Aston University / WMG workshop on cloud-based CAT tools (15 Nov 2013)

As part of the ongoing efforts to boost collaboration between ITI WMG and Aston University’s Translation Studies Department, the university kindly agreed to run a free afternoon workshop on the basics of CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools, including Cloud-based programs (which operate remotely over a network rather than directly on the user’s hard disk). This way of working (also known as “Software as a Service” or SaaS), whereby the user pays an annual fee for the software rather than an up-front purchase price) is becoming increasingly common, and offers both benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, where projects are managed remotely by the client, the translator is relieved of the responsibility of creating, managing and selecting his/her own term bases and translation memories for individual projects. However, this also means that the client remains in control of these databases, and that in some cases, the translator no longer has access to them once the project is finished or, importantly, access to the memories he/she has helped to create/update.

The session was pitched at a level accessible to newcomers to the principles of TM systems, who were able to complete hands-on, on-line learning exercises. Moreover, users with previous experience of CAT tools had the opportunity both to try out alternative “conventional” programs (Trados, memoQ) and to experiment with cloud-based tools (MemSource Cloud, WordBee, XTM Cloud).

Our thanks to Christina Schäffner and David Pollard (of Aston University) for organising and delivering this practical and enlightening workshop for the benefit of WMG members.

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