It’s impossible to stop time, as much as we’d like to. As translation professionals, we must adapt to the demands of a frantic lifestyle and constantly meet tight deadlines. CAT tools (Computer Aided Translation) are software that allow us to translate faster and ensure that we meet deadlines in record time through process automation.

The two main resources that these tools use are glossaries and translation memories (TM). These resources contribute in a different, yet complementary way so as to increase the translator’s productivity and the quality of the project. The first ones add consistency to the translation, while the latter improves performance, as they allow us to translate - almost automatically - sentences and terms that have been translated previously. Although their utility may be subject to discussion in creative texts such as novels, translation memories are effective when it comes to scientific texts or instruction manuals, for instance. This is simply because these texts are characterised by the repetition of structures and usually require a similar or even identical translation.

How does a translation memory work?

As we were saying, a CAT tool automates processes and mainly makes use of glossaries and translation memories. A TM stores source texts and their translations through associated segments, which lets us reuse them when facing a similar piece of text. This file saves us from translating similar expressions time after time when dealing with the same subject. The tool detects similarities between the new text and the texts within the TM, and provides pretranslations. In other words, they are results that require human intervention to ensure the comprehensive understanding of the text, capture its nuances and details and thus provide a high-quality, correct translation. That is precisely the main difference between automatic translation and a translation memory: in this last case, the translator intervenes prior to and after the process, which adds a huge advantage when ensuring the quality of the result. Moreover, thanks to the TM we can also analyse texts in detail, calculate the time we will spend on their translation, and make quotes more easily.

The glossary

Glossaries are undoubtedly an essential part of CAT tools. They save you scouring through dictionaries and obviously, the headaches that come later. And here at Gloss It, we make it even easier for you! Our glossary manager is an online tool that updates glossaries in real time. If this wasn’t enough, our product allows several people to work simultaneously anywhere in the world in a collaborative and efficient way. Furthermore, Gloss It provides a previous quality control of each new term to ensure that it is appropriate and coherent. This is achieved thanks to our review function, requiring approval from a reviewer or project manager.

Admittedly, terminological consistency is essential in every translation. Only glossaries make it easier to keep this consistency, as they are always updated. We know language is alive and constantly changing. Business and marketing decisions often imply terminological changes; managers change their minds and opt for specific terms (even though there may be other correct synonyms). When facing situations like this, Gloss It allows you to simply access your glossary and amend the terms quickly and easily. To sum up, we offer a tool that will make your work easier and improve the quality of your translations. Subscribe and start enjoying all the benefits! Contact us and we will help you take the leap into the world of professional translation!