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What place for technology in the translation of Welsh? Language technology, language planning and the professional translation of Welsh

Screen, Benjamin 2016. What place for technology in the translation of Welsh? Language technology, language planning and the professional translation of Welsh. Presented at: 2nd Poznan Conference of Celtic Studies, Poznan, Poland, 5-6 July 2016.

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The Welsh translation industry in Wales was estimated in 2007 to be worth £45,000,000 per annum (Prys et al. 2009). The industry has also seen massive growth since its early beginnings in the late 1960s (Jones 2005) and is now an attractive and lucrative career option for graduates of Welsh. Scholars have also drawn attention to the importance translation into and out of minority languages plays in the process of linguistic normalization and language planning (Garcia 2005; Kaufman 2010, 2012). Given that translation in modern Wales is so important to language planning and revitalization, a fact the Welsh Government itself acknowledges in its current language policy document (Welsh Government 2012), this paper intends to ask what role language technology can play in translation and as a result in the revitalization of Welsh. The role language technology in particular can play in the process of language planning and revitalization has also been acknowledged by language planners in Wales (Evas 2012; Welsh Government 2014). In light of this, a study is reported on which tested the benefits of using translation technology for the professional translator of Welsh. This was done within a hypothetico-deductive framework, comparing and contrasting the outcomes of a number of variables that are inextricably linked to the professional translation process. A between-groups design is utilized in which cognitive, technical and temporal effort are gauged between translation and the use of Welsh output from a Machine Translation system and Translation Memory software. All participants were members of The Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters, and all were employed as practicing translators. This empirical translation process study using specialist recording software has not been done before for Welsh, and is also the first process study of its kind for the language. Results show that the use of language technology did speed up the translation process, that translation became cognitively easier and that a number of variables related to text production were also reduced. This has implications for language planners in Wales as currently only a minority of Welsh translators use such technology despite these benefits.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Welsh
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 03:52

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