What Is a CAT Tool?
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A CAT tool comprises a number of subsystems. Its core is the translation memory (or translation memory system, abbreviated TM or TMS). This translation memory stores previously translated individual translation units. Translation units consisting of segments of the source texts and their equivalent translations in the target language are stored during the translation process and later reused. The storing of translation units ensures that translations are consistent and that the same terms are used within a text.
The source text is divided into segments (such as phrases or headings) by the CAT tool and the individual segments are displayed for the translator in the editing function. The translator writes the translation in the appropriate segment next to or under the source text. Thus translation units are created and stored in the TM. During the translation process, the CAT tool suggests translations that have already been made and stored.
This saves time for terminology research and enables the translator to work faster and use terminology consistently throughout the translation. CAT tools can prepare and segment the translation in a wide variety of file formats such Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Open Office and also XML.
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