Translation practice in the workplace: contextual analysis and implications for machine translation

Nikiforos Karamanis, Saturnino Luz, Gavin Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports the results of a qualitative study which investigated localisation activities performed by translators working in two Language Service Providers. It argues that maintaining the appropriate quality level in this setting is a collaborative task which involves several translators. This perspective entails taking a broader view of the translation process than usually found in the Machine Translation (MT) literature and detailing the various knowledge sources which are deployed in this collaborative effort. The impact of collaboration on trust is examined, and a comparison is made between the relatively seamless flow of work between translators and the more strained relationships with remote contributors. In support of this view, the paper contrasts the flexibility of the analysed work practices with the rigid ways which tend to be followed when introducing MT into this setting. We identify the need to support collaboration and communication more actively as a broader issue in translation settings. While current strategies for introducing MT tend to further isolate translators from remote contributors, we propose that MT can serve as the catalyst for establishing a more dynamic and collaborative relationship between them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalMachine Translation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2011


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