How do Students Cope with Machine Translation Output of Multiword Units? An Exploratory Study

Joke Daems, Michael Carl, Sonia Vandepitte, Robert J. Hartsuiker, Lieve Macken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


In this chapter, we take a closer look at students’ post-editing of multiword units (MWUs) from English into Dutch. The data consists of newspaper articles post-edited by translation students as collected by means of advanced keystroke logging tools.
We discuss the quality of the machine translation (MT) output for various types of MWUs, and compare this with the final post-edited quality. In addition, we examine the external resources consulted for each type of MWU. Results indicate that contrastive MWUs are harder to translate for the MT system, and harder to correct by the student post-editors than non-contrastive MWUs. We further find that consulting a variety of external resources helps student post-editors solve MT problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiword Units in Machine Translation and Translation Technology
Editors Ruslan Mitkov, Johanna Monti, Gloria Corpas Pastor, Violeta Seretan
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9789027200600
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264206
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Post edition
  • Search strategies
  • Machine translation
  • Translation process
  • Translation quality
  • External resources
  • Multiword units

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