Boot-camp on Modelling Parameters of Cognitive Efforts in Translation Production (to be held from July 8 to August 1, 2018, University of Macau)


The boot-camp aims to investigate and develop new ways of assessing, analyzing and measuring translation process data and to explore possibilities to integrate translation product and process research in novel ways.

It focuses on the conceptualization of translation processes with a view to investigate what metrics we need to describe the various translation sub-processes based on translation process data.

The boot-camp is of interest for PhD researchers, post-docs and senior researchers, covering different fields of expertise, including translation studies, psychology and psycho-linguists, as well as computer science researchers with an interest in machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Around 30 scholars and researchers from Canada, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Ireland, and mainland China, have been invited.

Novel approaches will be constructed and tested for measuring the translation process in different modes of translation, including written translation, post-editing, sight translation and interpreting. Participants will form small ad-hoc working-groups to brain-storm questions, including the following:

• Reading
How can we isolate and compare gaze paths in the translation data?
How can eye movement data be used to infer higher level coherence processes during translation/post-editing beyond the sentence level? Which factors determine the transition from target text reading to source text reading in different translation modes?

• Writing
How can we classify and formalize patterns of translation production?
What is the behavioral correlate of paraphrasing as opposed to a stricter, literal translation?
What is the impact of the translation brief on translation and writing behavior?

• Speaking
Which dependent variables can be used in order to compare spoken language translation (sight translation and interpreting) with written translation?
How can the segmentation of the source text during sight translation and simultaneous interpreting be predicted on the basis of the properties of the source text?
How can the transition from reading ST items to speaking a translation during sight translation be predicted on the basis of process and product data?

• Product and process
What are the typical patterns of gaze/typing interaction?
How can the cognitive translation unit be inferred from both keyboard and eye movement data?
How can reading and writing patterns be identified which are indicative of problem identification and problem solution during translation/post-editing?
Which factors determine the transition from source or target text reading to target text typing during translation?

• Effort
How can cognitive effort be predicted on the basis of the produced final target texts?
How do known aspects of the source and target texts that have an effect on cognitive effort during translation affect the cognitive translation unit?
How are traces of translation universals realized during the translation process? For example, are there typical behavioral patterns for simplification, generalization, conventionalization, etc.?
How can the raw MT output be annotated to predict cognitive post-editing effort?

• Strategies
Which aspects of the behavioural data can predict the need to interact with external resources such as dictionaries?
What kind of monitoring processes can we distinguish in the translation process and the translation process data?
How can the role of monitoring processes during the different modes of translation be compared and investigated?
What is the role of working memory in the different modes of translation?

The boot-camp working groups will meet on a daily basis to report/discuss/exchange their progress and develop new questions and approaches to integrate translation product and process data. Participants are expected to attend the entire boot-camp duration of four weeks. Three to four senior researchers will lead the working groups, discuss technical problems and collaborate to direct the various subprojects. Additionally, experienced scholars are invited to give presentations on a related topic and to provide further input to the working groups. However, the boot-camp is intended to be mostly a bottom-up workshop with only the necessary and basic theoretical background.


The outcome of the boot-camp will be a set of new metrics for segmenting, measuring and quantifying the process data, which are suited to assess the translation process in more detail and under new angles. The boot-camp will generate new research methods and themes suited for MA and PhD theses.