What are they?
As soon as you try to machine translate just about anything in any major CAT tool, such as Trados Studio, Across, WordFast…., you will notice that it will actually always leave a trace, a mark. You have those “AT” marks in Trados, “MT” in WordFast, a special icon along with a note in Across, etc. The only CAT tool that does not apparently leave any marks seems to be memoQ. Or at least I cannot see any.
Sometimes, such behavior might be undesirable.
How to get rid of machine translation marks
You can get rid of those marks in e.g. SDL Trados Studio by pre-translating the project again. What it means? After you finish your translation in this CAT, you just right click your file, choose Batch Tasks, then Pre-translate Files and then you choose the “Always overwrite existing translation”. This will translate your document and every segment will be replaced by its corresponding match in the translation memory. All “AT” marks will be overwritten by the “CM” mark (Context Match).
Not an ideal solution
This might be OK, but there can be some risks to it:
1) You are stressed, under time pressure, and you just forget to do it
2) You might complicate things greatly for your proofreader, becase he/she won’t be able to tell which segments to proofread. There will be no new segments, everything will be marked “CM” or “100%”.
I believe this tactics can be probably done in Across, WordFast and other tools as well, but cannot be sure, as I have not tried it. Also, I have tried the machine translation feature in Across, it its free translator edition, and it worked. But I believe, your project manager can disable the machine translation feature for you in Across project settings.
The ultimate solution
Yes, this is one of the advantages of this tool of mine. It does not leave any trace at all. Everything appears as manually translated. You can just press Ctrl+(Alt)+Space and have your segment machine translated without leaving any trace or mark.
What is means: You continue working in your CAT tool as usual (Trados, Across, WordFast…), but instead of taking advantage of your CAT’s machine translation feature, you connect your CAT to Bohemicus and press Ctrl+(Alt)+Space. Your segment will then be machine translated without leaving any trace or mark.
Of course, this might border on some work ethics. If your agency or customer expressly forbids you from using machine translation, because you are working on some classified document… then you should by all means respect their wish and also your professional ethics. I do not recommend online machine translation services in such cases.