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10 CAT Tools Every Translation Agency Needs


With so many CAT tools (Computer-Assisted Translation tools) on the market, it’s necessary to narrow down which ones are the best for translation agencies.

That’s why we created this list of the top 10 CAT tools for producing human-quality level translations in the least amount of time possible. This list was developed by Pairaphrase, whose mission is to make translation faster, smarter and safer. 

Therefore, this list only recommends the most secure and intuitive CAT tools that will do the best job at reducing your company’s hours worked, which can result in significant cost savings.

Top 10 Computer-Assisted Translation Tools

 Here are the top ten CAT tools in use by translation agencies and professionals:

1. Translation Management

A great translation management tool takes the #1 spot on our list of the most recommended CAT tools––but only if it’s optimized for a great user experience. Translation management software will help you manage your translations and collaborate with team members in a central hub to streamline the post-editing process. 

Avoid translation management systems (TMS) with confusing toolbars or long learning curves. Look for translation software that’s easy to use and learn.

2. Dynamic Machine Learning

Perhaps one of the most time-saving CAT tools around is Dynamic Machine Learning. This translation technology uses artificial intelligence to train your machine translation engine, automate repetitive translation corrections and learn your words and phrases. 

When you train your machine translation engine using this CAT tool, you achieve continuous quality improvements and dramatically reduce hours worked.

3. Translation Memory

Translation Memory is one of the most commonly cited CAT tools in the translation industry. Running in the background while you translate, it’s a bilingual central repository for your saved translation segments. Segments are stored within a source language < > target language TMX file (your Translation Memory). 

You can import Translation Memories, or you can create them as you edit machine-translated segments within your translation application.

4. File Translation Editor

In order to take advantage of Dynamic Machine Learning and Translation Memory, you need an easy-to-use CAT tool that runs your file through machine translation to give you a first-draft translation that you can then edit. This interface will display your file text in segments, placing the source segment and target segment side by side for easy editing and creation of translation memories.

5. Batch File Translation

The productivity power of a computer-assisted translation is amplified when you use batch file translation. This CAT tool allows you to simultaneously run groups of files through machine translation. 

When you use batch file translation in conjunction with Dynamic Machine Learning, you can edit one segment and automatically replace repetitions of it throughout every file in the batch.

6. Terminology Management

Terminology management helps translation professionals maintain consistency in their communications and adhere to specific terms approved for use by their organization. This CAT tool is a lifeline for many translators who work with a glossary of specialized terminology or who need to follow strict brand guidelines.

Many translation applications allow you to import glossary files in the form of TBX (Termbase eXchange) and look up terms while you edit machine translations. Learn how to create a TBX file with Excel.

7. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Scanned PDF documents are no friend of any CAT tool that runs files through machine translation. 

Commonly known as a troublemaker when it comes to file translation, scanned PDF documents require OCR prior to being machine translated. Otherwise, your software won’t be able to read the text characters. 

Look for translation software that automatically applies OCR to your PDF.

8. Automatic Formatting

While translation software can speed up your file translations, it can also lose the formatting and layout of your original file. This can result in hours of added work reworking your document to reapply the fonts, spacing, image placement and more.

This makes automatic formatting one of the most important CAT tools to seek out as a translator who works with files that need to stay as close to publishable as possible. Automatic formatting isn’t perfect, but it gets you most of the way there.

9. Text-to-Audio Translation

If you work with eLearning translation, this CAT tool will be particularly useful to you. Upload a script and you will receive an audio file containing the translation spoken in a synthetic voice (think Siri-quality). This is best suited for internal eLearning and training courses.

10. Gisting

When it comes to internal communications, gisting is one of the handiest CAT tools you can use. Gisting will help you get the “gist” or main idea of a text and is best suited for rough copy-and-paste translations of instant messages, emails and other brief texts.

Access All these CAT Tools in One Application

Wondering how to access all these CAT tools in one translation application? 

Try Pairaphrase. It’s a web-based translation management system for enterprises who value safer, smarter and faster translation.

Schedule a demo or request a free trial.

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