TECHNICAL TRANSLATION AND THE USE OF CAT TOOLS

The linguistic work in the day-to-day business of a translation agency is applied to a wide range of textual subjects, each with its own specific characteristics. CAT tools make the translator’s job easier, and also help reduce both costs and project times. Technical translation is one of the fields that most benefits from this technology.

WHAT ARE CAT TOOLS?

These software programs take their name from the acronym Computer Assisted Translation, also often called Computer Aided Translation.

The eloquent name merely explains that these tools help linguists with their translation work, performing the most repetitive and least complex tasks. This frees translators to apply their intelligence to concentrating on the most sensitive and relevant aspects of the document being translated, improving the quality of the final text and obtaining the best quality/price value possible.

These tools can be implemented with translation memories (TMs) and termbases. The former contain portions of text called segments (usually sentences) which have previously been translated, either in the document in question or in similar texts. Termbases are nothing more than databases that store various terminology preferences established according to different contexts.

Lastly, or initially if you will, machine translation engines pre-translate the segments of the text.

TECHNICAL TRANSLATION

This field includes a wide range of documents of sectorial origin, such as:

– user manuals

– technical data sheets

– operating instructions           

– safety instructions

These are only a few examples from the wide range of texts that fall within the field of technical translation. As many of you will already be aware, the information contained in these documents complies with the requirements imposed by the relevant industry jargon, relating for example to the terminology and syntax used.

These documents are often intended for experts in the field who have mastered the specific technical language and could easily perceive inaccurately translated information as extraneous or unprofessional.

It is therefore essential to rely on translators who are not only experts in the art of translation, but also in the field of application of the translated text.

The keys to success include collaboration between linguists, the constant training and updating of CAT tools, and a solid background of practical and theoretical knowledge.

For more information, visit our dedicated page.

English translation and adaptation by Sarah Schneider