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The type of documents for which computer aided translation tools are most useful: contracts, manuals, machine tool reference tables etc.

In the case of some documents in which repeated text needs to be uniform, like contracts, some manuals or reference tables for technical equipment, Traduclair uses well known computer aided translation tools such as Réverso, Trados and Similis.

When used by professionals, these tools can automate certain tasks at different stages of the translation process and ensure the uniformity of the translation. They do not replace the work of a qualified translator but save time. The programs record the words used and harmonise the previously selected and validated terminology leaving the translator free to concentrate on the specific features of the text to be translated.

Contributions of computer aided translation software

Computer Aided Translation (CAT) involves two technologies: segmentation and the translation memory.

The CAT software can control the quality by checking the terminology used and the number of words repeated and respects the typography used. It checks each segment of the translation to guarantee its conformity with the terminological requirements.

The program can also analyse the document, enabling the project leader to estimate the time required for translation very quickly.

Advanced users can use options included in the CAT software to execute complex tasks such as extracting and pre-translating segments of Word, Access, PowerPoint or Excel documents, optimising translation memories, analysing projects, checking the terminology used by different translators and developing supplements specific to a given project.

What you should know

When talking about translation software we must differentiate between automatic translation software and computer aided translation software. The former is at present totally unreliable because it cannot handle multiple meanings that are clarified by context. For example, does "régime" in French mean system of government or speed of operation of a machine? The latter is useful for translations where phrases are repeated and to unify terminology. The software divides the different documents in memory into segments and analyses and compares them. It cannot threaten or replace the translator because, as its name indicates, it is a tool that requires the input of translation skills and control is still in the hands of the human being manipulating the computer technology.