Machine Translation

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 67–79 | Cite as

Translators and TM: An investigation of translators’ perceptions of translation memory adoption

  • Sarah Dillon
  • Janet FraserEmail author
Original Paper


There has been little research on the role of translation memory (TM) in practitioners’ working practices, apart from reviews and a survey into ownership and rates issues. The present study provides a comprehensive snapshot of the perceptions of UK-based professional translators with regard to TM as a tool in their working environment. Moore and Benbasat’s instrument for measuring perceptions with regard to the adoption of an information technology innovation was adapted and used to investigate three hypotheses: that translators who are relatively new to the translation industry have a more positive general perception of TM than experienced translators; that translators who use TM have a more positive general perception of it than translators who do not; and, finally, that translators’ perception of the value of TM is not linked with their perceived IT proficiency. The study found that younger translators took a positive general view of TM irrespective of actual use, in particular attributing esteem to more experienced translators using (or perceived to be using) TM. Non-users at all experience levels, however, had a negative general view of TM irrespective of actual use. Both findings point to the significance of adequate knowledge in adoption decisions. Perceived IT proficiency, finally, was found to play a key role in translators’ perceptions of the benefits of TM. These findings are discussed in the light of recent trends in the translation industry, including Continuing Professional Development, quality assurance and regulation.


Translators Translation memory Translation tools Technology adoption Translator training 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, Humanities and LanguagesUniversity of WestminsterLondonEngland, UK

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