Productivity and Lexical Pragmatic Features in a Contemporary CAT Environment: An Exploratory Study in English to Japanese


  • Joss Moorkens Dublin City University
  • Ryoko Sasamoto Dublin City University



computer-aided translation, translation technology, relevance theory, pragmatics, post-editing, post-editing effort, the conceptual-procedural distinction


As the translation profession has become more technologized, translators increasingly work within an interface that combines translation from scratch, translation memory suggestions, machine translation post-editing, and terminological resources. This study analyses user activity data from one such interface, and measures temporal effort for English to Japanese translation at the segment level. Using previous studies of translation within the framework of relevance theory as a starting point, various features and edits were identified and annotated within the texts, in order to find whether there was a relationship between their prevalence and translation effort. Although this study is exploratory in nature, there was an expectation based on previous studies that procedurally encoded utterances would be associated with greater translation effort. This expectation was complicated by the choice of a language pair in which there has been little research applying relevance theory to translation, and by contemporary research that has made the distinction between procedural and conceptual encoding appear more fluid than previously believed. Our findings are that some features that lean more towards procedural encoding (such as prevalence of pronouns and manual addition of postpositions) are associated with increased temporal effort, although the small sample size makes it impossible to generalise. Segments translated with the aid of translation memory showed the least average temporal effort, and segments translated using machine translation appeared to require more effort than translation from scratch.




How to Cite

Moorkens, J., & Sasamoto, R. (2017). Productivity and Lexical Pragmatic Features in a Contemporary CAT Environment: An Exploratory Study in English to Japanese. HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, (56), 111–123.



THEMATIC SECTION: Translation Technology Research in Translation Studies