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CAT-tool is a computer-assisted translation offline or cloud-based software. It’s not a machine translation (like Google/Microsoft translators or others), but a service, that helps to organize and make translation process more effective for all contributors.
Within years, we tested most of existing CAT-systems and now stopped on cloud-based solutions. They help us to monitor and work with project from any place and anytime (which means we can react on hotfixes or urgent updates very fast). When we receive new project request and study it, we choose the best suited CAT-tool.
In general, here are key benefits we get from using CAT-tools:
We do not know how people worked without systems that help to organize the process automatically. There were so much manual work that now can be processed with three mouse clicks. Easily manage team of translators, have all contacts at hand, payment functions, structuring text files for translations, statistics and progress of project and each individual contributor — there are way too many benefits to name here, and most modern CAT-tools help with them.
Each translated line is stored in translation memory. When we receive new updated texts, we do not spend time on manual comparison — CAT-tool looks through TM and gets exact translation of the line. And, for example, If line has <100% match, system shows a suggestion with highlighted changes in source line. Moreover, when we translate similar games (one genre, or consecutive parts of game), we can use TM from another game and translate 100% matched lines at ease and check whether they work in this game as well.
It doesn’t matter how many translators work on the project. Glossaries ease the work and help to avoid inconsistency on all stages of localization. Sometimes developer defined terms and their strict usage/translation, in this case project manager creates these terms in glossary first. Then translators and editors fill the glossary with their terms, shared between languages. In the end we receive full game glossary we can then share with developer or use in our further projects.
Another pair of eyes never hurts. And it’s really great that nowadays we can rely on software to help with simple tasks. Of course, we never leave 100% of work on it, not even 50%. But spell-checkers are good to help on translation and proofreading stage to track double spaces, wrong punctuations or other different style and grammar mistakes, simple typos etc. Of course, different languages have different level of spell-checker complexity, but they have options of learning, and we teach them what to pay attention on.