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Studying Human Translation Behavior with User-Activity Data

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The paper introduces a new research strategy for the investigationof human translation behavior. While conventional cognitive research methodsmake use of think aloud protocols (TAP), we introduce and investigate User-Activity Data (UAD). UAD consists of the translator’s recorded keystroke andeye-movement behavior, which makes it possible to replay a translation sessionand to register the subjects’ comments on their own behavior during a retrospectiveinterview. UAD has the advantage of being objective and reproducable, and,in contrast to TAP, does not interfere with the translation process. The paper givesthe background of this technique and an example on a English-to-Danish translation.Our goal is to elaborate and investigate cognitively grounded basic translationconcepts which are materialized and traceable in the UAD and which, in alater stage, will provide the basis for appropriate and targeted help for the translatorat a given moment.

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Michael Carl

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