Introduction

-- Computer-Assisted Translation: Human Translation Enhanced with Computerized Tools

Definition

Computer-Assisted Translation is a human translation carried out with the aid of computerized tools. That is, a human translator is the one reading and deducing the meaning of the source text and transferring it into the target language. They are simply utilizing computerized translation tools to help them work more quickly and accurately.

You probably already use some of these tools yourself. For example, nearly every word processor, and many web browsers, have a built-in spell checker and/or automatic spelling correction function. This saves writers and translators a lot of time looking up words in the dictionary!

Speaking of dictionaries, when a translator does need to look up a word, they can save time by using a computerized dictionary. As a translator, my most often-used tools are the multi-language dictionary (to help recall words that may be escaping me at that moment) and the thesaurus (to help me choose exactly the right word for my translation).

More complex computerized translation tools include translation memory tools (databases of texts in multiple languages), terminology managers (that help translators maintain consistent terminology throughout the translation), terminology databases (to help translators locate the correct terminology for that field), bitext aligners (which align the source text and the translation for side-by-side comparison), and more.