Has your friend ever had doubts about which translation to choose? Or maybe your colleague wondered what’s the difference between Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) and Machine Translation (MT)? Or maybe it is you who couldn’t solve this issue?
Today, we offer to have a look of the details of Computer-Aided Translation and Machine Translation and make a certain prediction whether these types of translation can replace a traditional human-made translation and interpretation.
CAT tools were developed with the mean of making the translation process easier for its users by building and updating translation memory banks during the translation process. The main benefit of using CAT Tools is clearly the extreme gain in time and efficiency. It also minimizes the amount of manual entry work needed, thanks to the pre-translated grammatical and orthographic suggestions. For example, this type of software guarantees consistency when the same sentences or terms appear later in the text to be translated.
How is It Different Than Machine Translation?
These two terms sound very identical, but there’s a very clear difference. It comes down to who’s finally responsible for a translation.
Computer-aided translation gives you the best of both worlds. Unlike Machine Translation (MT) where the computer does all of the work with a human translator sometimes checking the results, – CAT puts the human translator definitely in control.
The main difference between them is that with MT you can rely on the machine to do the translation job for you. With CAT the machine is simply taking care of the easily programmed parts of translation so you, the expert, can put the brain and experience to work on the more difficult and tricky aspects of any translation.
What About Machine Translation?
MT tries to fully replace the need of a human translator. CAT tools rely on translation memories planned to help and support a human translator in their work.
Documents that are translated using MT are run through software that automatically translates it in its entirety. Due to the limitations of MT at this current time, a document will surely not be useable after this step. There will be several grammar and syntax errors throughout, though the general idea of the document can surely be discovered at this time. To correct these errors, machine translated documents need to go through a process called “Post-Editing”.
The major disadvantage is lack of accuracy. Language is extremely multifarious and dynamic, and while this type of translation technology has enhanced greatly over the years, it will never be able to wholly accurately identify some sentences of the language and transfer them into the target language.
Why Are CAT Tools Better?
In contrast, CAT tools need a genuine, well-informed person to operate them. This type of translation is a complete translation. The final product can be used whenever critically accurate translations are needed. CAT Tools help the translator by offering translations for those idioms, terms, and sentences that the linguist has previously translated. This method helps you do efficient work and a faster pace while still maintaining the extreme accuracy throughout the document.
Can Machine Translation replace humans?
Reasons people may choose machine translation
There’s absolutely no waiting on a translator or translation company to reply to your request. In Google translate, you need to only enter the texts type the source and target language – the translation process begins immediately. A machine translation tool such as Google has over 100 languages at your fingertips. Why would you need a human translator? Machine translation is still far away from being perfect and accurate.
Here are some of the Advantages and Disadvantages of choosing Automated and Machine translations.
Advantages of Automated and Machine Translations:
– Translation is much faster when compared to human translation
– Translations are at a lower rate or even free of charge
– You do not need any time for finding and managing translator(s) to complete a translation job
Disadvantages of Automated and Machine Translations:
– Not all words, phrases can be translated accurately
– It is a bit difficult to use automated translation for accurate results that may result in slang
– Complicated terms which may become difficult to handle
– Sentences translated can lose their meaning in machine/automated translations
– The translations are literal (word for word) , can miss out on words, word structure, lack of grammar, which can lead to problems.
Even with these advanced online translation platforms, it is proven that the platform still produces incoherent, nonsensical translations.
If you are a business owner or individual looking for personal documents, handbooks, websites, etc. looking for an accurate translation, an automated/machine translation is not an option. Automated translations do not understand the contexts and will not be able to translate correctly.
Can you honestly present automated/machine translations to your potential and existing clients, government agencies, schools, DMV, etc.? Definitely not!
Choosing a professional translator or agency
When you are trying to attract new clients internationally, having an accurate translation into the targeted language is very important. Customers want to feel valued and want to be sure they are dealing with a reliable and professional company. After all, the business’s reputation is on the line – having inaccurate translations is not an option.
Unlike automated/machine translation, there are far more benefits from having a person translate your contexts. Human translation is proven to be irreplaceable and vital. Only a human can understand and capture the context, translate according to the cultural differences in language, and find suitable alternatives, as well as review their own work.
You may choose post editing – which is basically machine translation with a human touch. Even though the machine translation may contain mistakes, a person can proofread and edit making all necessary corrections.
Even though automated/machine translation is still nowhere close to replacing human translators, the everyday progress in technology is gradually improving.