Responding to your most frequently asked questions about Kató TM

Some of you have asked questions about Kató TM (the TWB online CAT tool) and the use of machine translated segments in Kató TM. Here are a few guidelines to help address these questions:

The TWB CAT tool is based on open-source software Matecat, one of the best open-source tools available for translation, and while any software has its advantages and disadvantages, in our experience the advantages of providing Kató translators with a free CAT tool outweighs any disadvantages. When we launched Kató TM, we surveyed our translator community. The answers showed that online collaboration and ease of use were some of its biggest benefits. Many translators do not have access to high-end CAT tools because of their prohibitive cost. Offering a free CAT tool helps address this.

  • Should I rely on the translation produced by Kató TM?

Machine translation is provided for guidance only. Some translators appreciate having machine translated segments to get them started on a translation. Others prefer to produce their translations from scratch. We encourage you to go with your personal preference. If you find that having a machine translated segment doesn’t work for you, you can simply delete it and translate the segment from scratch. What is important is that your end translation reads fluently and accurately conveys the meaning of the original.

  • I am a reviser, will I have to revise a machine-translated text?

If you are a reviser, you should not be seeing a machine translation text. Any translations that a Kató translator submits must read fluently and accurately convey the meaning of the original. If you believe you are being asked to revise an unedited machine translation, please leave a comment in the project thread in Kató Community, or in the comment section of the TWB Workspace, alerting the project managers to the issue.

:man_technologist::woman_technologist:We are aware of some limitations of this tool. We also recognize that translators have their individual preferences, and we always welcome your feedback and consider it when developing new tools and improving existing processes.

If you have feedback or suggestions, we encourage you to share them in the comments or in a separate message here.:blossom:


Thank you @ambra for the post. I was looking for such an explanation.

After testing it all the night, I cas say that Kato TM is a very useful tool even for translating & revising.

However, I’ve two suggestions to submit:

  1. Provide multilingual version of the interface ;
  2. Improve Arabic language support.

That’s all for the time being.

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Hello Farid, thank you for your message and input, always very appreciated. Good suggestion about having a multilingual version of the interface. I am not sure this depends on us because the tool behind Kato TM is Matecat, an external web-based computer-assisted translation tool.

About your second suggestion, could you please clarify what do you mean by “improve Arabic language support”? Do you feel that the tool doesn’t support well Arabic language?

Hello Ambra :slight_smile:

I know that Kato TM is provided by Matecat,
But I think that if the suggestion is submitted by TWB foundation, Matecat developers will be more receptive.

Yes, the Arabic language support is a bit poor… We can’t move the cursor with keyboard arrows freely & sometimes the letters break up.
NB: I’m using Google Chrome web browser.


Hi Farid,
The MateCat code really hasn’t been programmed at all in a way that would allow for localization. And even if it was, we’re also using other systems (e.g. Kató Community = Discourse) that we wouldn’t be able to localize easily ourselves, if at all, so at best we’d end up with a partial localization experience. Considering that the vast majority of our volunteers read English (given that many translate from English), this isn’t really too much of a problem however, even if on the surface it seems to contradict with what we’re all about :slight_smile:
Re the Arabic cursor issues, could I suggest you report the issue directly to the MateCat developers, at It doesn’t make much sense that I or someone else who isn’t set up to type in Arabic tries to describe the problem.

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