Translator Attitudes towards Translator-Computer Interaction – Findings from a Workplace Study

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    Abstract

    Today technology is part and parcel of professional translation, and translation has therefore been characterised as Translator-Computer Interaction (TCI) (O’Brien 2012). Translation is increasingly carried out using Translation Memory (TM) systems which incorporate machine translation (MT), referred to as MT-assisted TM translation, and in this type of tool, translators switch between editing TM matches and post-editing MT matches. It is generally assumed that translators’ attitudes towards technology impact on this interaction with the technology. Drawing on Eagly/ Chaiken’s (1995) de nition of attitudes as evaluations of entities with favour or disfavour and on qualitative data from a workplace study of TCI, conducted as part of a PhD dissertation (Bundgaard 2017) and partly reported on in Bundgaard et al. (2016), this paper explores translator attitudes towards TCI in the form of MT-assisted TM translation. In doing so, the paper has a particular focus on the disfavour towards TCI expressed by translators. Moreover, inspired by Olohan (2011), who applies Pickering’s “mangle of practice” theory and analyses resistance and accommodation in TCI, the paper focuses on how translators accommodate resistances offered by the tool. The study shows that the translators express disfavour towards MT in many respects, but also acknowledge positive aspects of the technology and expect MT to play a signi cant role in their future working lives. The translators do not make many positive or negative comments about TM which might indicate that TM is a completely integrated part of their processes. The translators seem to have a exible and pragmatic attitude towards TCI, adapting to the tool’s imperfections and accommodating its resistances.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHermes
    Issue number56
    Pages (from-to)125-144
    ISSN0904-1699
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Translator-computer interaction
    • computer-aided translation
    • computer-assisted translation
    • translation memory
    • machine translation
    • translation
    • MT-assisted TM translation
    • professional translation
    • translator attitudes
    • template analysis
    • translation technology
    • post-editing

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