Note: This blog entry was originally written in Japanese in 2019 for our Japanese website. We used our machine translation platform Translation Designer to translate the entry into English and to post-edit the output for readers outside of Japan. The original Japanese entry can be found here.

This time, we will introduce the differences between the two currently popular CAT tool types, cloud-based and local-based. Also, we have chose to introduce Memsource, which is classified as cloud-based, among many CAT tools.

Difference between cloud-based and local-based

In the past, local-based CAT tools such as SDL Trados were the mainstream, but cloud-based CAT tools have become popular over the last few years. Working styles that combine machine translation with cloud-based translation tools such as Memsource, XTM, memoQ, Across, and SDL WorldServer are now becoming mainstream.

Now, what is the difference between local-based and cloud-based CAT tools?

With a local-based CAT tool, once you install it on the computer that uses the application, you can use the tool in your computer environment even if you do not have an internet connection in principle. Translation files, translation memories, and glossaries can also be created from scratch on a local basis, so the translation work can be completed on a local basis as long as there is no transfer of files outside of your computer. On the other hand, cloud-based CAT tools access translation files and TMs stored in the cloud to perform translation work, so in principle, an internet connection is essential. Among cloud-based CAT tools, there are types in which the editor itself exists on the web browser, and types in which you download software to the local environment and translate using an editor on the application. Depending on the type, some of the tools cannot be used at all without an internet connection. In short, the big difference between local-based and cloud-based CAT tools lies in the working environment.

Advantages and disadvantages of local-based/cloud-based tools

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using these two types of CAT tools? The main advantages and disadvantages of using a local-based CAT tool are summarized below.

Advantages

  • You can use it without an internet environment
  • An internet connection is not essential, and the working environment is stable because it is rarely interrupted by external factors.

Disadvantages

  • You have to purchase the application, and it is often expensive.
  • In the case of translation projects that involve multiple translators, TMs and glossaries cannot be automatically maintained to the latest version.

On the other hand, the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud-based CAT tools are summarized below.

Advantages

  • Application purchase costs are cheaper than local-based ones.
  • For browser types, you can use the tool if you get a license from the translation company or the translation requester you work with, so the translator does not have to pay the tool usage fee.
  • In the case of translation projects that involve multiple translators, TMs and glossaries can be updated to the latest version and be shared in real time even while in progress.

Disadvantages

  • Because it depends on the Internet, you will not be able to use it if you cannot connect to the Internet or the server goes down.
  • Work can be interrupted due to occasional maintenance.

You can see that the point of whether you can work online or offline creates the advantages and disadvantages of these tools. Which advantage you want to take will depend on what factors you focus on.

What is Memsource?

Up to this point, we hope you have a rough idea of the difference between cloud-based and local-based CAT tools. Now, let's take the CAT tool Memsource as an example of a cloud-based tool, and specifically introduce the benefits that can be obtained with a cloud-based tool.

Memsource is a cloud-based CAT tool launched in the Czech Republic in 2010. While having basic functions as a CAT tool, it is increasing its market share due to its easy-to-use and intuitive operation, quick response time, and introduction of AI functions.

Let's look at the advantages of using Memsource. Items marked with a star (★) are benefits that are unique to cloud-based tools.

Workflow automation ★
The workflow, such as from translation to translation review, can proceed automatically without going through the project manager. In addition, the project manager can grasp the progress of each process in real time.

Centralized data management (shared TM and termbase) ★
Since TMs and termbases, or glossaries, can be shared online, the latest terms and translations can be shared among linguists. Project managers can modify terms and translations quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful for large-scale projects involving multiple translators.

Free of charge to use a web editor in a web environment or desktop editor in a local environment ★
Translators do not need to purchase a license for the tool or install the software. In the past, there were translation projects that could not be assigned without having a certain tool, but with this advantage, the project manager can secure linguists without restrictions of the tool.

Simple UI and quick response time
With an easy-to-use and intuitive user interface, you can quickly learn how to use it, and don't have to worry about slowing down your work efficiency until you learn the new tool. Since the response time is quick, you can work efficiently.

Mobile app ★
A mobile app is provided so you can check the progress of your project anywhere.

QA check
It can check for parts not translated, tag mismatches, style mistakes (by using regular expressions), and more.

Utilization of machine translation
Multiple machine translation engines are available. It is expected that the use of MT engines with improved translation accuracy will surely increase in the future.

Functions using AI
It is equipped with a function that utilizes AI to identify parts that do not require translation. In this way, Memsource is a tool that not only has the basic functions of a CAT tool, but also has new functions that are actively developed and added such as functions that utilize AI and use MT. In the translation industry, where automation and efficiency are required more as demand grows, companies are competing to adopt new technologies and creating more easy-to-use and efficient tools.

Summary

We hope this article was helpful to understand these tools. You can see that there are cloud-based and local-based CAT tools, and each type has its own advantages. High quality is no longer the only requirement for translation work. In order to respond to the sense of speed required as globalization progresses, it can be said that it is essential to make full use of CAT tools that incorporate new technologies.

Summary

We hope this article was helpful to understand these tools. You can see that there are cloud-based and local-based CAT tools, and each type has its own advantages. High quality is no longer the only requirement for translation work. In order to respond to the sense of speed required as globalization progresses, it can be said that it is essential to make full use of CAT tools that incorporate new technologies.

Kawamura's services

It is very useful to introduce CAT tools to manage translation projects in-house, but many people hesitate because of the initial investment. Some may think that they want to use machine translation, glossary, or TM functions to translate in-house, but would not need up to a project management function. Kawamura's Translation Designer is a translation platform that supports MT while having TM and terminology reference functions. If you're looking to improve translation efficiency but not up to the stage to try expensive CAT tools, we recommend that you check out our Translation Designer.

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