When grundskoleklass becomes mainstream classroom : An investigation of the translation of Swedish compound nouns into English using Google Translate

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och interkultur

Author: Jimmy Allansson; [2013]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine how Swedish compound nouns are translated by the machine translation program Google Translate. In order to conclude what main types of mistranslation occur, different texts were first translated by the program; all compound nouns were then listed and analysed, and the mistranslated compound nouns were categorised in accordance with the manner of mistranslation. The study was also working from a hypothesis that the frequency of a compound would affect the chances of getting a correct translation. To test this hypothesis, queries were run in a Swedish corpus to get an estimation of how frequently used the compounds are. The results show that mistranslations could be categorised into four different types, and that the most common types of mistranslation were omitting part of the compound, and translating reoccurring compounds inconsistently. The hypothesis that compounds with high frequency in the corpus would be correctly translated, while compounds with low frequency would be incorrectly translated, could not be conclusively confirmed or refuted. Although there was some indication of a link between frequency and translation accuracy, the connection was not clear enough to claim that there is a correlation.

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