CAT Tools: The Savior of the Professional Translator in the Age of AI?

Sep 28, 2023

In an age where artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the translation and localization industry, many have begun to question whether CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools still have a place in the world. After all, if AI-powered machine translation engines are getting increasingly accurate every day, why go through the extra step of using a CAT tool? To answer this question, it’s important to understand what exactly CAT tools are good for – and how they differ from AI-powered machine translation engines.

A CAT tool is a software program used by professional translators that helps optimize their workflow so that they don’t have to translate entire documents from scratch. It works by breaking up text into smaller components such as phrases or words, which then can be translated more quickly and accurately.

The main benefit of using a CAT tool is that it helps translators save time by leveraging existing translations from past projects. This means the translator doesn’t have to start completely from scratch every time, but instead can use the tool to check for any similar phrases or words that have already been translated – allowing everyone to build on what’s already there. With AI-powered translation engines, this process goes one step further; the engine itself does some of the work for you, automatically translating large portions (or even entire documents) with accuracy that is becoming increasingly closer to human-level quality.

However, because of its automated nature, MT (machine translation) engines still require additional manual editing and correcting to ensure accuracy. This is why CAT tools are still widely used, despite the rapid development of machine translation; they allow translators to work more quickly and accurately by leveraging past translated material, while also giving them complete control over the quality of their translations. In a nutshell, AI-powered translation engines make the process faster while CAT tools help maintain quality.

Benefits of Cloud vs Desktop Tools for Translation Projects

CAT tools can be divided into two main categories: cloud-based CAT tools, and desktop CAT tools. Cloud-based CAT tools main benefit is accessibility. There is no need for users to install any software application. You can simply access via an internet browser. Cloud-based CAT tools provide a shared workspace where multiple translators can work on the same project simultaneously. This can enable a team of translators to collaborate on translation projects in real-time. Translators can work from different computers in any location. Projects are easily allocable with fewer hardware and operating system constraints. Some popular cloud-based CAT tools include Phrase TMS, XTM Cloud, and Doc3™.

Desktop CAT tools main benefit is individual translators can work without an internet connection. It provides a range of features providing comprehensive solutions supporting many format types. Desktop CAT tools are customizable for complex projects by leveraging additional IT resources. You are provided with more options when working with desktop CAT tools. Popular desktop translation software includes Trados Studio, Wordfast Anywhere and Idiom WorldServer.

The pricing models for these tools vary depending on the type of tool and the features included. Cloud-based solutions typically charge a monthly subscription fee based on usage or number of users, while desktop applications usually require an upfront purchase which is more expensive with optional maintenance fees for upgrades and support.

The Place of CAT Tools in the Age of AI-Powered Machine Translation Engines

So, it’s clear that CAT tools still have an important role to play in the translation industry – even in an age where AI-powered machine translation engines are rapidly advancing.By leveraging existing translations and giving translators complete control over the quality of their work, CAT tools can help streamline processes while also ensuring accuracy and consistency giving the opportunity for translators to shine.

Get Exploring, Find the Right CAT Tool For You!

At its core, CAT tools are an invaluable asset to any professional translator. They help streamline the translation process, reduce time and effort, and – most importantly – ensure accuracy and consistency in translated texts.

If you’re in the market for a CAT tool, look no further than Doc3 ™, the CAT tool for professional translators that is perfect for freelance translators and small to medium-sized LSPs. With advanced features and a sleek, modern design, Doc3™ lets you take control of your translation projects like never before.

This translation software is compatible with all standard translation file formats including SDLXLIFF, MQXLIFF, and TRANSIT TPF. Plus, it offers some convenient features such as low-cost subscription Add-ons, including Private Cloud Storage, Real-time Translation QA, and the Doc3™ AI-powered MT Engine. So why wait? If you’re looking for an efficient CAT tool that won’t break your budget, look no further than Doc3™.

Try Doc3 ™ today!

Need a translation or localization estimate? Please contact us at