August 20 2018

I'm a book translator, would I benefit from using a CAT tool?

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools were created in the UN in the 1970s as a way to reduce repetitive work, as translators had to translate texts that were similar or identical repeatedly (standard documents such as charters and treaties often contained repeated sentences). The feature designed to reduce repetitive work was later termed "translation memory."

However, a lot of translators are translating contents such as books, novels, news, and magazines that don't contain many repetitions. In this case, they can't help but ask the question: Would I benefit from using a CAT tool?

The answer is yes. In fact, I think almost all translators can derive benefits from CAT tools.

Regardless of the type of content, translators all wish to finish their job as quickly and as accurately as possible, and assisted translation software can help you achieve that.

I (one of the founders of Termsoup) have always translated books spanning subject areas such as medicine, pop science, fiction, and business. Book texts rarely repeat themselves, but many other translators who translate books and I have significantly improved our translation speed using Termsoup. 

Some book translators used to translate about 3,000 Chinese words every day using Microsoft Word. After using Termsoup, they were able to boost that output to nearly 10,000 words translated and can even work on multiple books at the same time. Another translator also shares her experience with us that she used to translate one book at a time. But after using Termsoup, she can translate two. 

A CAT tool can help you with more than just improving your translating speed. It can allow you to recall translated terms to ensure consistency throughout the text quickly. And if you want to look up terms in your source text, just highlight them and we will search the results for you. We connect to many online dictionaries, Wikipedia, and other useful websites via APIs (application programming interfaces) to help you translate more efficiently. 

If you need to collaborate with other translators or editors, Termsoup can also help you do that with ease too!

software translation

Author

Joanne Chou

Joanne is an English-Chinese translator, a UI/UX designer, and the co-founder of Termsoup.