Assessing complexity and difficulty levels of machine-translated texts

Autores

  • Norma Barbosa de Lima Fonseca Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Fabio Alves UFMG

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14393/LL63-v32n1a2016-16

Palavras-chave:

Text complexity and difficulty, Readability indexes, Experimental texts, Machine translation, Monolingual post-editing

Resumo

This paper addresses a proposal for assessing complexity and difficulty levels of machine-translated texts in Portuguese to be further post-edited without the support of the source text (monolingual post-editing) in an experimental setting. By using two objective standard parameters, namely readability indexes and word frequency, and by proposing post-editors' perception of difficulty to comprehend and to post-edit machine-translated texts as a new parameter, we sought to select texts with similar textual complexity or difficulty levels. This selection was necessary to carry out an experiment with four monolingual post-editing tasks in Portuguese involving machine-translated texts from three different source languages (English, Spanish, and Chinese). The application of readability indexes in conjunction with word frequency based on a corpus to analyze machine-translated texts into Portuguese to be used in experiments showed to be consistent and adequate. This method can also be applied to select texts to be used in Portuguese language classrooms and to select Portuguese texts to be included in Portuguese language textbooks. The findings can also be applied to the translation classroom, in which teachers can use the same methodology to select texts to be translated or post-edited or encourage students to analyze the texts themselves before performing a task, so students can become aware of the potential effort to be invested on a task or the real effort invested on the task after performing it. Finally, post-editors' perception proved to be a sound parameter to validate text selection.

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Biografia do Autor

Norma Barbosa de Lima Fonseca, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Norma Fonseca holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the Graduate Programme in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (POSLIN) at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, where she carried out empirical-experimental research in Translation Studies. She obtained a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the same Graduate Programme. Her Bachelor

Fabio Alves, UFMG

Fabio Alves is Full Professor of Translation Studies at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, where he carries out empirical-experimental research at the Laboratory for Experimentation in Translation (LETRA). His research interests encompass expertise and expert knowledge in translation; cognitive approaches to translation; translation and technology; and human-machine interaction in translation. He has published extensively in journals such as Across Languages and Cultures, Meta and Target, as well as book chapters in Continuum, Routledge and John Benjamins book series.

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Publicado

2016-08-21

Como Citar

FONSECA, N. B. de L.; ALVES, F. Assessing complexity and difficulty levels of machine-translated texts. Letras & Letras, [S. l.], v. 32, n. 1, p. 306–337, 2016. DOI: 10.14393/LL63-v32n1a2016-16. Disponível em: https://seer.ufu.br/index.php/letraseletras/article/view/33248. Acesso em: 23 maio. 2022.

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