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Conducting Research in Translation Technologies

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Edited By Pilar Sánchez-Gijón, Olga Torres-Hostench and Bartolomé Mesa-Lao

The literature on translation and technology has generally taken two forms: general overviews, in which the tools are described, and functional descriptions of how such tools and technologies are implemented in specific projects, often with a view to improving the quality of translator training. There has been far less development of the deeper implications of technology in its cultural, ethical, political and social dimensions. In an attempt to address this imbalance, the present volume offers a collection of articles, written by leading experts in the field, that explore some of the current communicational and informational trends that are defining our contemporary world and impinging on the translation profession. The contributions have been divided into three main areas in which translation and technology come together: (1) social spheres, (2) education and training and (3) research. This volume represents a bold attempt at contextualizing translation technologies and their applications within a broader cultural landscape and encourages intellectual reflection on the crucial role played by technology in the translation profession.
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2 Sleeping with the enemy? Or should translators work with Google Translate?

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← 42 | 43 →FÉLIX DO CARMO AND BELINDA MAIA

ABSTRACT: Google Translate uses the enormous amount of material at its disposal to produce statistics-based machine translation. Although one can appreciate the ideal of making all information freely available online to everyone and in any language, there is no doubt that such an ambition leaves translators wondering how they will survive such technological developments. The Google Translate page invites translators to increase their productivity by using Google Translator toolkit. This toolkit provides translators with the possibility of creating new translation memories and glossaries, or of uploading and of building on existing memories and glossaries, while offering automatic segmentation and optional machine translation. Translators may also decide whether they wish to share their material with others or choose to protect it. If this all worked, it would sound like a win-win situation for (groups of) freelance translators and even for small and medium-sized translation companies, not to mention cash-strapped universities who need to teach their students how to use all the software available. However, it begs a series of questions about copyright, security and confidentiality, not to mention the questions about translation quality. This contribution aims to provide both a general explanation of how Google Translate works and a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages that translators may face when using Google Translator toolkit.

Keywords: Computer-aided translation (CAT), Google Translate, Google Translator Toolkit, machine translation, post-editing

Before the information age, translators usually worked directly with clients....

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