Recognition and Characterization of Translator Attributes Using Sequences of Fixations and Keystrokes

Pascual Martínez Gómez, Dan Han, Michael Carl, Akiko Aizawa

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


As the demand for high quality translation continues to increase, there is a growing interest in developing effective computer-assisted tools that support translators in their routines. However, the development of such tools requires a deeper understanding of the translation process that allows us to identify the motoric, perceptual and cognitive bottlenecks of the task. With the ubiquitous presence of computers and logging software, researchers could record the keystrokes of translators, which allowed us to analyze the motor activities of text production. However, the translation process is much more complex and keystroke logging can only capture a marginal fraction of the perceptual and cognitive activities of translators, which are often the source of most translation effort. In recent years, eye-tracking devices became more affordable and they were integrated in our logging interfaces, thus giving us access to both eye-movement and keystroke events during a translation session. Here we present a framework where we use keystrokes and eye movements as low-level measurements of translation behavior. These measurements are then interpreted as sequences of higher-level activities that we use to create interpretable models of translation. The parameters of these models are estimated with the objective to maximize the recognition accuracy of several translator personal attributes given measurements of their translation behavior. These classifier models can then be queried with the purpose to retrieve the most characterizing features of translators that distinguish a certain target personal attribute. In this chapter we formalize this framework, show its effectiveness in a real task and point the reader towards possible extensions of this work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEye Tracking and Multidisciplinary Studies on Translation
EditorsCallum Walker, Federico M. Federici
Number of pages24
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9789027201690
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263322
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesBenjamins Translation Library

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