Novice asks: how do you use CAT tools, glossary?
Thread poster: jmtquiroga

jmtquiroga  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 13, 2002

I\'m just starting out in this business. CAT tools are a mystery to me. If I were to buy one, what would I be looking for? And, my principal question; do I have to add each word to my glossary, or does it already have a \"dictionary\" programmed in? I´m not even sure how to formulate the question! However, if some kind soul remembers what it was like for him or her to start using TRADOS or FWGlossy, please share your experience!



David Daduč
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:53
English to Czech
Wordfast will teach you a lot Oct 14, 2002

Go to and download Wordfast, the free CAT tool, and its comprehensive manual. Also, join the group of WF users if you like.

Wf is free and it will help you understand the basic idea of CATs. If you decide to buy another product in a few weeks (though Wf is the best tool, IMO), you\'ll know how to choose.

Happy translating!


Daniel Meier  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:53
English to German
+ ...
Once you´ve learned it, its´s helpful Oct 14, 2002

Most CAT-Tools offer two basic functions:

1. The Translation Memory (TM), this is a database of translation units (TU - mostly sentences) you create while translating. When you reach a sentence, which you already have translated and put into your TM or which is similair to an alyready translated sentence, the TM offers you to use and if neccessary to modify your previous translation, so you don´t have to retype it.

2. The glossary, also a database, which searches the text for terms as you translate it. The terms found you can put into your translation, so you don´t have to look it up again and again and you do not have do retype it.

Both TM and glossaries are databases filled and managed by you (resp. your client).

Unless the client does not provide you with a TM or a glossary, you have to create them by your own, but don`t worry. As your TMs and glossaries will grow, you will soon find out, that they are really helpful. You can also convert glossaries, which you might have as a Word or an Excel file, and you can put all your previous translations in a TM.

If you want to use CAT tools, you should be prepared to learn to use them properly, e.g. learn the short cuts (you will loose a lot of time using only your mouse!), create your own system of glossaries and TMs which fits your needs (you might create one TM for each client or several TMs for your fields of specialization, TMs for certain projects etc.). Also you may need to modify the way you translate. And be aware of the foot traps of CAT tools (e.g. error inheritance, too strict sentence-by-sentence translations etc.).

Hope this helps.


Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:53
English to Dutch
+ ...
CAT tool center Oct 14, 2002

Check the CAT tool center first at

As for dictionaries incorporated in TM\'s: TRANS Suite 2000 contains 160 dictionaries and their new version, due in a few months from now, will contain a lot more.

Very handy, user friendly TM.

Check it out at

Good luck.



jmtquiroga  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
thanks, compañeros! Oct 17, 2002

Thanks to those who answered my \"dumb question\". On the other hand, one of my Spanish students says, \"The only stupid question is an unasked one.\"

Thanks again.


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