Sokolova N.V. Machine vs Human Translation in the Synergetic Translation Space


Natalia V. Sokolova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Linguistics and Translation, Perm National Research Polytechnic University

Prosp. Komsomolsky, 29, 614990 Perm, Russia

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Abstract. The paper focuses on English-to-Russian translations of patent applications on the website of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). A comparative analysis of patent applications is performed by using translations made with the help of the WIPO Translate tool and human translators within the framework of the synergetic translation space concept encompassing the domains of the author's intensions, text content and composition, energy, translator, recipient, and the translation acceptability notion. The translation erratology aspects were considered from the point of view of the semantic, referential, and syntactic ambiguity within the domains of content-composition and energy space. In the domain of the author, the intention to convey some technical information is revealed, while its rendering in the content-composition and energy domains depends on whether the translation is made by a person or a machine. Genre- and composition-related specifics have been rendered in both cases while machine translation errors have been proven to result from the semantic, referential, or syntactic ambiguity, and this is when the translated output is generally considered unacceptable by the recipient. The results obtained can be used for editing machine translations of patent documentation, assessing the quality of technical documentation translation that is referred to other specific genre conventions.

Key words: patent application, machine translation, ambiguity, acceptability, editing, synergetic approach.

Citation. Sokolova N.V. Machine vs Human Translation in the Synergetic Translation Space. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2021, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 89-98. DOI:

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