Corps de l’article
Globalization brought about many significant changes to the translation market and translators are nowadays under immense pressure to work more quickly and still maintain a high quality of work. Electronic resources and tools are therefore the assistance to which translators turn in an effort to balance the need for increased productivity with the need for high quality. Although some authors make a distinction between tools and resources, namely Alcina (2008), in this collective work edited by Yuste Rodrigo, language resources are to be understood according to the European Language Resources Association (ELRA) as
sets of language data and descriptions in machine readable form, which are specifically used to create, optimise or evaluate natural language processing and speech algorithms and systems, and generally, as core resources in the language services industries and localisation, for language studies, subject-area research, etc.p. vii
After having organised several workshops under the title Language resources for translation (LR4Trans), where this term and its acronym were first formally used, Yuste Rodrigo realized that some efforts are yet to be made to raise awareness about language resources in general, and language resources for translation and localisation, in particular, to an audience wider than the academic and research circles. Under this motivation the editor carefully selected 12 contributions that aim to reflect the state of the art of research, work practices, and industry standards in language resources for translation and localisation. Even though there is no clear stated editorial division among the 12 contributions, the reader will find that the book is divided into mainly two parts. The first part corresponds to the first 6 contributions (Chapters 1-6), which focus on the relevance of corpora in translation studies and especially on the role of corpora in educating translators. The second part corresponds to the final 6 contributions (Chapters 7-12), which focus on as different subjects as CAT tools, content management, community translating, standards development, and localisation’s current challenges.
Following the editor’s introduction, the book opens up with a chapter on bilingual concordancers (BC) and translation memory systems (TMS). In this paper entitled A comparative evaluation of bilingual concordancers and translation memory systems, Lynne Bowker and Michael Barlow are concerned with analyzing the strengths and limitations of BCs and TMS so as to identify the circumstances where they can be best applied. They convincingly argue that if some BC features were integrated into a TMS, users might profit best from a new hybrid tool.
In Chapter 2, Interactive reference grammars: Exploiting parallel and comparable treebanks for translation, Silvia Hansen-Schirra proposes that annotated corpora be used as works of reference for grammatical translation problems. Taking the different use of word order, clefting and raising constructions in English and German as examples, the author demonstrates how monolingual and multilingual treebanks may be helpful for looking up translation solutions for language specific grammatical constructions and hence suitable for translator training too.
The following four contributions all share a focus on the topic of translator training. Chapters 3 and 4 argue that future translators will be best prepared if they are educated in the academic setting, where they can use technology and resources to better understand language and translation, and then trained throughout their professional life, where they will have the time to skillfully practise the use of technology. More specifically, Chapter 3 by Silvia Bernardini and Sara Castagnoli, Corpora for translator education and translation practice, emphasises the role corpora can play in educating the next generation of future translators, namely by developing students’ ability to employ available knowledge to solve new problems and to gain new knowledge whenever is required. Then, in Chapter 4, CORPÓGRAFO V.4: Tools for educating translators, Belinda Maia explains how the freely online available Corpógrafo, a tool suite for parallel and comparable corpora building and analysis as well as terminology research and management, can be used to educate translators.
Chapters 5 and 6 also sustain that corpora are highly useful for teaching translators. However, there is no theoretical distinction between translator training and translator education here. Chapter 5, The real use of corpora in teaching and research contexts, by Carme Colominas and Toni Badia, focuses on the limitations of corpus-based methodology such as the lack of large corpora for certain languages and the lack of uniform interfaces for accessing resources. The authors then suggest that the creation of a workbench for cross-linguistic research would help overcome these limitations. In Chapter 6, The use of corpora in translator training in the African language classroom: A perspective from South African, Rachelle Gauton presents her successful corpus-based methodology for teaching translation at the University of Pretoria, where the particular South African linguistic situation and the lack of language resources pose real challenges for translation.
As mentioned, the following chapters (7-12) provide the reader with topics in language resources other than those of corpora. What is more, in one way or another, they present a different view of the use of language resources from that of the previous chapters. For instance, in Chapter 7, Marie-Josée de Saint Robert presents the point of view of someone working in the specific context of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). In this contribution titled CAT tools in international organisations: Lessons learned from the experience of the Languages Service of the United Nations Office at Geneva, the author writes that, at the UNOG, CAT tools not only have to be user-friendly but they should adapt to the constrained type of translation performed at the UNOG. After summing up the specific linguistic and pragmatic constraints of the translation work done at the UNOG, she proceeds to point out the directions through which progress has to be made with CAT tools in this context.
In Chapter 8, Global content management: Challenges and opportunities for creating and using digital translation resources, Gerhard Budin discusses how two different paradigms have converged into the area of translation resources: content management and cross-cultural communication. He reviews the history of these two concepts and then presents a case study on the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna.
In Chapter 9, BEYTrans: A Wiki-based environment for helping online volunteer translators, the authors, Youcef Bey, Christian Boitet, and Kyo Kageura, provide the reader with a description of an interesting translation-aid system that aims to meet the needs of volunteer translation communities. BEYTrans uses Wiki technology (online collaborative environment with open editing functions) and it manages language resources and TMS while using various XML annotation systems.
Cruz-Lara, Bellalem et al.’s Chapter 10, Standardising the management and the representation of multilingual data: The Multi Lingual Information Framework, focuses on the importance of normalisation for translation and localisation processes. The MLIF Multi Lingual Information Framework ISO is presented as a platform for the representation of multilingual textual data which aims to enable the interoperability among translation and localisation standards.
Finally, the last two papers are specifically concerned with localisation. In Chapter 11, Tagging and tracing Program Integrated Information, Naotaka Kato and Makoto Arisawa are concerned with one type of translation involving computer programs, the Program Integration Information (PII) translation and its verification test. In Chapter 12, Linguistic resources and localisation, the reader will find an interesting account of the evolution of the localisation industry. In this final chapter, Reinhardt Schäler discusses how the IGNITE project aims at responding to the challenges of Localisation 2.0. IGNITE is said to be a prototype based on open standards with the potential to shake the localisation industry if it really becomes an effective and robust linguistic infrastructure for localisation.
Topics in Language Resources for Translation and Localisation includes a final index, which the reader may find extremely useful. Even though it is not far from being a conference proceeding and therefore different from Austermühl’s (2001) Electronic Tools for Translators, this collective work edited by Yuste Rodrigo has the merit of containing papers written by leading experts from all over the world with different academic and industry points of view. For this reason, it constitutes a state of the art of language resources for translation and localisation whose current challenges and future developments are here clearly outlined.
- Alcina, Amparo (2008): Translation technologies: scope, tools and resources. Target. 20(1):79-102.
- Austermühl, Frank (2001): Electronic Tools for Translators. Manchester: St. Jerome.