CAT Overview

Computer-assisted translation is a broad and imprecise term covering a range of tools, from the fairly simple to the more complicated. These can include:

  • Spell checkers, either built into word processing software, or add-on programs;
  • Grammar checkers, again either built into word processing software, or add-on programs;
  • Terminology managers, allowing the translator to manage his own terminology bank in an electronic form. This can range from a simple table created in the translator’s word processing software or spreadsheet, a database created in a program such as FileMaker Pro or, for more robust (and more expensive) solutions, specialized software packages such as LogiTerm, MultiTerm, Termex, etc.
  • Dictionaries on CD-ROM, either unilingual or bilingual
  • Terminology databases, either on CD-ROM or accessible through the Internet, (such as The Open Terminology Forum, TERMIUM or Grand dictionnaire terminologique from the Office québécois de la langue française)
  • Full-text search tools (or indexers), which allow the user to query already translated texts or reference documents of various kinds. In the translation industry one finds such indexers as Naturel, ISYS Search Software and dtSearch.
  • Concordancers, which are programs that retrieve instances of a word or an expression and their respective context in a monolingual, bilingual or multiligual corpus, such as a bitext or a translation memory.
  • Bitexts, a fairly recent development, the result of merging a source text and its translation, which can then be analyzed using a full-text search tool or a concordancer.
  • Project management software that allows linguists to structure complex translation projects, assign the various tasks to different people, and track the progress of each of these tasks.
  • Translation memory managers (TMM), tools consisting of a database of text segments in a source language and their translations in one or more target languages.
  • Systems that are nearly automatic as in machine translation, but allow user decisions for ambiguous cases. These are sometimes called human-aided machine translation.

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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