the text and to find segments which need to be translated or revised (quality control).
  • The main function of a CAT tool is to save the translation units in a database, called translation memory (TM), so that they can be re-used for any other text, or even in the same text. Through special "fuzzy search" features the search functions of CAT tools even find segments which do not match 100 %. This saves a lot of time and effort and helps to make a coherent and consistent translation.
  • The fourth basic function of a CAT tool is the automatic look-up in terminology databases, and the automatic display and insertion of the search results.

Besides these main functions many other functions are included in a CAT-Tool which also make translating easier and increase the productivity:

  • Text search tools

  • Index/concordance tools

  • Quality checking through automatic watch list checking, or through applying formal rules

  • Statistical tools providing information about the translation process

  • Import/Export tools

  • Tools for post-production (e.g. correct formatting)

  • Alignment Tool. Many translations have not been translated with the help of a CAT tool, so that they are not available in TMs for further usage. To enable the translator to save these texts in a TM many CAT tools offer a special tool to produce TMs. This is usually called an "alignment tool".

  • Internet tools to retrieve information through/from the Internet

For more information see chapter "Introduction" in the MetaTexis manual.

A more complete list of functions of MetaTexis can be found on the page Features.