Towards the construction of a translator’s workbench in the field of immigration

Since Martin Kay first foresaw, some thirty years ago, the translator’s workstation (Kay 1980), proposals for the integration of all machine aids and translation tools in a single platform have come closely associated with technical developments. Nevertheless, recent advances in ICT take us to consider somewhat differently the way information is handled and communication established, and, consequently, the concept of the translator’s workbench needs to be adapted to the new media for information processing and transmission.

In this context, the translator’s workbench is best conceived of as a series of distributed tools, such as glossaries, reference corpora or translation memories, which translators have access to either through a proprietary license, public initiatives for sharing data or collaborative experiences among professionals. In the field of immigration, where translators play a central role for the integration of people with different language needs, the lack of such working tools is so extreme that professionals end up by creating their own ad hoc materials, many of which remain undisclosed in the form of a hand-written terminological card (Rico, 2010).

This communication, presented at the International T3L Conference: Tradumatica, Translation Technologies & Localization (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 21st – 22nd June, 2011) ,  introduces work in progress in the project Red Inmigra (P2007/HUM-0475 Comunidad de Madrid), towards the construction of a translator’s workbench which helps to overcome this scarcity of resources, namely, the compilation of a multilingual parallel corpora, a translation memory and a terminological database. First, the project’s objectives are described, followed by an account of the methodology adopted for corpus compilation and term identification.

Preliminary results are accesed at the Inmigra platform:


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 •  Hutchins, J. (1998): “The origins of the translator’s workstation” in Machine Translation, vol. 13, 287-307.

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 • Rico, C. (2010): “Tecnologías de la traducción para la mediación intercultural” in Lengua y Migración. Departamento de Filología, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.

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 •  Zetzsche, J. (2011): Translation Technology: What’s Missing?  [online document]. Available at:



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