CAT Tools allow the translator to translate faster, more accurately and more conveniently. None of the software tools actually perform the translation for the translator, but they facilitate the translator's work.
CAT tools do not boil down to Trados only. Depending on the liking, freelance translators and translation agencies use tools like: Wordfast, Transit or OmegaT. Since the very beginning, Slavis has been using: Trados and Transit, allowing us to translate MS Office documents better; and for DTP: Adobe PageMaker and QuarkXPress in the past—Adobe InDesign and FrameMaker currently.
When you're dealing with a translation agency or a freelance translator, always ask whether the translation will be completed with the use of Trados or another software of this sort. Thanks to CAT tools (computer-assisted translation software) your translation may be more accurate, and — very often — completed faster and cheaper!
Trados ‘reads-in’ the document for translation and divides it into smaller chunks (so-called ‘segments’). During the process of translation, the translator clearly sees which segments have already been translated and which haven’t. When translating a given segment, the software automatically suggests a ready translation if there’s been the same or similar segment in the text already.
If the translator is provided with a terminology list from the client, which is to be used during the translation, the software will ‘make sure’ the translator uses the right terminology.
Trados fulfils three functions:
Why do we use Trados and similar software tools in the case of almost every translation we complete? Because it brings us the following benefits: