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Evaluating translation memory software for a linguistically diverse workplace


Translation technology, including translation memory software, can make the work of professional translators more efficient and effective.


We evaluated translation memory software in the context of an FBI work environment in which it was to be deployed. Our evaluation had three phases: (1) a contextual inquiry of translation practice, (2) a usability test of the candidate software package, and (3) a heuristic evaluation.


From this, we derived a set of recommendations for incorporating translation technology into the organization’s processes.

 Suggestions included incorporating shared translation memory in the workflow and working with the software vendor to improve text handling for non-European languages. Problems with both the software under evaluation and standard workplace software highlighted the need for developers to evaluate language technology with non-Roman orthography.

This was research conducted at the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) in partnership with the Defense Language Institute (DLI).

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