Published: 07 November 2023

Video: Dr Masaru Yamada - Enhancing Translation Accuracy and Efficiency through ChatGPT

Watch the full video recording of the lecture Enhancing Translation Accuracy and Efficiency through ChatGPT, by Dr Masaru Yamada. The lecture was delivered on the 30th of October 2023 as part of the Convergence lecture series promoted by the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey.

Title: Enhancing Translation Accuracy and Efficiency through ChatGPT 

Abstract: The Japanese phrase “Watashi-wa Neko-jita des” (literally: ‘I have a cat tongue’), when input into conventional machine translation, produces “I have a cat tongue” in English. Does this translation effectively communicate the intended message? And how should this be determined? This question highlights the limitations of conventional machine translation. Accurately assessing a machine translation’s output often demands advanced foreign language or translation proficiency from the user, creating a paradox akin to needing a licensed human driver to supervise the safety of an autonomous vehicle. Conversely, large language models like ChatGPT introduce a new scenario. Users can directly ask ChatGPT whether the machine translation output accurately conveys the intended English message, as demonstrated below: 

Question: Does the following English convey the message to native English speakers? I have a cat tongue. Answer from ChatGPT: While ‘I have a cat tongue’ might be understood literally, many native English speakers likely won’t recognize its implicit meaning: 'I struggle with hot food and drinks.’ To convey this message more effectively, consider saying, 'I'm sensitive to hot food and drinks.' 

This presentation aims to illuminate how to skilfully leverage ChatGPT for translation, explaining how to craft prompts based on principles from Translation Studies. Understanding the meta-language of translation proves pivotal to composing effective prompts. 

Note that much of the content of this presentation is based on the author’s Japanese publication, Yamada, M. (2023). ChatGPT Hon’yak jutsu (Translation Skills – AI-Powered English Skills). Alc. 

Short bio: Masaru Yamada is a Professor at the College/Graduate School of Intercultural Communication at Rikkyo University. Drawing on insights from his experiences as a linguist and project manager in the translation industry, his current research explores translation processes, translation technologies, and translation in language teaching. He is a co-editor of Metalanguages for Dissecting Translation Processes: Theoretical Development and Practical Applications (Routledge, 2022). 

This event took place online on Monday 30th October 2023, 2.15pm GMT.

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