MET panel and training

CAT tools: a look at the current landscape

Fourteen years after MET organized its first panel discussion to identify the benefits of computer-assisted translation (CAT), we thought it was time to revisit the topic and look at the current CAT-tool landscape. Today the benefits to freelance translators are a given: CAT tools are now widely considered indispensable to the trade. MET’s recent survey on CAT-tool use among its members confirms that translators are no longer deterred by the learning curve, despite the increasing technical sophistication of these tools. Moreover, three-quarters of respondents rate their proficiency as advanced or intermediate. 

The survey responses have determined the choice of topics for this year’s panel and training. Panel host Emma Goldsmith will chat with experienced CAT-tool users Tom Bell, Kari Koonin and John Rynne about strategies and best practices, pricing, machine translation (MT) integration, online platforms, Mac options, open-source tools and teamwork. The panel discussion will be followed by parallel training sessions on two mainstream tools and a free, open-source alternative.

The training sessions on Trados Studio (facilitated by Emma Goldsmith) and memoQ (facilitated jointly by Kari Koonin and Hayley Smith) will focus on advanced productivity tips. The facilitators will highlight features in their respective tools, leaving ample time for questions. Attendees won’t need to follow the steps on their computers in real time: a recording of the session will be available afterwards.

Specifically, the Trados Studio session will cover:
  • Adding files to projects on the fly and merging files in the Editor
  • Advanced Display Filter (enhanced in Trados Studio 2021)
  • Customized segmentation
  • Sharing files with non-CAT-tool users
  • MT integration (SDL MT Cloud and GT4T)
  • AppStore integration (new in Trados Studio 2021)
and the memoQ session will cover:
  • Advanced filtering/sorting (Mark All feature and Regex)
  • MT integration and MT concordance
  • Preview functions, including a PDF preview tool 
  • Interoperability with Trados Studio and working with non-CAT-tool users
  • Project templates and making efficient use of metadata
  • LiveDocs corpora with LiveAlign and existing translations
  • Views, for working on multiple documents
The session on OmegaT – a tool that can be used natively in Windows, MacOS and Linux – will be facilitated by Tom Bell. Tom will introduce OmegaT and explain the basics. He will then walk attendees through these features:
  • Built-in alignment tool to create TMX files
  • Termbase creation
  • Settings, including display settings for translation memory (TM) matches and editing preferences
  • Maintenance of TMs, glossaries, etc.
  • Live sharing of TMs using a file streaming service
  • MT integration
  • Translatable file types and ways to work with other types, such as XLIFF files
Tom Bell keeps himself busy in a university language service outsourcing translations and revisions, revising and translating himself (Catalan and Spanish into English) and attending to various language-related queries. Previously he worked as a freelance translator, an EFL teacher and an engineering spare parts salesperson. His wide-ranging interests include literature from across the ages and technology in all shapes and sizes. Originally from Lewes (UK), he has been based in Barcelona since 2008.

Emma Goldsmith is a Spanish to English medical translator with a background in nursing. She loves trying out software and has explored several CAT tools in the past, invariably returning to Trados Studio, her tool of choice. An enthusiastic member of the Trados Studio beta-testing team, she enjoys catching and squashing bugs alongside colleagues and developers. Emma currently serves as MET’s Chair.

Kari Koonin has been a freelance translator for 33 years. She translates from Dutch, German and Afrikaans into English and specializes in horticulture and agriculture. She has worked with CAT tools ever since they came on a large stack of floppy disks. Kari chairs the ITI Professional Development Committee and regularly gives talks and training on CAT tools and other translation-related subjects. When she isn’t translating, you’ll usually find her propagating in the potting shed.

John J. Rynne has been translating between Spanish and English for nearly 40 years, with 30 years specializing in financial texts. A Mac user almost continuously since 1988, he adopted CAT tools over 15 years ago and has never looked back. His CAT tool of choice is Swordfish. He lives in north-western Spain and grows his own vegetables in his spare time.

Hayley Smith has been working as an Italian and French into English translator since 2012 in the fields of macroeconomics, business communications, interior design and technical translation. With different in-house roles have come different CAT tools, from Workbench to Trados Studio and, most recently, memoQ. She now sees her CAT-shaped future through orange-tinted spectacles. Nothing delights her more than discovering new tech titbits to make life that bit more efficient every day.