Why are CAT tools so important? Podcast with Ulrike Michiels

Ulrike Michiels, Trados savvy professional trainer, joins Paul Urwin, the Head of ProZ.com Training, to discuss CAT tool basics. Ulrike explains what a CAT tool is and how using a CAT tool can help a translator to increase speed and improve consistency. She also explains what's included in the upcoming Trados workshop.

CAT Tools and Trados Training

Below is just a short extract based on the interview with Ulrike. Listen to the podcast, and the 27 other ProZ.com podcast episodes through your favorite podcast aggregator or link directly at https://anchor.fm/proz.

Why use CAT tools?


When it comes to translation, translators are often anxious about the consistency of their translation and the time they need to spend to complete the project. CAT tools aim to help translators with two main benefits: consistency and translation speed.


A translator’s database grows as a translator works. With a CAT tool, such as Trados, a translator can ensure that the text translated is correct and can be re-used when a similar text appears. This is a great benefit of using a CAT tool, as translation consistency improves the quality of translated documents, which can lead to better long-term relationships with clients.


CAT tools help translators as they translate, and years later when they need to come back to a certain project. 


Moreover, with CAT tools a translator can complete the project up to a third faster. The text can be translated even faster when it deals with repetitive texts such as technical texts and financial reports. This is really incredible as instead of one hour a translator might only need around 40 minutes to complete the translation. It makes a massive difference for professional translators.


Who are CAT tools for?


CAT tools are for new and established translators. As Ulrike says, if a translator works with those domains where text repetition takes place it makes sense to use one or several CAT tools available on the market. In order to succeed with a CAT tool, a translator should not be afraid of technology, they should learn to harness it to improve productivity.


Modern CAT tools have become more and more complex and thus offer more possibilities. There is always plenty of room to discover the tool and it’s features, and this is really exciting!


For those, who are new in translation and are keen to learn a CAT tool, Ulrike suggests taking training first. The success formula would be: training plus practice. Depending on the translator’s level of technical competence and intensity of daily practice, a beginner may acquire working knowledge of a tool in just three weeks!    

Is there any "right" CAT tool?


Even though there are dozens of CAT tools available, there is no need to learn and buy all of them. Most of the time, translators prefer to choose one CAT tool they feel comfortable working with. The main CAT tools are compatible with each other. Thus, there are ways in which to complete the project using one CAT tool and deliver the files in the format requested by the client.


Another way of deciding which CAT tool to work with is to consult with a client.  A lot of the time, clients mention Trados Studio as this tool is a market leader.


How to accelerate the learning curve and get started with Trados Studio?


There are several levels of workshops. The very first level is divided into two parts: one on basics of translation and another one on basics for preparing the software. The workshops are not just a theoretical webinar but a practical course. This means that attendees can practice with the tool at the same time as Ulrike is explaining it and sharing her screen with attendees. 


The participation fee includes access to the Training Workbook which is a summary of the course, as well as to the exercises which attendees can complete during and after the training. This gives a deeper knowledge to those who attend the workshop and practice afterwards. Moreover, the workshop offers more interaction when compared with video tutorials. 


Attendees will have plenty of opportunities to walk through things and master the skills needed to be able to work with Trados Studio effectively. 


Topics covered on June 7th include:

  • An Introduction to CAT technologies: what is a translation memory (TM), termbase, AutoSuggest dictionary?
  • Overview of the application
  • Translating MS Office files in Trados Studio making use of the most common features
  • Delivering the finished translation


This course is for translators who have never used Trados Studio before and want to get started as soon as possible!

What’s included?

✓ 7 June 2021, 14:00 GMT: Live 3-hour workshop with Ulrike

✓ Recordings for registered attendees

✓ Access to the Workbook with sample files for practising

✓ Access to the dedicated exams

✓ Certificates of attendance

Interested in the course discussed on the podcast? Click hereextension.


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Topics: freelancer, training, translator tools, CAT tools

Helen Shepelenko

Written by Helen Shepelenko

Helen is the ProZ.com training manager. She has been with ProZ.com since 2009.

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