What Do We Mean by “Cat Tools”?

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What Do We Mean by “Cat Tools”?

The “CAT” in CAT tool stands for “Computer Assisted Translation” but, as you might already know, it doesn’t mean that a computer is actually completing the translation for you. CAT tools are different than “machine translation” – as they assist the professional translator in doing their work more quickly and in managing their translation projects. CAT tools typically contain a translation memory, which stores previous source and target translations for easy reference while working. Term bases are also an integral part of translation tools, giving translators the ability to develop their own bilingual glossaries in their subject areas.

The below list provides the best computer-assisted translation tools (CAT tools). Essential tools for quality translations in record time!

Let’s start with the most popular and well-known CAT tools:

  • SDL Trados Studio
  • MemoQ
  • Wordfast (Classic & Pro)
  • MemSource
  • Déjà Vu
  • Across


CAT tools include a wide range of different features. Some can work with different types of documents, such as PowerPoint presentations, without needing to convert the text to a different file format. Some provide access to online terminology databases or help the translator to better manage translation memories. Some are software-based and some operate entirely in the cloud. A good CAT tool saves time, effort, and keeps the client satisfied.