Machine Translation vs. Computer Assisted Translation

While Machine Translation and Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) both use software to help create a finely translated product, both serve different purposes.

Machine Translation

Machine Translation is a rapid form of translation. Those who purchase machine translations are attempting to receive a useable translation in the smallest amount of time. Machine-translated documents go through software that automatically translates the entire text. Due to the current limitations of machine translation, the document will certainly not be useable after this. There will be grammar and syntax errors, though you can learn the gist of the article at this time. So, these documents need to go through a process called post-editing to correct these errors. Post-editing involves a linguist reviewing the document and correcting these errors so that the text is legible. Since the document was machine translated and the linguist reviews for grammar and syntax (not content), this method will not provide a 100% accurate translation. Therefore, machine translation is more useful in discovering the overall message of a document. However, it’s not a good method for those who need a critically accurate translation.

Computer-Assisted Translation

Translation with CAT Tools (Example: Trados Studio) is a very different method. CAT tools require a legitimate, knowledgeable linguist to operate them. This type of translation is a complete translation. The final product can be used whenever critically accurate translations are required. CAT Tools assist the translator by providing translations for those phrases and sentences that the linguist has previously translated. The translator still reviews every string of text in the document. This method allows the linguist to work and a faster pace while still maintaining the utmost accuracy throughout the document.

Trados studio example

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