What the … is CAT software?


Very passionate cat owners already know all about cat software, such as gaming apps for cats, where their darlings can chase after mice, laser dots or fish. But translators, whether they are cat devotees or not, understand CAT software to be something completely different.

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Ok, enough with the cat jokes!

What are CAT tools?

Computer-aided translation tools (sometimes also computer-assisted translation, and CAT for short) support translators in their work. By using various tools for quality assurance such as translation memories, termbases, spellchecking or language profiles, translation and localization projects become more efficient, faster, cheaper and it’s super easy to deliver a higher quality! In other words, human workers will still do translations, but they’ll benefit from the advantages of special industry-specific software. No borgs here!

Maybe one more cat joke…

CAT software must be distinguished from machine translation, where a computer program translates texts into another language without any human intervention – the most widely known is Google Translate which, while it provides an excellent basis for easy understanding, certainly doesn’t produce stellar novels.

CAT software – then and now

The first digital tools for translators were developed in the early ’90s, ushering in what we now call the Translation 3.0 era. Around 2008, the first collaborative CAT tools were developed, delivering more benefits than other traditional tools. Instead of simply incorporating translators, cloud-based software now enables all project participants, from the clients to project managers, to work together in a single software application.

Today, we can connect modern CAT software to websites and other apps to automate translation workflows. This means that content stays up-to-date and is accessible to global audiences faster than ever before. This new generation of CAT systems have created fully transparent solutions and ushered in the era of Translation 4.0.

At Wordcraft, we are extremely proud to partner with the Queen Bee of CAT software that makes everyone’s work easier and more efficient across all areas of the localization process, from project management and translation to revision and client approval. Partnering with them unlocks a myriad of benefits for our clients!

This installation in our “What the … is …?” series is brought to you by the letters C, A and T! Get in touch with us for more information – we can’t promise we won’t also send you a cat joke.

Check back next week for another episode of our “What the … is …?” series – and don’t forget to take a gander at last week’s World of Wordcraft!