Publication details [#59870]

Bowker, Lynne and Jairo Buitrago Ciro. 2015. Investigating the usefulness of machine translation for newcomers at the public library. Translation and Interpreting Studies 10 (2) : 165–186.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This study investigates the potential of machine translation as an efficient and cost-effective means to translate sections of the Ottawa Public Library website into Spanish to better meet the linguistic needs of the Spanish-speaking newcomer community. One-hundred and fourteen community members participated in a recipient evaluation survey, in which they evaluated four different versions of a translated portion of the library’s website — a professional human translation, a maximally post-edited machine translation, a rapidly post-edited machine translation, and a raw machine translation. Participants also considered metadata such as the time and cost required to produce each version. Findings show that while machine translation cannot address every need, there are some instances for which the faster and cheaper post-edited versions are considered useful and acceptable to the community.