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LINGUIST List 22.5032

Tue Dec 13 2011

Diss: Translation: Asare: 'An Ethnographic Study of the Use of ...'

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        1.     Edmund Asare , An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Translation Tools in a Translation Agency: Implications for translation tool design


Message 1: An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Translation Tools in a Translation Agency: Implications for translation tool design
Date: 10-Dec-2011
From: Edmund Asare <eddieasaregmail.com>
Subject: An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Translation Tools in a Translation Agency: Implications for translation tool design
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Institution: Kent State University
Program: Translation Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Edmund K Asare

Dissertation Title: An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Translation Tools in a Translation Agency: Implications for translation tool design

Linguistic Field(s): Translation

Dissertation Director:
Gregory M. Shreve

Dissertation Abstract:

There is often a significant disjunction between how software designers
envision the use of their application programs and how the software is
actually understood, perceived, and employed by end users. When this
disjunction occurs, software tools and technology fail to meet user needs
or expectations and do not fulfill business objectives. This study
investigates this disjunction in a translation agency. Some researchers
have argued that many software system designs fail because insufficient
attention is paid during the design phase to the social and cultural
context of how and why people actually work with software applications in
their organizational settings. These researchers argue that the development
of usable and useful software thus depends on receiving organizationally
meaningful and actionable information from end users both during the design
process and during the refinement and upgrade cycles of the software.
Regrettably, this information, which is essentially ethnographic in nature,
is not easy to obtain using the normal methods of requirement
specification. This dissertation argues that ethnography can make a
significant contribution to the success of the design process and serve as
a valuable requirement specification method. The research focuses on an
ethnographic description of the tool-using behavior of translation
professionals at the agency. The study uses a form of ethnographic
description to document the movement of translation objects (texts, data
objects) through the organization and between participants by documenting
the workflows, processes, and tasks that must be performed with the
translation tools and technologies in the organization. The study also uses
ethnographic microanalysis to investigate the use of specific features of
translation tools and makes recommendations for translation tool design.
There is some evidence in the literature to suggest that many software tool
designers find it difficult to translate ethnographic research findings
into software design decisions .We propose a model for analyzing
ethnographic findings for the purpose of translation software design.




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