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Conducting Research in Translation Technologies


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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6 Investigating corpus-assisted translation teaching: A pilot study


← 140 → 141 →KANGLONG LIU

ABSTRACT: This contribution investigates how and the extent to which parallel corpora affect students’ translation quality. The study presented is based on a large-scale web-based Chinese–English parallel corpus, that is, the Hong Kong Parallel cum Comparable Corpus (HKPCC), which comprises three text types (legal documents, news texts, parliament proceedings). The corpus has more than one hundred million Chinese characters with corresponding parallel English texts aligned at the sentence level. Since the study was set up as an empirical comparative study, a control group and an experimental group were used to test how students would perform translating in a corpus-assisted environment. Both groups were given the same piece of Chinese news text, which they were required to translate into English. The control group used conventional resources (i.e. monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, thesauri) for the translation assignment and the experimental group used a parallel corpus (i.e. an HKPCC excerpt). Data analysis of the student translations shows that the experimental group performed better in a number of aspects, including collocations, phraseology, spelling, terminology and word choice. Holistic scores given by two independent examiners also show that the experimental group produced better translation output than the control group. Based on the findings of the study, it is argued that parallel corpora are a useful resource for both translation teachers and translation students. In addition, it is argued that the corpus-assisted approach can be an innovative and effective means to complement the traditional translation teaching/learning approaches

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