Electronic Corpora and Translation Memory: New tools for translators

Kahina TOUAT
Université Mouloud Mammeri de Tizi-Ouzou, Faculté des Lettres et Langues, Département de Traduction et Interprétariat.


As the new information and communication technologies are advancing at an incredible pace all over the world, and since there is a growing need for translation in various fields, computer-based technology tools are getting used more and more by translators. This practice, commonly known as Machine Translation (MT) and/or Computer-Aided Translation (CAT), has revolutionized the profession of the translator, as these tools help him carry out his work efficiently, meet tight deadlines, and therefore, increase productivity and reduce costs.  This breakthrough in translation technology has dramatically changed the practice of translation that is no longer perceived as a profession that only needs linguistic skills, but as a complex process that requires a good command of the latest technologies.

It is worth mentioning that this article will be devoted to explore some of the main tools of CAT; this latter is a specialized field that is different from other specialized areas, as it is a particular genre that requires specific techniques and methodological tools (state-of-the-art technologies, specialized software, translation memories, terminology management systems, etc.) and it implies the intervention of the translator in the translation process.

The objective is then to see to what extent these CAT tools, mainly translation memories and electronic corpora can be efficient in the translation industry, and how to operate them. Thus, we will consider the challenges and issues posed by the compilation and use of comparable corpora, and get a glimpse on the strategies used to extract bilingual lexicon from them. It is worth mentioning that the use of comparable corpora is quite useful, mainly in specialized areas, as they offer the possibility of treating large parallel corpora taking into consideration the context. Then, we will investigate the processes involved by translation memories that entail the stock and reuse of items that have already been translated. Finally, we will investigate some of the latest trends in CAT generally, and electronic corpora and translation memory specifically.

KEYWORDS: Machine Translation, Computer-Aided Translation, Translation Memory, Electronic Corpora, bilingual lexicon.