Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Testing Interaction with a Mobile MT Post-Editing App

Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Testing Interaction with a Mobile MT Post-Editing App

Article excerpt

Abstract: Kanjingo is a post-editing application for iOS devices developed at the ADAPT Centre (formerly CNGL) at Dublin City University (DCU). The first stage of user testing was conducted in 2014 (reported in O'Brien, Moorkens & Vreeke, 2014), and improvements were made based on the initial feedback. This abstract describes further exploratory testing based on the second iteration of the Kanjingo application. The new tests were designed with several aims: (1) testing Kanjingo for post-editing using the phone's keyboard (2) testing Kanjingo for post-editing with voice input; (3) testing Kanjingo for revision of post-edited texts; (4) testing Kanjingo general usability; and (5) testing Kanjingo interface design. This paper presents the results of the various tests, issues identified, and ideas for improvements. For example, the use of Kanjingo for post-editing with voice input, one of the most innovative forms of interaction with MT in the test, worked much better than participants expected, and this mode of input was preferred for translating from scratch when MT quality was very poor, whereas post-editing short words or phrases was found to be faster with the iPhone keyboard. In addition, we present some reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the testing methods employed.

Keywords: machine translation, machine translation post-editing, mobile devices, Kanjingo, mobile app, translation

1. Introduction

Working with machine translation (MT) using a mobile MT post-editing app implies different levels of interaction. On the one hand, there is the interaction with the hardware, that is, a "mobile device". On the other hand, there is the interaction with the software, in this case, the Kanjingo app. Both kinds of interaction are addressed in this paper. A priori, post-editing from a smartphone seems unreasonable. The space limitations of a mobile device with limited screen space and a small keyboard might be expected to make the post-editing experience deteriorate instead of improving it, taking into account the fact that post-editing in itself has often been considered frustrating (Guzman, 2007; Specia, 2011; Koponen, 2012).

In 2014 a prototype of Kanjingo, a web-based post-editing application for smartphones, was developed by the ADAPT Centre (formerly CNGL) at Dublin City University (DCU). Usability for post-editing was tested and explained in a research paper (in O'Brien et al., 2014; Moorkens, O'Brien & Vreeke, 2016). A native iOS app with improved functionality was developed based on the initial feedback and a second series of tests were carried out in 2016, which will be described in this paper. However, before presenting the test results, a brief explanation of the app may be helpful in order to explain its functionality.

When Kanjingo is first accessed, the user selects a language pair. Then source segments are presented to the user. When a source segment is selected this opens the Editor view, in which the source segment is displayed at the top of the screen, with the corresponding machine translated segment below in a vertical tiled format, where each tile contains a word. The user may add empty tiles with a "+" symbol to insert new words, and delete tiles with the "-" symbol to delete existing words. Tiles can be dragged up and down to rearrange the sentence structure. When the user taps once on a word, an edit box appears, within which the user may edit the word, and tapping a second time enables the appearance of the smartphone keyboard. Once the user finishes post-editing, the Send button must be pressed to submit the sentence. Besides the post-editing feature, there is also a translation feature consisting of an empty tile below a source segment where the user may translate the whole source segment using the phone keyboard. The Help menu may be accessed from the Editor view.

From the above description it can be deduced that Kanjingo is fairly easy to use, but is it usable for post-editing? …

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