Bizzoni, Yuri; Juzek, Tom; EspaƱa i Bonet, Cristina; Dutta Chowdhury, Koel; van Genabith, Josef; Teich, Elke

How Human is Machine Translationese? Comparing Human and Machine Translations of Text and Speech

The 17th International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation, Seattle, WA, United States, 2020.

Translationese is a phenomenon present in human translations, simultaneous interpreting, and even machine translations. Some translationese features tend to appear in simultaneous interpreting with higher frequency than in human text translation, but the reasons for this are unclear. This study analyzes translationese patterns in translation, interpreting, and machine translation outputs in order to explore possible reasons.

In our analysis we (i) detail two non-invasive ways of detecting translationese and (ii) compare translationese across human and machine translations from text and speech. We find that machine translation shows traces of translationese, but does not reproduce the patterns found in human translation, offering support to the hypothesis that such patterns are due to the model (human vs. machine) rather than to the data (written vs. spoken).