Want to translate your content faster to reach out to a global audience? You can use a computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tool.
The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have made content publishing life easier than ever. Now, you can compose engaging social media copy, marketing emails, and blogs using AI tools.
But, limiting your content to English will narrow your audience to the English-speaking population, approximately 19% (1.5 billion in 8.0 billion) of the global population, according to Statista.
You are missing out on the rest of the 80% of the population. If this persuades you to think more about producing content in other leading languages, then you need a CAT tool.
And choosing the right CAT application is just a walk in the park if you read this article until the end!
What is a Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) Tool?
CAT tools assist linguists and translators in translating content from one language to another.
It is not a machine translator like the Google Translator app. CAT software will not translate text content from one language to another with the click of a button.
Instead, professional translators use this tool to get assistance in storing translated content for future use, organizing input content in small paragraphs, assisting in spelling, pointing out typos, and so on.
Such software also facilitates easy management of translated content by website editors and publishers. Otherwise, publishing the same content in different languages on your website could be messy.
You can also consider CAT tools a program that brings interactivity to translation and multilingual content management.
Human translators and linguists accurately extract the meaning of a paragraph from one language to the other. While the CAT tool is continuously scanning the workspace for fine errors that escape human eyes.
You will find such tools mostly in language service-providing agencies.
Why Do You Need a CAT Tool?
#1. Fast Forward Long Term Translation Projects
When you use CAT software for long-form content translation like eBooks, knowledgebases, etc., it assists you technically in completing the project faster.
#2. Reduce Minor Errors and Typos
CAT tools come with side by side view for translated and non-translated content. Also, it helps in proofreading, typo correction, and more.
#3. Translate Technical Documents Faster
You can automatically program the CAT tool to suggest certain technical terms during the translation project. Hence, by avoiding guesswork for an appropriate vocabulary, you save time.
#4. Save Time on Non-Productive Tasks
When you use a CAT tool, you can focus on simply translating since the tool’s interface shows a clean text markup. However, on the back end, it saves all the HTML tags, CSS codes, URLs, etc., that a website might contain.
You do not need to manually add HTML codes, CSS, hyperlinks, etc., to the content later when the task is complete.
#5. Affordable and Cost-effective
Many popular CAT software is available for a dirt-cheap subscription plan. In return, you save a lot by not commissioning unnecessary manual translation services.
#6. Abundant in the Market
You can easily subscribe to a CAT tool, as many are in the market. Also, these tools only require a browser, so you do not need to upgrade workstations frequently.
#7. Bring Consistency to Translation
A CAT software builds the initial translation workflow your team can follow so that the output content is high quality and according to client guidelines for translation.
It also automatically suggests standard technical terms to save time from guesswork.
#8. Run Collaborative Projects
All the top-notch CAT applications are on the cloud. The tools offer a shareable link for the translation work you have taken up. Just share the link with an external or internal collaborator for teamwork.
#9. Save on Translation Costs
The translation memory of a CAT tool stores translated content from all past projects. Whenever you feed new content to be translated, the tool scans the existing memory to look for similar phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc.
It shows all the matching content in a percentage figure. If you see a 20% match, then you can save 20% on the per-word billable value.
How Do CAT Tools Work?
The main purpose of CAT software is to offer extensive support to linguists and translators during the translation process.
First off, such software will offer a translation editor interface that enables you to input content to be translated. Some CAT applications also offer machine translation services. Hence, when you enter the content, you get a roughly translated output.
Now, you can go through the raw content and make some changes according to sentence nuances to make the translated content free-flowing and easily understandable.
Secondly, most CAT apps come with a translation memory module. It creates a database of all the previous translation projects. Hence, when you enter new content, the tool scans the existing database for matching sentences and paragraphs.
So, you can recycle old translations instead of translating content from scratch. Then you can translate the leftover content to complete the project.
Thirdly, computer-assisted translation tools also come with a terminology management module. You can upload a glossary of technical words, keywords, brand-approved vocabulary, etc., and the tool will show you where to use the words when translating the content.
Not to mention, some software comes with dynamic machine learning. Such tools learn from human translators and apply the translation to another part of the document containing similar words, phrases, and sentences.
Features Every Robust CAT Tool Should Have
Here are the functionalities you must look for in CAT software for business use:
A translational memory to store translations from past projects in searchable segments.
A translation glossary or term base that suggests technical words, keyphrases, etc., from a pre-programmed dictionary.
It should allow you to share your translation workspace with collaborators via online link sharing.
Since such tools are mostly cloud-based software, there should be stringent data security protocols like content encryption, authentication, and so on.
The CAT tool provider must clearly state that it will not monetize your project’s translated or non-translated content.
There should be a functional proofreading module that will automatically highlight mistakes.
Machine learning capabilities to learn translation patterns from human translators and apply that in other parts of the content.
A good CAT software must include an automatic content formatting module so that the translated content looks highly similar to the input content.
Now, it is time to explore some popular and reliable computer-assisted translation platforms or CAT tools for your next content creation and translation project:
memoQ Translator Pro
memoQ Translator Pro is a software that provides you with a computer-assisted translation environment suitable for Windows OS. Here, one can reuse prior translations, use predictive typing, make glossaries using chosen terms, add reference materials, and get suggestions from different platforms.
Moreover, users can import, translate and export other translation tools’ proprietary or standard files for better interoperability and compatibility. This application enables collaboration by letting you work with any other organization that uses the memoQ server and accepts packages from popular translator tools.
The supported file formats of this platform are MS Word, XLSX, PPTX, MSG, VSDX, XLIFF, XML, PSD, XML, JSON, ZIP, SDLXLIFF, INDD, and many more. You can use memoQ to translate more than 100 languages, including all the most used ones worldwide.
If you are looking for a seamless method for translating and collaboration, Redokun is here for you. It takes your projects to a new level by leveraging machine translation and translation memories. This cloud-based software does not need an installation and lets you start working from anywhere.
Moreover, the translated documents look exactly like the originals. If you are part of a team, onboarding your colleagues on the projects is an effortless task on this platform.
As it translates the documents, team members can update and make comments. Besides translators, managers and designers will also benefit from using this software.
Using Redokun, you can reuse and repurpose translations to maintain consistency across all translations and content types. It uses the latest machine translation engines for instant document pre-translation with up to 94% accuracy. As a result, you will notice more than a 50% increase in productivity.
TextUnited is a CAT tool with an intelligent and super-fast translation system. The application promotes localization with a complex translation process so companies can achieve international growth.
It uses a technology-first approach to cultivate a strong bond with your customers in their native languages. This platform is here to cater to your translation needs, be it website, text and video content, software, or any omnichannel communication.
With this software, companies can centralize all translation tasks and establish a connected system for constant localization. TextUnited supports frictionless synchronization between your systems, professional translators, and language technology.
Through multi-faced API, you can integrate it with CRMs, communication suites, cloud platforms, and code-versioning systems. The tool can capture multilingual feedback for you as users share their experiences in real-time through text, audio, and video. Also, one can reduce costs by reusing one translation multiple times.
Choosing Smartcat means you get access to a robust and intuitive CAT tool. It offers an array of unique features that helps you boost productivity and get localized content through a fast and free process.
The software offers a single environment where both teams of in-house and freelance translators can work. Here, companies can upload documents and assign those to individual contributors. It also provides access to regularly updating translation memories, glossaries, and QA checks.
Trados Studio is a translation productivity tool that allows you to localize content for your audience quickly and accurately. The application is available on both cloud and desktop so that professional translators can do their jobs more efficiently.
Using its intelligent translation memory technology, one can reuse previously translated content across various projects. As this platform is compatible with a large number of languages and file formats, translators can get jobs from anyone.
Say goodbye to outdated translation memories and spreadsheets, as Smartling offers a next-generation translation experience to you. Its top features are:
Preview translation before they go live
Sync and share real-time active memory
Style guide and term base for consistent brand tone
Version control and integrated quality checking
Automatic saving and routing
Above all, Smartling also allows you to watch a demo before deciding to opt for it.
If you are not willing to pay for a CAT software license, MateCat provides a free translation service. While working on urgent projects, you can take help from this platform and make the tasks easier.
MateCat supports more than 100 languages and lets you translate more words every hour than most similar tools. It also comes with a simplistic interface that you can navigate seamlessly. The application enables you to upload documents from your computer and Google Drive.
OmegaT is an open-source translation memory application for professional translators. This free software runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux and helps you with features like fuzzy matching, propagation matching, multiple translation memories, User glossaries, and simultaneous multi-file project processing.
It supports 30+ file formats, including plain text, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, and Open Document Formats. Some other features of OmegaT are Unicode (UTF-8) support, compatibility with right-to-left languages, and an integrated spelling checker. It can also work with other translation memory tools.
Whether you are a blogger, website content publisher, video content creator, social media marketer, or translator, you must try out a computer-assisted translation tool that automates most of the translation tasks.
Such tools also help you to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability in the longer run. Not to mention you can avoid typos and fine errors by relying on artificial intelligence applications.
So, try out the above CAT tools. Explore the features more with real-time translation projects. Then, select one that offers you the most convenience, functionalities, and flexibility.
You will look more authentic and professional when you mix your translation capabilities with an AI and produce content that attracts new website visitors.
I am a technical and creative content writer with 10+ years of experience in the relevant industry. My degrees in English and Sociology, coupled with working experience in software development companies, help me understand how technology… read more