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Computerization of Translation

The computerization of communications and document processing has had a profound impact on the localization industry and all aspects of digital communications. CAT tools aim to reduce the mechanical or repetitive work of translators - which can be error prone - allowing the translator to focus on semantic meaning, cultural nuances, new terminology, specific domain knowledge, proper names, et cetera.

CAT - Computer Assisted Translation

Computer Assisted (or Aided) Translation comprises the information technology tools and processes which facilitate the translation process. CAT products generally consist of a suite of tools which facilitate building translation memories, managing terminology lists and integrated document processing environments. Suites are often differently packaged for the office, translator or freelancer.

CAT tools may aid the translator in

TMX stands for Translation Memory eXchange. TMX is a vendor-neutral, open standard for storing and exchanging translation memories created by CAT.

Some CAT vendors:

MT - Machine Translation

The most significant technology impact on the GLIT industry is the maturity of machine translation. Machine translation offers a drastically cheaper solution for projects that don't require the quality of human translation.

The advent of the Internet and interconnection of the world's business data has resulted in exponential growth in the volume of data available. Most of this data is not professional presentation data, but records, logs, customer data, emails, etc. For example, the Systran web site translates an estimated 6 million web pages per day while LISA (the Localization and Internationalization Standards Association) estimates that human translators translate 550,000 pages per day. Human translation cannot process the increased data available with the limited number of translators currently available. One translator can only translate an average of 2,000 words per day. Importantly, the cost of human translation of a page of text ranges from 40 to 50 dollars/day. Machine translation does not take market share from human translation; rather MT is useful in processing the enormous amounts of non-critical data present in the digital economy.

Technology developed by the MT industry is applied to CAT - Computer Aided Translation. CAT provides tools to human translators to manage translation memories and terminology databases which allow supervised automatic translation of repeated material, better consistency of terminology and, facilitates translation by teams of common documents.

Some MT vendors:

Some on-line (ASP) MT tools

Localization News

Thursday, 26 February 2009

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Energized, funny 'Brothers' by Yu Hua satirizes Chinese life
In this English translation, the novel sags with clumsy, cliche-ridden prose; nobody bothered to hack away the useless adverbs littering the pages. ...


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