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What is a CAT discount and how can I get one?

June 15, 2017

(This post is co-written by Project Managers Ilona Nagy and Emese Péter.)

Using CAT tools is not only useful for the translators, but it can be of high importance to the customer as well. Customers who are not involved or interested in the translation industry may think it does not matter how their text is translated; their aim is to have it translated to their satisfaction. Nobody has told them that the method of translation can have a great effect, not just on the financial side of this seemingly simple procedure but also on speed and quality.


CAT is an abbreviated form of Computer Aided/Assisted Translation.

"Computer-assisted translation, computer-aided translation or CAT is a form of language translation, in which a human translator uses computer software to support and facilitate the translation process." *

There are numerous advantages of using Computer Aided Translation:
• the quality of your work will be better
• the process is less time-consuming
• you can increase the consistency of your translations
• you can build a terminology database more easily

Basically, these tools make the translation process smoother, more reliable and partly automated. Of course supervising and supporting the translator cannot be omitted, but they can also work more quickly, effectively and accurately. In addition, there is one more really important advantage. It is the discount you receive with this procedure.

As mentioned before, using these tools is not only beneficial for the translators, but also for the customer.

You can get great discounts if the translator uses such a tool, especially if you employ the same agency or professional all the time.

CAT discounts

Once your material is connected to a CAT tool, a Translation Memory (TM) is created and it is saved for future projects too. This memory will contain all your translated texts - segment by segment - from all the works the translator has done for you. From this time on, all your texts to be translated will be connected to the same TM and will be analysed using it.

And here we can talk about what you can get a discount for. The answer is for every segment in your new text that is not totally new and unknown for the Translation Memory.

The memory is matched against the source text and the software shows how closely they match. If they match (even in a few words (fuzzy matches)), you get a discount. If there are repeated segments within the text, you get a discount. The extent of discount differs from translator to translator, company to company, but you can be sure you will get one if a CAT tool is used.

Fuzzy categories in Trados Studio

Fuzzies are segments which are similar to segments in your TM. After we analyse a file in our CAT tool software, we check the result in Reports. Here we can easily make a calculation according to the matches: the number of words that need to be edited is shown in percentages (e.g. a 20% match requires almost complete rewriting of the segment, but a 90% means you have to amend the segment only a little).

The default fuzzy bands in Trados are the following:
• 50-74%
• 75-84%
• 84-94%
• 95-99%

If it is necessary you can easily amend this scale in your future projects.

Generally, if you use or request a CAT tool (e.g. Trados Studio) you can easily receive several CAT discounts during your translation method.

The scale of the discount is also affected by some other factors:
• type of co-operation
• volume of already translated material
• the frequency of orders
• estimated length of the co-operation (the longer the co-operation, the higher the discounts that can be received)

For further information about the CAT tools we use, please contact our Operation's Manager, Zsófia Alföldy-Boruss at alfoldy-boruss.zsofia@leg.eu

 *Bowker, Lynne (2002). Computer-aided Translation Technology. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. p. 144.