7. CAT tools in international organisations: Lessons learnt from the experience of the Languages Service of the United Nations Office at Geneva

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The language staff at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) has a very selective attitude towards language technologies despite the fact that these technologies are widely spread in the work environment of translators. Tests and pilot projects with computer-assisted translation software have been conducted over the past five years at UNOG and have amply shown that such software is neither a source of improvement of quality nor a source of improvement of quantity in translation. Obstacles to efficiency gains that have been identified prior to the introduction of CAT remained the same as those identified after its introduction. New obstacles also appeared with the introduction of CAT in the work of language staff of an international organisation that point to the following conclusion: the usefulness of work habit changes may not be found in the area in which the changes occur but in other somewhat unexpected areas. In the case of translation in international organisations, as translation is not an isolated activity, synergies with other, sometimes far related business processes are required.


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