Computer Assisted Translation Tools

Computer Assisted Translation Tools

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2023)

Computer Aided Translation tools are software used for efficient written translations by translation agencies or freelance translators. CAT tools do not have any program based on machine translation or a built-in dictionary. The translator creates the dictionary with every translation and revision. The Computer Assisted Translation tools search from the previously translated memory to look for the term given by the user. The result occurs as a text string of the term and not as an equivalent in another language. The CAT process is slower than machine translation but the service is result-oriented in the long term.

Use of Computer Assisted Translation Tools

The CAT tools work as a translation memory. It can keep records of the earlier translation of words and suggest them every time they come up in the translation. It can also be used for future translation projects. Therefore, these tools are used with the motto “Never Translate a word twice.” It also enables you to upload small and large files for translation and provides an easy way to convert between different formats. It also enables you to make translation memory files to be shared with other translators working on similar projects to ensure uniformity in the terminology.


The CAT tool consists of several series of software and specialized programs such as typical dictionary as well as grammar software, translation memory, concordance, terminology direction, and placement programs, which aid in Translation Services.


The software can also help non-native speakers to understand web content published in other languages on the internet. However, the full-page translation tools are of inadequate utility hence the translated pages of the author’s content might sound humorous and less informative due to their lack of compatibility to understand the real meaning.


With pop-up windows, translations are becoming more popular, as they show several translations for each word or phrase. The user just needs to select the relevant translation while moving the mouse over the foreign language text.

Types of CAT Tools

The CAT Tools come in different types based on their software variability, which support different systems. Their prices also vary depending on their features and specifications. Some common Computer Assisted Translation tools are SDL, Trados, Déjà vu, MemoQ, Star Transit and Wordfast.

Freeware CAT Tools

Omega T is a popular freeware CAT tool. It can be used for all types of systems and can be shared with other CAT tools for translating files. It is popular because it is cheaper than other Computer Assisted Translation tools but it lacks customer support and services.

Selecting the right CAT Tool

In order to select the right CAT tool you should be clear about your requirements for translation. When selecting CAT tools, you should consider the platform it supports, compatibility with other tools and your colleagues working on the same purpose licensing requirements. You should properly do a cost benefit analysis to make the final selection.

Computer Assisted Translation Tools


Computer-assisted translation tools enhance the productivity and consistency of translators. The tools have grown along with the networking and computing applications, first as a stand-alone tool to be used on a computer, then client-server tools to be practiced on a business network, and most recently to cloud-based tools delivered via the internet.

Computer-assisted translation tools facilitate the translation process by dividing the text into smaller, translatable sections. It makes these sections of text in a way which makes it easier for the translator to translate the text entirely and makes the process of translation time-efficient. The sections can be revived later on, and thus the translator ensures that the vocabulary and writing style of the original is reflected. It also gives savings when the material that needs translation is related to previously translated material – you only pay for part of the sentence that has replaced.

A CAT-tool further reduces any risks of errors by saving the translated sections along with the source phrase.

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