Machine Translation versus Computer Aided Translation


When you want to get a translation done, you are provided with two main options available to consider. The very first option out of them is to go ahead with machine translation. Or else, you can try computer-aided translation. We see how most of the people get themselves stuck while trying to make a decision out of these two. That’s why we thought of comparing these two and providing you with the differences that exist in between them.



What is machine translation? 


Machine translation uses a software or a tool, which will be able to do all the translation activities automatically. You need to set up the target language and the source language. Then you can expect the software to automate the translation process and provide you with results.


No human expertise is involved with machine translations. That’s because the software tool is in a position to do all the work for you. Bing Translator, Google Translator and Yandex Translate are some of the best examples available for machine translation. Millions of people from different parts of the world are using these machine translation tools to get their work done.


Time taken for machine translation 


Machine translation is the quickest translation method available out there to consider. You will be able to paste the text that you want to translate and get the output within a couple of seconds. This method of getting your translations is extremely easy. On the other hand, it can provide you with quick results at the end of the day as well. If you have a requirement to get a quick translation done, this is the most optimum option available out there to consider. 




Languages that we speak are extremely dynamic and complex. On the other hand, languages are related to different social norms and unique cultures as well. Computers or machines are not in a position to understand these. As a result, you cannot expect to get the most accurate results out of machine translations. This can be considered as the primary drawback associated with machine translations as well. That’s because you will end up with receiving an unnatural and an incorrect translation. All the people who wish to get professional translations done are encouraged to refrain from this translation method as much as possible.




The amount of money you have to spend in order to get the machine translations is extremely law. You will be able to discover a large number of machine translation tools available out there on the internet. Google Translate is a perfect example to prove the above-mentioned fact. There is no need to spend your money to use Google Translate to get the translations done. Likewise, you can find many other free to use machine translation tools, such as iTranslate and Linguee. But if you have a lot of content to be translated, you will have to think about going for a paid subscription plan offered by these tools. But still, the amount of money that you have to pay is lower when compared to the cost associated with getting the same done out of computer-aided translation method. 


What is computer-aided translation?


Computer-aided translation involves human expertise. In here, translators seek the assistance of software in order to get assistance with the translation process. In other words, the translation will take place as a combination of both human expertise and machine expertise. The human translator will be provided with some important responsibilities during this process. For example, he will have to take control over the reviewing, translation and proofreading part. Only some of the areas associated with these major processes are automated. This automation is mainly designed to enhance the productivity of the human translator. Along with that, it can enhance the quality of the translation as well.


Time taken for translation 


The CAT tools are designed to help the human translators to get their work done within a short period of time. The features are specifically designed to enhance overall productivity. On the other hand, you will be able to discover an excellent translation memory and a term base as well. It can restore the previous translations. The translators who work along with CAT tools will be able to get the support and complete the translations quickly. However, you cannot expect to receive instant results as you are getting with machine translations.




The CAT tools are only designed to provide assistance to the translators by getting their translation work done. Rest of the work will be done by human translators. Therefore, you can expect to receive a high level of accuracy from the translations at the end of the day. In general, translators who come from professional translation agencies come to do the translation process. They are highly trained as well. Therefore, you can expect to receive a high level of accuracy from the translations at the end of the day. On the other hand, humans are in a position to understand the social norms and context of languages as well. Therefore, you don’t need to worry too much about the grammatical correctness of the translated output.




You will not be able to get the computer-aided translations done for free. That’s because human translators involve with the process and you will have to spend money to get their assistance. Therefore, you will have to spend money out of your pocket to get the translations done. However, you don’t need to worry too much about it because you are getting quality returns for the amount you spend.


Final words


Now you have a clear understanding of the differences that exist in-between machine translations and computer-aided translations. Keep these differences in your mind and go ahead with the best translation method as per your preferences. 



This article first appeared on Harry Clark blog

Also, read Bad Translations Can Harm a Business