The terms ‘Computer Assisted Translation’ and ‘Machine Translation’ sound similar, and it’s easy to get them confused. However, there is a significant difference between the two.

CAT Tools are majorly used by professional translators. In a large volume translation or localization jobs, a CAT tool can effectively reduce the translation time, enabling the translator to translate content in a timely manner.

Whereas, Machines Translation performs simple substitution of words in one language for words in another. But this alone usually cannot produce a good translation of a text because recognition of whole phrases and their closest counterparts in the target language is needed. However day by day machine translation is getting intelligent, but its long way until it can replace human translators.

TIMECAT Tools create a translation memory. This helps the translators work faster.Computers can process machine translation instantly.
ACCURACYTranslators, who use CAT Tools as a help in translation, have high accuracy. As the translation memory is fed by a human and not by a machine.No human is involved in this translation process. The major disadvantage is that it majorly lacks accuracy.
COSTCAT Tools are not available for free. Writers and translators have to purchase these CAT tools.Machine Translation is free of cost. Also, machine translation is good for a couple of words or sentences. It’s cheap and fast.
RELIABILITYAs humans and software, both are involved, the CAT Tools’ translations have the highest reliability.Machine Translation is not accurate and not at all reliable. Machines do NOT understand nuances, idioms, and phrases.
QUALITYThe quality of CAT tools depends on the quality of the translator’s work. However, human translation is better in quality as compared to machine translations.Machine translation technology has improved greatly. If the quantity of text is less, the quality will be good.
HUMAN INVOLVEMENTCAT Tools have major human involvement. The translated database is stored by the translators. Hence, it is just a tool for quicker and better translation.There is absolutely no human involvement. For translation and localization, human translations work best.

No matter how similar they sound, CAT Tools and Machine Translation work differently and are used for different purposes. For quality translation, managed by humans please reach out to Team CMM Languages.

Learn more about our commitment to quality and how we do things. Send us your request at