Future of CAT Tools in Interpretation/translation

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools play a big role in professional translators and project manager’s lives. The tools can decrease the time one spends on an assignment, maintain consistency of frequent-used terms and provide a quote more efficiently.

Trados is a CAT tool that is being used by most, if not all translators around the world. It is a program that has the whole package; from creating a project to creating a pseudo-translation for clients, it covers all aspect of the translation. A project manager can create a package in Trados to send it to his or her translators, who in turn, upon completing the translation, can return the package back to the project manager. All this can be done within Trados. Trados can also create a Translation Memory, which is a database that stores “segments” of translation units that can be used to aid the translator in another assignment of a similar topic. Another useful function is creating a Termbase, which is a database of terminology and related information that can reduce the time spent on an assignment by producing an already-translated term during the translation.

However, Trados has its limitations as well. In a world where the OS operating system is more broadly used, Trados can still only be operated on Windows; this in turn has turned a lot of users away. Also, given all the tools and functions Trados has, only a few have been utilized to its full capacity. Trados should release a Lite version of the most-used functions so that all users, no matter at what level of CAT-efficiency, can utilize this powerful tool more efficiently.

CAT tools can aid in interpretation as well, although perhaps not as efficient as in a translation assignment. During research phase, Wordfest can create a bilingual word-list from materials to quickly retrieve relevant terminology. Old fashion bilingual dictionaries can also greatly attribute to an interpreter during the research phase.

With technological advancement, future CAT tool can be invented to aid interpreters during the interpretation phase as well. For example, with advancement in voice-activated computer programs, a program or an APP can be invented that can retrieve terminology from the glossary with a simple voice command.