CAT tools

photo: Erik Tjallinks

CAT tools are not animals with hardware. It refers to particular software that helps a translator to make translations faster. CAT or Computer-assisted translation is often called computer-aided translation too. I started to use CAT tools at school when I was taught translation studies. As I do not have too much money to buy professional CAT tools such as TRADOS, I started to use OmegaT.

OmegaT is an open source software CAT tool. That means you can download it for free from its webpage. At the beginning I was a little worried. I have used TRADOS a couple of times and even though its relatively simple it has a lot of functions. OmegaT, on the other hand, was totally new for me. If you have used open source software, most of the time it is a little bit difficult to understand. Most of this software is made to work properly, not to be user friendly.

I was totally wrong. Even though OmegaT seems to be difficult it is not. Most of the time it is only matters of read the instructions. I know it seems ugly compared with Trados, but apart from being free it is pretty functional and woks smoothly.

The software provides additional tools such as ‘automatic translation’. It also tells you if a word have been translated early. In addition, You can create a term data base and show it in one side of the window.

In conclusion if you had started to translate, why don’t you give OmegaT  a chance.

Image under creative commons licence: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eriksimages/6216270225/

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