In dethroning the ST, skopos translators now have a mighty weapon, namely, the Internet, to win any battle. If translators used to tackle recalcitrant problems with swords and spears in the pre-Internet era, they can now conquer such problems with radar detectors and magic wands, of course not instead of, but in addition to, their intrinsic and trained qualities such as SL and TL proficiency and linguistic and cultural sensitivity, with the vast knowledge base of humanity at their fingertips. All the facts and figures necessary for accurate translation can be retrieved from the Internet as if from the translator’s own memory, which makes him/her an ‘instant’ expert in any given subject. Using the Internet as an external memory always ready to be retrieved for error minimisation and accuracy maximisation, an internet-savvy and quick-learning translator can produce an optimally customized TT, smoothly switching from literal to free translation whenever a translation faithful to the SL syntax and semantics disturbs the natural flow of the TL and fails to convey clearly the author’s communicative intentions to the TA.. A translator equipped with internet proficiency as well as intellectual acumen, strong problem-solving skills, and a native-level TL proficiency can thus assume the authority of an expert and linguist possessing all necessary knowledge and skills to produce a TT that meets the needs and expectations of all interested parties.
A CAT tool is to be recommended insofar as the translator uses it to accelerate the translation process by using translation memories. As far as the translation quality is concerned, however, I see no advantages of using a CAT tool. For example, Google Translate outperforms by a wide margin all other MT services, including those offered by the most famous commercial CAT tool, presumably because it looks out first for any existing TTs or corresponding sentences from parallel texts instead of ‘translating’ as other systems seem to do, as in this example (a sentence from Nietzsche's Human, All Too Human): [Google] If an evil befalls us, we may either get over it by lifting its cause, or by changing its effect upon our feeling. [SDL] When a Uebel, so you can either be on the same boundaries, that his cause lifts, or so that the effect which makes it on our perception, changed. [Yahoo] When a disease hits us, so you can either so get over the same, that one raises his cause, or so that changing the effect which makes it on our perception.
Besides, CAT becomes counterproductive the moment the stored memories prescribe how the translator should translate, overriding translator’s own lexical/syntactic choices and styles, with every piece of creativity or constructive input by a translator punished by the ST-centered quality assurance system embedded in the CAT tool. Unfortunately, an increasing number of translators receive a ‘project package’ from their agencies, whereby a great portion of the sentences are pretranslated (100% match) or provided with fuzzy matches and terms to choose from, such that translation has become a part of a great machinery. Just as the Internet is the best ally of skopos, CAT tools can be its worst enemy if used for commercial purposes. Translators are increasingly forced by agencies to use a certain CAT tool. This CAT-based large-scale commercialisation of translation is flooding the translation industry, and translators are increasingly assessed by their editing skills. The opposite camp is kept by translators outperforming such CAT editors.