Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools in the translator training process
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Translation has always been a part of the development of civilisation. It was used in everyday life, trade and politics. Soon, it has become a profession taught all over the world (Pym, 2009). The 21st century sees translators as an integral part of the world, facilitating communication. Technological developments allow for translations to be ordered and delivered over the Internet while translators gain access to sophisticated tools designed to support them in their work. Helpful as they are, those tools are very demanding in terms of computer literacy and CAT-based translation expertise. The issue becomes especially visible in the case of translation students who may not be able to retain sufficient independence when using such tools. The goal of the dissertation is to prove that: a) currently employed methods of teaching CAT tools may result in students over-relying on the CAT software; b) inclusion of external data review policies into translation training courses leads to the increase in translation quality and, as a result, the greater chance of success. The dissertation attempts to diagnose how CAT-based translation process looks like, identify students’ needs in respect to CAT tools, and determine teaching goals for translators willing to use CAT tools in their professional career. The research is set in the holistic concept of translator training programme (Gonzalez Davies 2004, Kiraly 2000, 2013) and translation pedagogy (Davies and Kiraly, 2006), which stress the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the translator training process. Their goal is to empower students (Kiraly, 2000), increase their awareness of translation-related phenomena and support the development of translation service provision competence. The dissertation consists of 7 chapters, references section and 5 appendices. It starts with a brief outline of the history of computers and evolution of computer tools for translators. Chapter 2 hints at the role of translators in the modern world. This is followed by a discussion on the issue of translator competence seen as a number of theoretical and practical assets that create translator’s identity and form their translation workshop. It covers a number of translation competence models in order to provide an overview of what it is to be a translator. Apart from that, a few words are devoted to the translator training process in Chapter 4, with focus on the application of technology in translation, as well as the role of the translation trainer. Chapter 5 introduces the concept of computer-assisted translation in detail, discussing its place in Translation Studies. What is more, it covers elements of machine translation in CAT tools, and attempts to redefine the concept in the 21st century since the development of new technological assets and their integration result in the notion of computer-assisted translation losing its clarity, especially in the sense of where computer assistance ends and computer/machine translation starts. Chapter 6 is devoted to the empirical research and constitutes an attempt to validate the points made previously. It describes an experiment carried on two groups of students in years 2016-2017. Its purpose was to verify whether currently employed methods of teaching CAT tools may result in students over-relying on such software and whether the inclusion of external data review leads to student empowerment and, as a result, increased chances for commercial success. The study proves that over-reliance on CAT tools may lead to duplicating the errors committed by other translators. Student empowerment through establishing proper best practices in the use of CAT tools may be an effective remedy to the problem. Finally, chapter 7 summarises conclusions drawn from the research and discusses whether the main assumptions behind the dissertation have been proven correct.
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