Translation automation

Translation programs – fashion or necessity?

Mobile Regs
cze 3 2015

translation automation

Translation software market continues to grow -  this is probably the most buoyant segment of the software that we deal on Inscripte. Just follow the release dates of programs in this category- in April and May appeared almost all major updates of CAT-s. Also there is a quick develop of   "software concerning" services, all kinds of trainings, webinars and implementations. It is worth to mention a multitude of services provided in the cloud and we can bravely talk about translation revolution. Is this boom a temporary fashion. Are CAT tools a necessity for translators? Probably a bit of both. Many translators are already using such tools, but there is a huge group of those who are still hesitating and are not sure thinking: do I have to use CAT? We will try to answer this in the article.

Programs supporting translations are extremely helpful especially for agencies. Right now, most of them, if not require,  certainly encourage its employees to use them. It is pure profit- thanks to CAT there are no "empty runs" - you pay only for what really was translated. In addition, agencies are gaining a lot of valuable translation memories and terminology databases. So, if you want to work for an agency, use of CAT is rather a necessity-sooner or later the customer will asks for it. This does not have to be annoying requirement, as you also gain on this- you will do translations faster, your translation will be more consistent, you will have full control over the number of translated pages and characters. You will easily handle with the majority of formats. That is what the work with professionals give.

Another criterion for determining whether these tools are needed is the type of translation we do. Of course, the matter does not concern interpreters – they do not need such programs. It is also less helpful for a certain group of translators. This applies especially to those who deal with translations of fiction- here, instead of repetitive phrases, the feel, taste and literary talent is needed. This cannot be done by any program. The same thing is with the poetry. The experience of several people show that CAT will not manage with translations on some scientific fields such as philosophy. It does not mean that the mentioned above text types cannot be translated by such programs. It can be used, but with the use of smaller part of their potential.

A professional translator usually does not have much time for clicking, opening of multiple programs, checking websites and dozens of dictionaries. What matters is efficiency and effectiveness, and this is provided only by CAT tools, which have or should have everything in one window and within hotkeys. Of course, firstly our "kitty"  has to be properly fed: we have to give it a lot of good "units" of translation memory and extensive terminology database - CAT is only as good as your translation.