Articles on: Concepts

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) and machine translation (MT)

What is computer-assisted translation (CAT) software? And how is it different from machine translation (MT) ?

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) software is a type of software that helps human translators to translate text more efficiently and accurately. They provide a variety of features such as translation memory (TM), terminology management, and quality assurance. CAT software store translations in a database, and when a sentence or phrase is encountered again, the tool suggests the previously translated version. This helps to increase consistency and efficiency in the translation process.

Machine translation (MT), on the other hand, is a type of software that automatically translates text from one language to another without human involvement. The software uses algorithms and language models to generate translations. It is often used in situations where a human translator is not available or where a large amount of text needs to be translated quickly. However, the quality of the translation produced by MT can vary widely depending on the complexity of the text and the language pair.

In summary, CAT software helps human translators to work more efficiently, while MT software generates translations automatically.


Why people often mix CAT and MT? And how to clarify their differences?

People often mix CAT and MT because they both involve the use of technology to translate text, and they can be used in similar contexts. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Human involvement: CAT software is designed to assist human translators, while machine translation is fully automated and does not require human input.

Translation quality: CAT software can improve consistency and speed up the translation process, but the final output is still dependent on the human translator, while machine translation can produce translations that are less accurate and may require human post-editing.

Use cases: CAT software is often used by professional translators in a translation agency or in-house translation departments, while machine translation is more commonly used for quickly generating rough translations of large volumes of text or for providing translations on a website or mobile app.

In summary, CAT and MT are both tools used to translate text, but they are different in terms of the level of human involvement, the quality of the translations produced, and the use cases for which they are best suited.

Updated on: 01/24/2023

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!