Let’s get to know more about CAT tools

CAT tools cartoon imageWhat are CAT tools?

CAT tools are kind of tools that help a human translator to perform translations with ease. A CAT tool is a computer program that helps to translate text documents more efficiently and precisely. It stands for Computer-Aided Translation but it is not the same as Machine translation. It includes various tools and software which increase the productivity and efficiency of a translator.  

In the case of machine translation, a human proofreader has to check the translation of software. Hence, it is a two-step process that involves a machining step and a human intervention step. That is not the case when a human translator uses CAT tools while translating. In this case, a human translator interacts with various tools throughout the process. This increases the efficiency of the human translator as well as reduces the time taken. It also makes it a complete process without needing the help of other human or machine translations. There are various uses of CAT tools that follow different concepts.

Uses of CAT tools

Translation memory

It is one of the most famous Computer-Aided Translation tools. Translators use translation memory tools to store translation of parts of a sentence or a paragraph in a database. These parts of a sentence or a paragraph are called segments. A source-text sentence or sentence-like unit (headings, titles, or elements in a list) may be considered a segment. Texts may also be segmented into larger units such as paragraphs or small ones, such as clauses. 

As the translator works through a document, the software displays each source segment in turn and provides a previous translation for re-use if it finds a matching source segment in its database. If it does not, the program allows the translator to enter a translation for the new segment. They may use it during subsequent similar projects.


Translation memory tools usually work with a software called Translation Memory Manager. When these TM managers identify a text segment with a stored translation, it fills up the place of the source language sentence. This kind of tool is very beneficial for the translation of technical manuals and guides of the same type. Some famous examples are SDL Trados Studio, SDLX, and Metatexis.

Alignment tools

Alignment tools are more advanced than regular translation memory tools. These tools compare the source language and target language texts, break them up into segments. These segments are also called bi-text sometimes. Then, it rematches or realigns these bi texts having the same meaning. Then, the tool stores these pairings in a translation memory database. Since these pairings might be wrong in many cases, some of these tools allow translators to realign these pairings.

Lingual search engines

Lingual search engines work as regular search engines. We can search for translations of sentences or parts of a paragraph. But they have databases of stored translations in a translation memory tool from which they fetch the search results. These databases are often very huge. And they act as automatic dictionaries where we don’t have to flip the pages. One famous example of this kind of software is Linguee.

Terminology management tools

Terminology Management tools are similar to the translation memory. But these tools store translations of words and terms. They have large databases of word pairings in source and target languages. The translator can search for the translation of a particular term from this database. Also, he/she can add new word pairing in this database. Two examples of this kind of tool are Logiterm and SDL Multiterm.

Predictive Machine translation tool

This tool suggests possible translations of the source language phrase or part of a sentence while the translator is typing the translations in a document. It is like the auto prediction software which we use while typing in our smartphones.  The translator may or may not choose the suggested translations. But it sure does speeds up the process of translation.

We at Verbolabs, a Language Translation service provider company in Bangalore, use a variety of CAT tools to enhance the translation process. Feel free to contact us if you need any kind of translation services. Also, don’t forget to browse through more interesting content in our blogs section.

4 comments to “Let’s get to know more about CAT tools”

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  1. Hello I am Lily and I really loved reading your Blog as it is very Interesting and Informative at the same time. I am surely gone share this on my social accounts. Keep it up.!!

  2. I would really like to thank you for sharing this amazing content with us. The most important point in the content is ‘Uses of CAT tools’. While translating you need be extra careful about the terminologies used in the document also the alignment should be proper. So, for performing these actions the translator uses the CAT tools.

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