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IMPORTANT NOTE: As you may have noted, there is a new web site and this manual is contained in full at the new location, including updates. Go to www.your-translations.com to see the updated Wordfast pages.
If you nevertheless want to read it here, please note that it will not be updated and that some informations may be old.
Wordfast is probably one of the best CAT tools on the market, and what's better, it is free. Having used Wordfast for a while, I thought it was time I pay a tribute to that amazing piece of software, and I decided to put together a few help pages with screen shots to help people getting started with it. This is meant to be a real bona fide beginner manual and I appologize in advance to learned users if I tend to over simplificate. Some pages may take a bit of time to load, since I used numbers of screen shots. I kept each screen shot to the minimum size, but if you are using a slow connection, you may want to temporarly disable pictures and show only the pictures you want to see. (click here to find out how)
But before we start, let me say a few words about CATs. If you are familiar with CATs, you may want to skip that section. CAT stands for Computer Aided Translations. CATs possesses many functions and can handle a rather large amount of operations.You could easily get confused if you did not isolate the fundamental parts. Typically, CATs are composed of the following functions :
CATs consider a document to be a succession of meaningful units called segments. Typically a segment is a sentence, but in some cases, it could be a phrase or even a single word. When translating a document, the CAT will isolate segments in your document.This process is called segmentation. It is by itself very usefull to the translator as he no longer has to look for the next sentence to translate. It's right in front of his eyes. The segment containing the sentence of the original document is called source segment. The segment containing your translation is called target segment.
Following the segmentation, CATs will store together the source segment and the target segment in a file which we call translation memory (TM). When you later come accross the same sentence, or a similar one, the CAT will propose your earlier translation, which is a tremendous help keeping consistancy on a repetitive document. If the sentence is identical, most CATs will insert your past translation directly into the target segment and wait for you to validate the segment. This is called 100% match. If the segment is only similar, it will be proposed, often with a mention of the percentage of similiarity between the current segment and the one in your TM. This we call a fuzzy match. Translation memory is also used by diverse terminology functions, which we will cover at a later time.
CATs usually offer different tools helping the translator to remain consistent in his translations and use appropriate terminology throughout his documents. This can be by integrating glossaries, dictionnaries, and allowing you to develop your own terminology.
Good CATs will allow you to check your translations using different parameters. This include of course spellchecking, but also checking if you respected the terminology in your glossary - often a client will want you to use terms of their own glossary.
There are a host of documents in different format involved in translations. HTML files, DOC files, RTF, PowerPoint documents, Excel Sheets, Translation memories, Glossary files, ... CATs will provide different ways of handling different types of documents.
All right. These are functions most CATs hold in common. As you probably understand by now, CATs can bost productivity of translators while helping them to attain better quality standards. If all the above is clear, it is time to move on and get started with one of the best tools on the industry, WORDFAST. Ready? Click HERE !
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updated web site at:
English Section :
Computer Aided translations :
French Section :
Désolé, ces pages ne sont pas encore crées.