Computer aided translation entails a human translator translating texts using software designed to support and facilitate the translation process. Computer Assisted Translation tools - or CATs - improve translation project turnaround times and ensure consistent terminology use within a text.
My CAT-tool (memoQ) can process documents in a range of formats, even PDF files.
CAT-tools store bilingual sentences in a database, which is known as a translation memory (TM). When the program detects a similar sentence, it alerts the translator so they can decide whether to include the suggestion or not. This allows a translator to work faster and more accurately.
CAT-tools provide a large number of handy tools such as terminology search in dictionaries, glossaries and on the Internet. CAT-tools also apply the source text layout to the target text.
Translators also use their CAT-tools to build glossaries. Each time the program detects an existing term, it lets the translator choose between applying the existing term or adding a new translation, resulting in proper and consistent terminology use.