Understanding the World of Computer-aided Translation

Understanding the World of Computer-aided Translation

At TOPPAN Digital Language, we are great believers in the power of translation technology. When leveraged properly, it is an essential tool for producing high-quality, accurate translations as quickly as possible.

Some of the jargon surrounding computer-aided translation can seem foreign to the uninitiated, so here are some explanations of a few of the tools we use here at GL.

CAT Tools

Computer-Assisted Translation or CAT tools help our linguists to be as productive as possible. The industry-leading software we use employs a number of handy features which make the translation process quicker and easier.

CAT tools break the source document down into easily-digestible “segments” which makes things more logical for the translator, and ensures better consistency when our Quality Assurance team comes to check them!

Translation Memories

Otherwise known as TMs, these are databases created by CAT tools which store previous translations for future use. For example, there isn’t much logic in translating “please select all that apply” anew each time it appears in a document. With a TM, the phrase will appear as a “TM match” in subsequent files, thereby saving time on the part of the translator and keeping costs down for the client.

Each TOPPAN Digital Language client has their own set of TMs which are updated after every project. This means any preferred stylistic or terminology choices can be stored for future use, ensuring consistency each and every time.

Machine Translation

A term that can be met with much scepticism in the translation industry, machine translation (MT for short) differs from CAT tools, as rather than being an aid for translators, MT means the computer is translating the whole text itself. If you’ve ever visited an online translation website, you’ve used MT!

This is great if you need to know the gist of something very quickly, but we are still a long way away from machines producing the same quality as human translators every time – something you may have noticed when perusing a menu abroad.

If you need high volumes of text translated quickly, and don’t need it to sound like Shakespeare, then machine translation post-editing might be something to consider. This involves a human translator improving text that has been machine-translated so it meets the agreed quality levels. This option is particularly useful for internal documents, where having it translated quickly might be more important than it being of high quality.

Whatever your translation needs, you can be sure that at TOPPAN Digital Language we are using cutting-edge translation technology to deliver you a finished product perfectly tailored to you. Contact us to find out more.

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