Computer-aided translation vs. machine translation

Computer-aided translation vs. machine translation

Which one do you need?

There is a huge difference between computer-aided translation and machine translation. Machine translation is the process where a computer translates texts from one natural language to another. Its quality is much higher than it was just a couple of years ago but does not come any near translations prepared by human translators.

Machine translation is suitable to get the gist of a document, e.g. if you live abroad and your kids bring home some letters from the school specifying what clothing they should bring along to the bicycle day they are organising, machine translation works sufficiently fine, you definitely do not need a translation prepared by a professional. Machine translation works best between languages that are similar in structure. Hungarian, though, is a pretty unique language, therefore machine translation works worse than average.

A human translator assisted by translation memories

Computer-aided translation (or computer-assisted translation) is a method when a human translator uses a software tool (CAT tool) that records all sentences the translator translates. The source sentences and their translations are stored in a database and whenever the translator comes across the same sentence or a similar sentence, the CAT tool automatically pops up the translated version highlighting any differences there are between the older and the current sentences.

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