Disadvantages and advantages of CAT tools
CAT software is the most frequently used translation memory. It is used both by linguistic companies and individual contractors, albeit for the latter, it is often a considerable expense. The invested money, however, provides fast return, since translation efficiency increases significantly, meaning that one can produce more of them in a given time with no more strain than usually. Nevertheless, CAT programmes will not be equally useful in every translation so their purchase has to be thought over thoroughly in terms of the texts we normally deal with.
Software is nothing but a tool which needs a knowledgeable user.
Even before one starts to consider the use of CAT software, it is necessary to get rid of stereotypical thinking about it.
An application of this type is merely an acceleration of work by creating a Translation Memory, i.e. an extensive database collecting successively translated texts. The more documents are in it, the bigger it gets. After some time, it will make it possible to auto-propagate some segments if a given sentence or phrase has already been translated earlier on.
CAT is a perfect tool for translators who complete orders similar to each other or often work for the same customer.
For instance: we translate a user manual of a piece of equipment. After some time, the said piece of equipment gets modified and new features are added to it. The description has to be updated as well. If phrases and terms from the previous order are in our translation memory, they will be used in the current one. Thus, we do not have to produce a translation from scratch as it is sufficient to focus on the changes themselves introduced by the manufacturer.
Disadvantages of CAT software:
• it is often the case that the individual tools or successive versions of the same programme are not compatible;
• CAT finds its practical application in translations with high degree of repetitions, and it will not be effective where there are none;
• it is impossible to use this type of application if artistic and creative approach is necessary, i.e. in translations of literary fiction, for instance;
• settlements with the customer are discretionary to a high degree in a situation when a text exhibits high repetition index – it is often unknown how to recalculate the rate fairly.
Advantages of CAT software:
• effective acceleration of the pace of work;
• considerably higher consistency in terminology of produced translations;
• avoidance of mistakes as the inserted text has already been checked multiple times;
• effective translation of technical texts and any texts using specialist, repetitive terminology.