Differences in the process and products of translation and post-editing between bilinguals and advanced trainee translators: a contrastive study
This research project aims to compare English-Chinese trainee translators with English-Chinese bilinguals in conducting translation tasks as well as post-editing tasks. Adopting a think-aloud method, combined with multiple supporting tools including screen recording and audio recording during the data collection, the researcher explores the differences in the behaviours identified in both translation and post-editing processes between trainee translators and untrained bilinguals. Translation and post-editing products are also rated and analysed in relation to the process data to bring insights into the needs of using professionally trained translators in processing the translation products produced by machine translation (MT) systems.
The findings indicate that there are some differences in the translation process between trainee translators and bilinguals in terms of demonstrated translation behaviours. However, no significant differences are found in the post-editing process between the two groups. Furthermore, the analysis of the translation products reveals that, although not all the trainee translators outperform their untrained counterparts in the translation and post-editing tasks, the average rating of the translators group is higher than the bilinguals group in all texts in both tasks. This indicates that products produced by translator participants are generally more acceptable to the raters than those produced by bilingual participants.
The findings aim to contribute to a better understanding of the new expectations for the professionally trained translators in the era of MT, and to encourage the reflection on how professional training can distinguish trained translators from untrained bilinguals in this new context.