Building a long-term knowledge asset

CATT, which stands for "computer aided translation tools", does not refer to machine translation, but rather to integrated software packages that help the human translator manage the process of translation efficiently. There are a number of benefits to using these tools, but perhaps the greatest one is the leveraging of existing translated content. In a CATT based process, a project is parsed into segments and compared against an entire body of previous translation work, eliminating the need to re-translate paragraphs, sentences--even phrases and individual terms—that have been translated before. In addition, these tools can increase the internal consistency within an on-going body of multilingual material, and can help translation team leaders standardize their team on terminology and style, making it possible to increase the size of the translation team and therefore improve cycle time.

Database-driven computer-aided translation tools are transforming the economics of translation and localization, and if you are not currently using a service that deploys a CATT strategy, your business is missing out on what is probably the greatest innovation in multilingual delivery since the personal computer and internet. But CATT deployments are not all equal. To get the maximum ongoing cost savings from this technology, you need to have a translation partner that is experienced with its use, one that can develop an effective strategy for each project. Like any tool, CATT’s utility relies on the expertise of the hand that directs it. At TTS, we were one of the first foreign language service firms to deploy these tools. Today, we have an enterprise-wide, fully networked deployment based primarily on Trados. Because every translation task we perform goes into a customer’s knowledge asset, we have several long-term partners that are now seeing cost and turnaround savings of 30-50% in major translation projects. With skillful management, cost reductions may be accomplished even within the very first project.