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Some academic questions
Thread poster: Cindarella12
Cindarella12
English to Chinese
Jan 18, 2006

Could anyone contribute any ideas/comments on how translation technologies affect/change traditional translation methods?
Any personal opinions out there, please help. Cheers:)


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:17
English to Swedish
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A one-edged sword Jan 18, 2006

They convert the majority of translators to soulless minimum salary assembly line workers, but have negligible effect on true craftsmen.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Upsides and downsides Jan 18, 2006

Cindarella12 wrote:
Could anyone contribute any ideas/comments on how translation technologies affect/change traditional translation methods?


Thanks to modern technology, translators can use computers to aid in repetitive tasks (such as looking up words in a glossary, or checking existing translations for similar sentences).

One consequence of this is that some tasks which may be menial, but not traditionally repetitive, are turned into "repetitive" tasks in order to be accomplished by the computer. This is not always problematic, but it is an area of concern which should be watched carefully.

Another consequence is that text interpretation is limited by the constraints of technology. Without CAT, you can translate three source sentences with two target sentences, but with CAT, you must either expand the segment to include all three source sentences, or you must translate each source sentence with a single target sentence. More often than not, the latter will occur.

CAT forces us to interpret the text's meaning in terms of the segment boundaries, instead of the boundaries of contextual meaning, which would have been the case if you had translated it without CAT.

CAT may also force the habit of translating sentences directly, without pre-reading the text or the context. I know from my own experience that with CAT I often start translating the segment even though I haven't read the entire segment yet, and then I "correct" my errors as I go along.

But the above is also true of pen-and-paper or typing-machine translators versus word-processor translators. Word-processor translators can chop and change a sentence endlessly, and this changes the way they think; but hard-copy translators learn to think up most of the translation before starting to write or type.


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 20:17
German to English
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... Jan 18, 2006

Sven Petersson wrote:

They convert the majority of translators to soulless minimum salary assembly line workers, but have negligible effect on true craftsmen.


A good analogy, but even so the assembly line worker is not expected to pay for the assembly line and then, having paid for the assembly line, be told that the organisation that sold them the assembly line might not even have anything for them to do with it.


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