The Linguist


The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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12 The Linguist Vol/57 No/5 2018 FEATURES in their normal working environment, we can better understand how factors such as poor office layout, irritating CAT (computer- assisted translation) tool features and time pressure impact on their performance. The settings that translators and other professional linguists work in differ in many respects, but many share a heavy reliance on language technology. The centrality of technology to the modern translation workplace is amply demonstrated by the latest language industry report by Elia (the European Language Industry Association). 1 Nevertheless, some noticeable differences exist in the ways technology is used by the various types of users involved in producing translations: language service providers (LSPs), freelancers, institutions, in-house translation departments, broadcasters and non-profit organisations. The use of language technology has resulted in impressive productivity gains, but some aspects of technology can disturb the translation process, hampering efficiency and limiting creativity. Testing the effect of translation technology is best done in collaboration with users at their workplaces, rather than in the artificial setting of a laboratory, where distortions are likely to be caused by unfamiliar settings, keyboards or screen layouts. How cutting-edge workplace research can help to improve working conditions for professional linguists. By Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow & Gary Massey O nce largely focused on problem- solving and translation products, translation research is transitioning to cover a broader interest in the organisational and societal conditions in which translators work. For a number of years, research techniques have been tested and used in the laboratory to measure, quantify and describe language processing. Many of these, such as logging translators' keystrokes, recording what is happening on their computer screens and tracking their eye movements as they work, are now also deployed in the workplace to examine the complex realities of professional translation. By studying professional linguists Watch and learn © SHUTTERSTOCK

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