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A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation

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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 340
============================================================= September 9Vol. 18:2940 -ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.comanguage in India L 2018
India’s Higher Education Authority UGC Approved List of Journals Serial
Number 49042
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A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi
Arabia
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Abstract
This research paper reviews the literature on the use of computer in
translation. This review aims at understanding how computers have been
implemented to foster translation. This review investigates the studies
that have dealt with computer-assisted translation (CAT). Specifically, it
reviews the studies that have explored the benefits of CAT; factors
affecting the use of the computer in translation, the limitations of CAT,
and current advancement in this area. The review discusses the findings
of these studies and suggests guidelines for future research studies in
this area. It concludes that further studies are necessary to investigate the
use of CAT in translating cultural Arabic terms. Also, further studies are
necessary to determine the principles that are required to implement
computer tools in translation.
Keywords: computer-assisted translation, machine translation, Google
Translate, on-line translation, translation.
Introduction
Translation plays a crucial role in the interaction between distinct
cultures. Translation is supposed to bring languages close to each other. By
translation, people of different places can communicate among themselves.
This process can be carried out by human translators or some machine
translation applications, or by a combination of both (i.e. computer-
assisted/aided translation). Computer-assisted translation (CAT) is the
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 341
developments of computer technology that have created new opportunities
for translators that cannot be found in traditional ways.
Many studies and books have been published about the uses of CAT
(e.g. Balkul 2016; Lin, 2010; Vidhayassai, Keyuravong & Bunsom 2015).
They have discussed a wide range of topics such as opportunities and
challenges of using CAT systems, the defects of machine translation (MT),
the outcome of online applications, the influence of CAT systems on
translator’s workflow, the position of translation Technology” in the
field of translation and the dilemma between translation industry and
academia.
These studies need to be reviewed to help the researcher to find out the
areas that were not explored or not fully examined. Therefore, the present
study tries to shed light on the areas that require more attention. The
purpose of this review is to answer the following questions:
1- What is the current status of CAT in comparison to other
techniques?
2- What are the general factors affecting the implementation of CAT in
translation?
3- What are the major translation theories that can be used as a
framework for translation studies?
4- What are the limitations of CAT in comparison to human
translation?
5- What is the impact of CAT on human translators?
Review of Literature
Translation as a term is a controversial issue in the sense that one
finds more than one definition, each definition exposes a different view
and a theoretical background of the translation, but the aim of translation
is finding the proper equivalences. (Newmark, 1988) points out that
translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message
and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement
in another language (p.7).
(Hutchins 1992) defines the term Machine Translation (MT) as the
traditional and standard name for computerized systems responsible to
produce translations from one language into another, with or without
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 342
human assistance (p.3). Computer-aided/assisted translation (CAT) is the
use of computer software to assist a human translator in the translation
process. The term applies to translation that remains primarily the
responsibility of a human but involves software that can facilitate certain
aspects of it. Indeed, it is helpful to consider that the CAT is a vital part in
the field of translation, where various degrees of the machine or human
assistance are involved. Based on the definitions, it is obvious that the
difference between CAT and MT is that (MT) refers to translation that is
carried out principally by computer systems, while CAT is only as an
assistant to a human translator, i.e. The human translator carries out all
the processes of translation and his/her use of CAT is only as assistance.
Historical Background of MT and CAT
To study CAT it is necessary to take a look at MT. The use of
mechanical dictionaries to bridge the barriers between languages was first
suggested in the 17th century (Hutchins& Somers 1992). In 1629,
Descartes may have been the first to propose the idea that the language
could be represented by codes and those words of different languages with
equivalent meaning could share the same code. Esperanto, invented
language, was invented by Zamenhof. He created this language to reduce
the "time and labor" that we spend in learning foreign languages, and it
bridges the barriers of languages. It connects and brings harmony between
people of different countries.
In 1933, two patents appeared independently in France and Russia.
A French-Armenian, George Artsrouni, had designed a storage device on
paper tape which could be used to find the equivalent of any word in
another language; a prototype was apparently demonstrated in 1937. The
invention of the computer in the twentieth century led very quickly to
attempt of using it for translation of languages, in the form of computer
programs capable of translating a wide variety of texts from one language
into another, but not of that desired quality. So, a human should get
involved in the process of translation.
The first version of machine translation programs, which are
considered as the first generation, were based on detailed bilingual
dictionaries that offered a number of equivalent words in the target
language for each word listed in the source language. In 1951, Yehoshua
was a first full-time researcher in this field from the Massachusetts
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 343
Institute of Technology (MIT). A year later, the first conference held in
New York in the field of MT. And it introduced the first MT program in
January 1954 when the American-Russian program was developed by
(IBM) company.
In 1966, Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee
(ALPAC) produced a highly critical report that claimed that MT was slow,
inefficient and expensive, concluding that it was not worth investing
money in research in this field. However, it proposed the need to
encourage the development of tools to assist the translation process, such
as computer dictionaries, databases etc. However, research continued in
France, Germany, and Canada. In 1980s important advances occurred to
meet the huge demands for translation by the administrative and
commercial needs of multilingual communities. There were many
programs produced and one of them was Arianne which is considered as
the second generation of MT programs which added to the first generation
the feature of Translation memory.
The beginning of the 1990s, which can be called the third
generation, saw vital developments in machine translation with a radical
change in the strategy from translation based on grammatical rules to that
based on bodies of texts and examples. These strategies can be
summarized as follows:
1- The abandonment of the idea of translating literary or philosophical
texts of high density and limited to deliberative texts.
2- Integration between machine translation and human-assisted
translation on the one hand, and translation on the other hand to
cover the widest possible field.
3- Expanding the translation memory and enriching it with large text
codes, bilingual or multilingual dictionaries, and lexicons of
proverbs, idioms and special combinations.
4- Making information banks open which allows the users to enrich the
dictionaries and translation memory according to their needs and
directing the destination they want.
It is clear that MT has shortcomings, so the translators, agencies,
clients and companies shifted to more reliable way of mechanical
translation which is CAT. CAT can be dated to 1980s. When
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 344
Japanese computer companies (Toshiba, sharp, NEC and on) worked
on software to facilitate the translation process. A notable mark in the
CAT history was the advent of the ALPS system in 1981 which was
considered as the first CAT system. It offers the following: (1)
multilingual word processing, (2) automatic dictionary, (3)
terminology consultation, (4) interactive translation and (5) repetition
extraction.
After the appearance of ALPS system many systems appeared.
These systems are called “translation workstations. The followings are
some apps that were available in markets: SDL Trados (translator’s
Workbench); STAR AG; IBM; Atril (Déjà vu); Xerox(xms); and
MetaTexis.
MT, CAT, and Human Translation
MT, CAT, and human translation are several ways for rendering the
text of source language (SL) into target language (TL), but the way they
operate differs from each other. In MT, the computer applications carry out
the process of translation totally (e.g. Google Translate, and Microsoft
Translator). The user of MT must input the text and the application carries
out the entire process. In this scenario, the user may not well be familiar
with the target language which may cause many mistakes. In MT, the user
may use the applications despite his competence in the target language.
CAT, on the other hand, is an application that helps the translators in the
process of translation. The user must be well qualified in both SL and TL.
There are many applications that aid translators such as Trados, Workfast
and so on. A human translator must be a qualified person to translate the
text from SL into TL, either by using technological instruments or by
traditional approach- pen and dictionary. Mostly the outcome of the human
translator is of higher quality.
Human translation is more satisfactory. The computer can handle
large volumes and can automatically maintain consistency, for instance,
Google Translate can translate more than 100 languages. In brief, machine
translation is ideal for large scale and/or rapid translation of (boring)
technical documentation, but the human translator is (and may remain)
unrivaled for non-repetitive linguistically sophisticated texts (e.g. in
literature and law). In this way, there is no threat to the human translator
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 345
.There is no doubt that MT and human translation can and will co-exist in
harmony and without conflict (Hutchins 1999).
Advantages and Disadvantages of CAT
CAT is a tool designed to assist human and speed up the rate of
translation. Human translators sometimes fall under the pressure of
challenging work, and they resort to such tools to facilitate such heavy
tasks. Computers are used in translation and provide several advantages.
The users of these tools can use them whenever they want. Furthermore,
they are cheap, just download the applications then use them either online
or offline. While the major cost for standard translation projects is the cost
of the human translators. CAT tools can memorize key terms and phrases
that are used within a given industry. This helps translators to recall the
previous translated texts easily. They have the feature of the pre-translated
grammatical and orthographic suggestions; these tools suggest to human
translator what is more proper. CAT tools might be truly helpful and
efficient in specific fields, but they may not so in other fields.
On the other hand, there are negative points can be traced back to
the use of the computer in translation. The technology has improved
dramatically in the past 30 years, but it is certainly still improving.
Therefore, even after editing, the meaning from the original document will
not be completely correct. CAT tools can obviously bring benefits to
translators. Yet, some of the translators are unwilling to use this
technology, because they need training of how to use specific applications.
CAT tools are not capable enough to deal with literary texts and cultural
terms as the variation of meaning behind each word and sentence are
significant. CAT tools cannot avoid taboo words which sometimes
strongly should be avoided. Generally speaking, CAT tools must be used
with great care. Human translators must be aware of the type of text they
are going to translate to meet their client’s requirements.
Previous Studies about CAT
Several studies were carried out to explore the benefits of the
integration of computer in translation. Balk et al, (2012) examined the
accuracy of Google Translate of 8 foreign languages into English (Chinese,
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish). Their
findings showed that while the programme could adequately translate
German and Portuguese into English, it could not do well with oriental
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 346
languages especially Chinese, having the lowest agreement between
original texts and translated ones.
Vidhayassai, Keyuravong & Bunsom (2015) examined the use of
GT in translating terms and condition in an airline website to find out
errors and suggest implementation. Their study aimed at finding out the
common errors in this field. Their findings were divided into three levels
of errors lexical, syntactic, and discursive. The findings indicated that the
most frequently occurring errors in Google Translate can be found at the
lexical level, at this level the errors traced back for non-equivalence
between the SL and the TL leading to choose the wrong alternative. They
found that in syntactic level, grammatical composition lacked correct
order. Google Translate could not distinguish between active and passive.
So, the outcome was hardly understood. This is the error at the discursive
level where the recipients are unable to understand the translation.
Balkul (2016), argued about the position of Translation
Technology" in the field of translation. His study fell into two categories
MT and CAT. He examined the translation tools that dealt with these
classes: lexicographical, terminological aids and grammar. He thought that
"translation theories were shaped under three main paradigms, linguistic
turn, cultural turn, sociological turn. He concluded that theoretical
translation studies have ignored translation technologies for a long time.
He stated that both translation scholars and academia must reflect upon
translation theories to catch up with the advances in technology. His paper
asserts that linguistic approaches to translation, functional translation
theories and sociological approaches to translation are all inspiration for
translation technology-related research.
Quaranta. B (n.d.) dealt with Arabic and computer-aided translation.
The aim of her study was to highlight the problems that translation tools
are not adequately internationalized, which may cause and suggest a
solution for problems found during translation with SDL Trados. She
found that there were apparent difficulties with computer-aided translation
in Arabic. She ascribed these difficulties to the fact that Arabic is different
from other western languages.
Lin (2010) examined the significance of MT in the Post-modernized
world, where almost everyone was able to use computer and surf the
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 347
internet. He divided the users of the computer in the field of translation
into two groups: (a) scholars who discussed usage and function and
practical translators implementing the developed software in the field of
working; (b) computational linguistics whose involvement of linguists,
computer scientists, experts in artificial intelligence, mathematicians. He
concluded that the translating tasks of the users and translators are more
general and common, and the designing/ upgrading tasks need deeper
training and professional knowledge in diverse fields of linguistics,
sociolinguistics, and computer science.
Ghasemi & Hashemian (2016) conducted a comparative study of GT
from English to Persian and vice versa. The main aim of their study was to
investigate the quality of GT. They analyzed the errors of raw English
Persian translation and Persian English from GT. They found that lexico-
semantics scored the highest errors.
Craciunescu, Gerding-Salas & Stringer-O'Keeffe, (2004) explored
the importance of translation technology in different spheres of modern
life. They described the technology available to translators in the first
decade of the twenty-first century and examine the negative and positive
aspects of machine translation and of the main tools used in CAT:
electronic dictionaries, glossaries, terminology databases, concordances,
online bilingual texts and translation memories. They argue that the
different aspects of modern life have led to the need for more efficient
methods of translation.
Currently, the demand for translations is not satisfied because there
are not enough human translators, or because individuals and organizations
do not recognize translation as a complex activity requiring a high level of
skill, and are therefore not prepared to pay what it is worth. They
examined the new technologies in order to determine whether they change
the relationship between the translator and the texts, and if so, then in what
way.
Despite the advances in technology, machine translation still
represents only a tiny percentage of the market. As shown in Table 2. 1
below by Loffler-Laurian, 1996, the uses of machine translation was very
low in comparison to human translation.
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 348
Table 2.1 A comparison between human and machine translation
(Loffler-Laurian, 1996)
human translation
machine translation
Europe & the United
States
300 million pages
2.5 million pages
Japan
150 million pages
3.5 million pages
Only 6 million pages were translated through machine translation,
compared to 450 million through human translation, i.e. MT represented
only 1.3% of the total. In their study they found these types of errors: (a)
errors that change the meaning of the lexeme; (b) words or phrases that are
apparently correct, but which do not translate the meaning in context; and
(c) words without meaning and errors in usage. They concluded that both
MT and CAT were not efficient and accurate enough to remove the
necessity for human translators. They recommend translators to recognize
and learn to exploit the potential of the new technologies to help them to
be more rigorous, consistent and productive without feeling threatened.
Costales, (2010) studies the role of CAT in the field of software
localization. His study intended to calibrate how CAT could improve
translators’ performance. This study outlined some challenges and
difficulties of software localization. He found that CAT could improve the
performance of translators and improve text consistency and
terminological coherence. They helped in saving times by recycling
previously translated strings.
Nagipoor and Abedin (2013) investigated the emergence of CAT
tools. They claimed the emergence of these tools due to the lack of
professional translators. Their study aimed at exploring how such tools
could be integrated with MT. They concluded that CAT let profession of
translators undergo major changes despite the failure of the organization of
encouraging translators to use CAT.
Lin (2016) explored the influence of the CAT software on the
efficiency of English Chinese technical translation. The study revealed
that the translators were influenced by the suggestions that were presented
by these tools. He ascribed this to the lack of experience of translators.
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 349
Regardless their limitations, CAT and MT tools can be useful tools to
help human translators and they may enhance the process of translation.
There is a need to discover the factors that may affect the integration of
CAT tools into translation and to what extent CAT tools can help
translators to translate effectively. As far as the authors know, there is no
study has been conducted to examine the impact of CAT tools on
translation. Therefore, this study is an attempt to fill in this gap in
knowledge and provide a comprehensive review of CAT and its impact on
translation.
Methods
This review has employed several procedures in the collection and
analysis of articles related to the integration of computer technology into
translation. First, a keyword search using "computer-assisted translation”,
“online translation” and "machine translation” was performed in Education
Resources Information Centre (ERIC), SCOPUS, EBSCO and Proquest
online databases. For the keywords, around 50 articles were found. The
results of these studies were carefully checked. Then, 40 studies were
selected for the review since they matched the keywords of this article and
covered the uses of computer in translation.
The selected studies were published in 10 journals, 2 book chapters, and
one conference proceeding.
Results and Discussion
What is the status of CAT in comparison to other techniques?
Many professionals claimed that MT is not qualified to produce
perfect translations. The developers paid more attention to CAT tools, as
the result, the translators resorted to CAT tools. The status of CAT is
promising. Different institutions try to improve these tools from time to
time. CAT tools are very fruitful for translators if these translators are well
qualified in handling them. The translators must be trained on using these
tools. There are online and offline tools, this facilitates the process of
translation when there is no internet connection. In comparison to other
devices of translation such as mobile translation and MT. CAT seems more
preferred by human translators. The snowballing acceleration of available
information, and the increase in intercultural encounters have resulted in
drastic and lasting changes in the way translators work. Translators will
learn and use these tools to catch up with other professional translators. As
a scholar, we use different technological devices in our daily life tasks of
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 350
translation. It seems that we will leave the hard copies of books and
dictionaries. In fact, articles, documents, scientific journals, and
newspapers are no longer published in print but are only delivered
digitally. This prompts the usage of CAT, because it is easier to copy and
paste the text from SL into TL while translating.
What are the general factors affecting the implementation of CAT in
translation?
Implementing CAT in the process of translation is vitally important.
However, the success of CAT is affected by a number of factors. These
factors can be classified into the following categories: human, technical,
economic and cultural factors.
Human factors
Some translators resist using CAT tools because of several reasons.
Some human translators lack the technical competence in using these tools
leads to resistance in using them. Moreover, negative perception of CAT
tools and their effectiveness in translation discourage translators to use
them in their jobs. Some translators think that CAT kills the feature of
creativity of translators.
Technical factors
The success or failure of integrating CAT tools in translation also
depends on technical issues. Translators who tend to use CAT tools may
face some difficulties when they use them. One of these difficulties is the
lack of good tools that produce accurate translation from SL to TL. Up to
date, no tool can translate exactly what is meant in the SL. The translation
output of these tools may create misleading translation texts. An example
of this issue is shown in Figure 1. In this example the word “secretariat” is
not suitable. The exact word is trustworthy”. The Arabic word can be
translated in many ways. The context will determine the exact translation.
But Google Translate cannot decide which one is an appropriate
translation.
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 351
Figure 1: A snapshot from Google Translate
Economic factors
Implementing CAT tools in translation is not an easy task. Many factors
will affect negatively to use them. Some of these are economic factors. The
major problem is that most of these tools are not free. Translators should
purchase them and some of them are not affordable by translators,
especially in low-income countries. For example, the price of MemoQ
translation tool is 770 USD per year. In addition, in some countries,
especially the third world countries, lack of internet connection and
electricity frequent shutdown hinder the translators to use CAT tools in
their profession.
Cultural factors
Translation is a process that is devoted to culture. Translators need
to be careful about cultural affairs when they translate. They should select
the appropriate terms that suit the culture of TL. In contrast, CAT tools
may translate terms of SL into TL which can be considered offensive or
culturally not acceptable. This is due to difference between SL and TL. For
example, Sahoor () the meal that is taken before dawn during  )
Ramdan (month of fasting).
Figure 2. shows how Google translate could not translate both Suhoor and
Ramadan
Figure 2: A snapshot from Google Translate
Linguistics factors
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 352
The linguistics factor exerts a crucial influence on the process of
translation. At the phonological level the equivalences are sometimes
unavailable in the TL, this creates problem for translators. Sometimes there
are equivalences but the way of segmenting them in to sentences is a
challenging enough for translators. These factors need to be fully
examined and suggest solutions to their problems. For instane the gap
between Arabic and English in this respect, the researcher just examined
only the error that occurs in translating the word ( mixed   in CAT
Applications it is translated as problem while the correct translation is
mixed.
What are the major translation theories and approaches that can be used
as a framework for translation studies?
There are several theories that can be used as a framework for
translation. Translation theories aim to give the translators a clear path and
insights them to compromise between thoughts, meanings, and language
structure. The most prominent and recent theories are introduced briefly in
this section. It is obvious from different studies that process of translation
occurs mostly at the semantic level. Newmark (1988) states that that
translation theory derives from comparative linguistics, and within
linguistics, it is mainly an aspect of semantics.
Semantic and Communicative Translation
Semantic and communicative translation theory was proposed by
(Newmark, 1988, p. 22). He states that only two methods of translation are
appropriate to any text: (a) communicative translation, where the translator
attempts, to produce the same effect on the target readers as was produced
by the original on the source language readers, and (b) semantic
translation, where the translator attempts, within the bare syntactic and
semantic constraints of the TL, to produce the precise contextual meaning
of the author.
Functionalism and the Cultural Turn
The previous theory paid attention to the linguistic level, but it is
vitally important to take into consideration the culture difference between
TL and Sl. In 1980, there was a rejection of theories based on linguistic
equivalence in favor of emphases on non-linguistic matters and cross-
cultural interaction. Nowadays, translation takes into its consideration a
communicative, socio-cultural context. This requires that translator must
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 353
be fully familiar with the culture of the TL. This new development in the
trends of translation theories can be summarized in the following statement
by Gentzler as cited by (Cheung, 2013, p.8):
The two most important shifts in theoretical
developments in translation theory over the
past two decades have been (1) the shift from
source-text oriented theories to target-text
oriented theories and (2) the shift to include
cultural factors as well as linguistic elements
in the translation training models. Those
advocating functionalist approaches have been
pioneers in both areas.
Skopos Theory
Skopos is the Greek word that means 'aim or purpose this theory
was introduced in the 1970s by Hans J. Vermeer as a technical term for the
purpose of a translation and of the action of translating. The major work on
skopos is to establish a solid ground for translation. Skopos theory focuses
on the purpose of the translation, which determines the translation methods
and strategies that are to be employed in order to produce a functionally
adequate result.
Some critics criticized Skopos theory, (Hatim, 2001, p.80) listed
some criticisms of some scholars:
1- What purports to be a general theory is, in fact, is only valid for non-
literary texts. Literary texts are considered either to have no specific
purpose and/or to be far more complex stylistically.
2- Skopos theory does not pay sufficient attention to the linguistic
nature of the ST nor to the reproduction of microlevel features in the
TT.
Skopos theory and functional translation theories were the most
famous theories affecting translation studies. Unfortunately, they did not
make consideration for the new technologies. Williams, as cited by Balkul
(2016), noted that technological factors were not fully integrated into
mainstream translation theories, which have so far failed to acknowledge
an epistemic influence of technology'.
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 354
MT systems were based on old methods till the rise of functional
translation theories which provided translators with fuzzy and exact
matches from already translated text units but still failed to suggest
contextually-meaningful and coherent sentences. Nowadays many CATTs
use this method (fuzzy match) such as SDLTrados.
Polysystems Theory
As being mentioned that skopos is not valid for literary translation,
Polysystems theory was primarily concerned with literary translation.
Polysystems theory was developed in the 1970s by the Israeli scholar
Itamar Even-Zohar. He believed that a literary cannot be isolated but as
part of a literary system. Polysystems theory is considered as a mixed,
hierarchized conglomerate of systems which interact to bring about an
ongoing, dynamic process of evolution within the polysysterns as a whole.
There are many approaches in the field of computer-assisted
translation. The researcher focuses on the following four approaches
because they are related to CAT. These approaches are: rule-based
translation approach, transfer-based approach, the corpus-based translation
approach, and hybrid machine translation.
Rule-based Translation Approach
The earliest approach to MT was ruled-based translation approach.
It is called “classical approach of MT. It is based on the linguistic
information. It was developed in the early 1970s. Translation in this
approach takes place through the analysis- transfer- generation. This
approach is based on a set of rules developed by language experts and
programmers. These individuals reference dictionaries, general grammar
rules, and semantic patterns of both languages to create a library of
translation rules (software) that when run, deliver the appropriate
translations of the source content in the desired target language. Rule-
based translation can be divided into the following types: Interlingua
approach, transfer-based approach and direct translation approach.
a) Interlingua approach means that the SL text is changed into abstract
form. This form includes all basic syntactic and semantic information,
which are transferred to several TL texts. In other words, the term
Interlingua stands for all sentences with the same meaning without
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 355
reference to language. Best example the Esperanto language. The
Interlingua approach can be called “language-independent approach. It
serves as the medium between natural languages.
b) The transfer approach consists of three stages. Firstly, analysis stage
transforms an SL text into an abstract, can be called "codes” SL text
representation. Consequently, the convert of SL representation into its
equivalent TL representation takes places and finally the TL text is
produced.
c) The direct translation is considered to be the first approach that is
used in machine translation systems. In addition, it is regarded as the first
generation of MT systems. This kind of approach is basically a
dictionary-based system, which matches a word from SL to its TL
equivalent. The translation is carried out in a direct way from SL to TL.
Transfer-based Approach:
This approach is based on translating text from SL to TL using the
following steps:
1- Analyzing the parser and the source grammar to analyze the input,
2- Transferring the underlying representation of the SL sentence into the
representation of the TL sentence and
3- Synthesizing the underlying representation of the TL sentence into the
TL sentence using a generator and target language grammar.
The Corpus-based Translation approach
The corpus-based translation is also called ‘reference translation’,
which contains texts and their translation in TL. The SL and TL are joined,
and their equivalent translation is obtained by an extraction based on
statistical models. The corpus refers to electronically stores texts in one
language or in more languages. It can be divided into two different
methods: the statistical method and the example-based method.
1- The statistical method concentrates on bilingual text corpora and on
statistical models. The sentence from SL can have various translations.
2- The example-based method needs for its function a bilingual corpus.
The examples are retrieved and fuzzy chosen from pairs of sentences.
If there are no close matches in the bilingual corpus, the example-
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 356
based method will fail to select the suitable pair and the outcome will
be of low quality.
Hybrid Machine Translation Approach
In recent years, a lot of researchers aimed at integrating linguistic
information into statistical machine translation systems. Hybrid machine
translation approach is characterized by the use of various machine
translation approaches within a single machine translation system. The
reasons for developing hybrid machine translation systems stems from the
failure of any single technique to achieve a satisfactory level of accuracy.
Most of HMT approach systems use the combinations of the statistical and
rule-based translation system. PROMT and SYSTRAN are examples of
HMT systems
What are the limitations of CAT in comparison to human translation?
Nowadays, CAT tools are in their initial stages, and there are
numerous problems that need professional (human) translator to solve. By
identifying these limitations, human translators can cope with these
limitations and get the highest benefit of these tools. First, many words are
frequently invented and used in languages, so CAT tools must be updated
accordingly. Second, translating words and simple sentences is somewhat
an easy task. However, translating complex sentences, especially those
include cultural, religious, and technical terms is challenging task and
creates several mistakes. Third, CAT tools cannot deal with polysemy.
Fourth, CAT tools cannot translate expressions with unique use and
jargons as intended by the writers. For example, the expression crusade
war in Muslim countries is considered as aggressive war, but for the
western writer it is considered as a holy war against Muslim. Fifth, CAT
tools cannot avoid taboo words, while human translators can use specific
terms, euphemism, using antonyms, and so on. Sixth, CAT tools cannot
produce distinct types of translation to suit the levels of the readers.
Finally, CAT tools translate every text according to the data and the
method that the application follows. In this case, not all texts must be
translated in the same way. For instance, religious texts must be translated
according to a specific reference.
What is the impact of CAT on human translators?
It is a controversial issue that whether CAT has turned human
translators into just editors. Human translators, especially those who use
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 357
traditional ways of translation think that CATTs will make them less
important or replace them. The fear of this has led to a certain rejection of
modern technologies by translators. Some translators reject to utilize CAT,
thinking that these tools will harm their jobs. They define translation as an
art which works with creation and imagination. Computers will not replace
human translators. Human translators will be on demand because whatever
CATTs improve, the need for the human translator is still existing. Some
human translators have such negative attitudes towards using these tools;
they think that these tools hinder the art of translation.
Conclusions
Dealing with CATTs, which is considered a subfield of artificial
intelligence. Languages are highly complex, many words have various
meanings and different possible translations, sentences might have various
readings, idioms, cultural terms and the relationships between linguistic
entities are often vague. In addition, it is sometimes necessary to take
world knowledge into account. Different cultures and different
connotations need to be considered while using CAT tools. Different
approaches are used in CAT. This paper reviewed these approaches and
their associated challenges. This paper showed that there is no perfect
approach, though the problems associated with some of the approaches are
very minimal. Combining some of the best features of some approaches to
form a hybrid approach helps in coming over of the challenges posed by
many approaches.
From the previous studies, it can be stated that most of CATTs failed
in the respect of lexico-semantics level. CATTs can be adequate with
cognate languages. But when translating language with different structure
CATTs must be used carefully.
Human translators have to train themselves to deal with CATTs in
proper ways. There are such defects, but a human translator can amend
these defects.
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
A Review of Literature of Computer-Assisted Translation
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Shaikh Suhel Samad, Assistant Professor
Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 358
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2018 September 9:18 2940-ISSN 1930 www.languageinindia.com Language in India
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Hassan Saleh Mahdi, Associate Professor, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia 359
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=====================================================
Othman Saleh Mahdy Mohammed, Ph.D. Scholar
Aurangabad
India 431001
othmanwosabi924@gmail.com
Shaikh Suhel Samad
Assistant Professor
English Department
Sir Sayyed College of Arts
Commerce and Science
BAMU, Aurangabad, India
Hassan Saleh Mahdi
Associate Professor
English Department
College of Arts and Science
University of Bisha
Saudi Arabia
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