The interest of the PACTE group in new technologies applied to translation focuses on:
- The description of the instrumental competence of professional translators.
- The acquisition of instrumental competence.
- The use and validation of technological instruments for research in translation (process, product and tasks).
- The application of corpus methodology to translation.
- The development of distance and e-learning in translator training.
- The study of other disciplines linked to translation which involve the use of new technologies.
The use of new technologies is a key factor in PACTE group’s research, especially as regards the study of the process and the product of translation. The use of different technological resources in the empirical-experimental research on Translation Competence (TC) carried out by the PACTE group 1997- 2009 has enabled the group to:
(1) Observe subjects’ translation process in real time and to collect data on the translation process:
PACTE pioneered the use of software programs for observing subjects at work translating and collecting data on the translation process. The group has used Proxy since 2000: the use of this software for data collection was validated through pilot and exploratory tests carried out in 2004. Proxy was then integrated with the software Camtasia in 2003, in order to provide real-time recordings of subjects’ translation process.
(2) Study instrumental competence. In PACTE’s holistic model of Translation Competence, instrumental competence is defined as a sub-competence which involves the use of technology in translation (PACTE 2003). Results obtained for the variable ‘Use of Instrumental Resources’ in PACTE’s final experiment have effectively identified instrumental competence as a specific subcompetence of translation competence
(3) Manage and analyse a corpus of translated texts (study of the translation product).
The PACTE group has used WordSmith Tools and AntConc for the analysis of: translated texts (direct and inverse translations), interviews and questionnaires. The group is currently using taggers (PetraTag, CLAWS) to perform searches by grammatical category, not only by word/expression.
(4) Analyse data (qualitative and quantitative analysis of data). All the variables of the research design on translation competence have been analysed qualitatively and quantitatively through the use of the SPSS software.