Humanity has evolved through the turn of every decade and century. This constant change has always been accompanied with the adoption of new social and business trends as well as industry tools. The translation and interpretation fields of work have also progressed with the changing times.
The translation field in particular has tried to develop and cover different areas of the world and the diversity of languages they have, however the limited number of translators in certain languages has forced this noble field of work to seek computer assisted translation (CAT). CAT is a form of language translation in which a human translator uses computer software to support and facilitate the translation process. There are a number of software tools which more and more translators are using in the process and some of these are:
Alignment software – this software takes completed translations and divides both source and target texts into segments and attempts to determine which segments belong together in order to build a translation memory or other reference resource with the content.
Terminology management software – this kind of software gives the translator means and ways of automatically searching a given terminology database for terms appearing in a document.
Language search engine software – this is a new software in the industry, this is an internet based system that works similarly to internet search engines but the difference with this software is that instead of searching the internet, this software searches a large repository of translation memories to find previously translated sentence fragments, phrases, whole sentences and even complete paragraphs that match source document segments.
Translation memory software – this software stores previously translated source texts and their equivalent target texts in a database and retrieve related segments during the translation of new texts.
WordFast – Another software tool which has immensely affected the translation field of work is the WordFast. WordFast allows translators to translate any format and recreate it perfectly in the target language, it also allows for the creating and sharing of glossaries with other translators which proves quite helpful for team translation projects and also to store translations as translation memory and re-use repeated phrases, thereby increasing their translation speed. WordFast has proven to be very essential especially for translators who translate similar documents time and again, as well as African language translators who rely more on glossaries because of the lack of up-to-date local language dictionaries.
It is therefore clear to see that the translation field of work globally and in South Africa has continued to grow in tandem with technological developments and further innovation in technology can only augur well for the industry.