The Translator Perspective: Lilt's Newest CAT tool

by Erika Storm
4 Minute Read

As a translator in a time when technology is constantly evolving, it would be easy to think that the industry is constantly evolving and changing too. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a more stationary industry. We still use dictionaries, but those dictionaries have moved from bent and stuffed shelves to online databases or applications. We still translate without smart programs, but rather than an empty piece of paper, we look at an empty Word document. And then, we have what is likely the biggest advantage of the modern technological world of translation: CAT tools. Historically, these have been divided into the Big 3, and as is standard for their time, they are desktop applications made for just one type of OS. Windows, specifically, so if you have a Mac, tough luck.

But CAT tools have evolved too – not as drastically as the very tangible difference between a 3 kg dictionary and a featherlight computer with an incredibly large database, but more subtly and gradually. The move has been made from desktop applications to cloud-based applications. Eliminating the desktop application discrimination that many historically faced, cloud-based CAT tools break down these barriers and open a new world of translation across the world – and OS.

With CAT tools, a whole new world has opened up for the translator; CAT tools are intended to make translation more efficient, more consistent, and higher quality. When the CAT tools truly enable those outcomes, the translator should be left with an experience without comparison. I have found such an experience with Lilt.

As a modern translator, I do not have the luxury of a singular translation experience with just one CAT tool. I need to be versatile, working across almost every available tool on the market; free as well as licensed. This also means I have tried a lot of CAT tools, and by now I have a preference. For me, CAT tools should make my life easier. They should make it easier for me to do my job. They need KISS – keep it simple, silly. And I have found that with Lilt.

With Lilt’s CAT tool, I reach ever higher counts of translated words per hour without compromising the quality of translation; I have search, concordance search, and find and replace available right at my fingertips to make sure that my workflow stays focused and without unnecessary distractions and interruptions.

With the newest update of the Lilt CAT tool, Lilt took my work to even greater levels of productivity. In a recent project, I reached well above 1,500 words/hour, and was able to speed through my translations while still ensuring high quality. This was for a document with little termbase, glossary or general context, which some files may lack. And when those extra elements are available, Lilt presents them in a way that is intuitive, and a normal extension of your workflow. There is no need to rummage through unnecessary tabs to try and find snippets of texts or words that may or may not be relevant.

As the Lilt CAT tool works on an intelligent AI human-in-the-loop translation flow, it is not like other CAT tools wherein you simply disconnect the top half and just start working. Because we as translators working on the platform are constantly and continuously responsible for providing feedback that improves, (re)trains and betters the machine translation suggestions and workflow, we take that responsibility seriously and do our part. As Lilt is still young, there is so much unfulfilled potential, and I have had the pleasure of experiencing a Lilt that just keeps getting better and better.

Work with Lilt, and you have an opportunity to impact the translations of the future. I can absolutely promise that you will find a strong and stamina-filled work partner that will assist you towards a more productive workflow with higher quality translations.

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