Post-editing (or postediting) is the process whereby humans amend machine-generated translation to achieve an acceptable final product. A person who post-edits is called a post-editor. The concept of post-editing is linked to that of pre-editing. In the process of translating a text via machine translation, best results may be gained by pre-editing the source text – for example by applying the principles of controlled language – and then post-editing the machine output. It is distinct from editing, which refers to the process of improving human generated text (a process which is often known as revision in the field of translation). Post-edited text may afterwards be revised to ensure the quality of the language choices are proofread to correct simple mistakes.
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Post-editing involves the correction of machine translation output to ensure that it meets a level of quality negotiated in advance between the client and the post-editor. Light post-editing aims at making the output simply understandable; full post-editing at making it also stylistically appropriate. With advances in machine translation full post-editing is becoming an alternative to manual translation. Practically all computer assisted translation (CAT) tools now support post-editing of machine translated output.