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Machine-Assisted Human Translation: Its Definition The present article discusses the definition of Machine Assisted Human Translation by making contrast with the technical terms: Computer Assisted Translation and Machine-Assisted Translation. It puts forward that MAHT is concerned with computer tools which assist the human translators in the course of a translation process.

Nowadays, globalization has turned the earth into a village; as a result, translation has become a booming industry for frequent and massive information exchanges among the people from different countries. In translation industry, Machine-Assisted Human Translation, MAHT for short, is playing a more and more important role at present. Before we introduce MAHT, it is needed for us to make clear another two terminologies. Specialists and translation practitioners are interested in mechanical aids for translation or translation
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automation is most frequently confronted with the somewhat misleading term “Computer Assisted (or Aided) Translation” and sometimes “Machine Assisted (or Aided) Translation”. Over the years, there has been much confusion concerning the definition of the terms. In view of the scientific and popular interest in Machine Assisted Translation and Computer-Assisted Translation, the latter has become an umbrella term and is therefore no longer synonymous with MAHT. Considering

Computer Assisted Translation as a generic term, Machine Translation and MAHT can be divided into two major subgroups. Today, Machine Translation is generally understood to be the process in which a “machine” (specifically a computer program is the pivotal component in the translation process while humans are in charge of developing the software (which includes, for instance,
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grammatical and lexical rules), updating the programs, pre- and post-editing texts, and sometimes interactively communicating with the machine to solve the translation problems in the text which is being translated. At the other end of the Computer-Assisted Translation spectrum we find MAHT tools, also known as “translation workbenches”, where humans are pivotal to the process. In the latter type, human translators prepare the targetlanguage texts and the “machines”(computer programs) assist translators by offering terminological support(terms are retrieved automatically or semi-automatically from an appropriate database) and by building and employing translation databases (Translation Memories) to suggest identical (100% matches) and similar segments (fuzzy matches, which are less than 100%) that have been used in previous translations and stored in the database.
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As hinted, MAHT is a budding discipline which has not been precisely defined. First, MAHT is defined as a discipline that is concerned with computer tools which assist human translators in the course of a translation process. By mentioning translation process, we does not mean mental processes that take place during translation, but surface processes that start when a translation assignment is accepted, which end with the delivery of a finished product. Such translation process has two major constituents parts: one is a creative part requiring human evaluation leading to the production of a translation for which a human translator remains solely responsible; the other is a technical part which includes all such tasks as receiving and sending documents, typing and formatting, scanning documents for identical or similar segments to reduce the number of words
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and phrases that must be left for translation by human translators, desktop publishing and terminological consistency, and other features which can be handled by mechanical tools. But what we have pay attention to is that it is humans who are responsible for the end product and its quality, whereas the strength of a MAHT system is that it ensures the terminological, phraseological, and segmental consistency which is crucial to e.g. scientific and technical translation. It is often of great significance that we make clear of the definition of something which we would like to apply to.

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