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LINGUIST List 23.1268

Tue Mar 13 2012

Diss: Comp Ling,Text/Corpus Ling,Translation: Fernandez-Parra: 'Formulaic Expressions in Computer-assisted Translation'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 11-Mar-2012
From: Maria Fernandez-Parra <116435swansea.ac.uk>
Subject: Formulaic Expressions in Computer-assisted Translation
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Institution: Swansea University
Program: Translation
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Maria Fernandez-Parra

Dissertation Title: Formulaic Expressions in Computer-assisted Translation

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Lloyd Davies
Pius ten Hacken

Dissertation Abstract:

The overall aim of this thesis is to facilitate the work of the
professional translator. In order to do so, this thesis examines whether
computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, which can deal with terms in
specialised texts, can also be used for the treatment other lexical items
such as formulaic expressions, and therefore possibly also to the treatment
of general language texts.

Formulaic expressions can be described as prefabricated lexical units which
are stored in the mental lexicon and retrieved whole at the time of use. In
other words, they constitute a much broader class than idioms and fixed

This thesis focuses on two particular tasks, automatic term extraction and
automatic term recognition, both applied to formulaic expressions instead
of terms. A corpus of specialised texts was collected and a wide range of
experiments were carried out in which a selection of CAT tools was used to
process the corpus by applying the settings and combinations of settings
available in each CAT tool. The CAT tools analysed were SDL Trados, Déjà
Vu, Wordfast, STAR Transit, Araya, ExtPhr32, OmegaT, MemoQ, Swordfish,
Fusion Translate, Similis, Google Translator Toolkit and Lingotek.

The results of the experiments suggest that CAT tools can be productively
used in the treatment of formulaic expressions but that some improvements
can be made both in the short and in the longer term. In the short term and
at a lower technological level, i.e. without changing the software
specifications of the CAT tools, some recommendations are made as to the
settings and combinations of settings that tend to produce better results
with formulaic expressions. Some recommendations are also made for the
longer term and at a higher technological level, i.e. if current CAT tool
software specifications could be designed to include specific features for
formulaic expressions.

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