Machines as participants in the communication process: the implications of SEO for translation

  • Peter Jud
  • Gary Massey


Although search engine optimization (SEO) has received considerable attention from internet marketers, it has yet to make any significant impact on the practice and theory of translation. This is all the more remarkable given the increasing importance of web localization, and the rising profile of web translation in general among theorists, trainers and practitioners. Proceeding from Holz-Mänttäri’s influential functional model of translational action and the refinement proposed by Risku and Freihoff, this paper examines the impact of machine translation and translation memory technologies on human translation, exploring the related though very specific challenges that SEO presents for web translators. It proposes adapting the classic model of translational action to integrate search engines in the non-human agent role of analyzer. Presenting examples of SEO procedures applied to translation, it considers the practical implications of SEO for web translators.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alkan, Saim Rolf (2004): Texten für das Internet. Praxisbuch für Online-Redakteure und Webtexter. Bonn: Galileo PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Chestermann, Andrew et al. (Hrsg.) (2000): Translation in Context: Selected Contributions from the EST Congress, Granada, 1998. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: BenjaminsGoogle Scholar
  3. Dunne, Kieran J. (Hrsg.) (2006): Perspectives on Localization. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: BenjaminsGoogle Scholar
  4. EN 15038:2006 (2006): Translation services – Service requirements. Brussels: European Committee for StandardizationGoogle Scholar
  5. Esselink, Bert (2003): Localisation and translation. In Somers, Harold (2003): 67–86Google Scholar
  6. Garant, Mikel/Walker Larry (Hrsg.) (2008): Current Trends in Translation Teaching and Learning Volume II, Helsinki: University of Helsinki PressGoogle Scholar
  7. Garcia, Ignacio: Translating and Revising for Localisation. What do We Know? What do We Need to Know? In: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 16: 1. 2008. 49–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Holz-Mänttäri, Justa (1984): Translatorisches Handeln. Theorie und Methode. Helsinki: Suomalainen TiedeakatemiaGoogle Scholar
  9. Jakobson, Roman (1959/2004): On Linguistic Aspects of Translation. In: Venuti, Lawrence (2004): 139–143.Google Scholar
  10. Jimenez, Miguel A. (2008): Web Texts in Translator Training. In: Garant et al. (2008): 39–67Google Scholar
  11. Jud, Peter (2007): Suchmaschinenoptimierung – eine neue Herausforderung für den Übersetzer. Unveröffentlichte Diplomarbeit. Winterthur: Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften/Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen.Google Scholar
  12. LISA (2007): The Globalization Industry Primer. PDF. Zuletzt besucht: 22.12.2009.
  13. Ledford, Jerri L. (2008): SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible. Indianapolis: Wiley PublishingGoogle Scholar
  14. Mossop, Brian: Has Computerization Changed Translation? In: Meta: Journal des traducteurs 51: 4. 2006. 787–805Google Scholar
  15. Nord, Christiane (1997): Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. Manchester: St. JeromeGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Brien, Sharon: Pauses as Indicators of Cognitive Effort in Post-editing MachineTranslation Output. In: Across Languages and Cultures. 7: 1. 2006. 1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Brien, Sharon: Eye-Tracking and Translation Memory Matches. In: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. 14: 3. 2007. 185–205Google Scholar
  18. Pym, Anthony: Redefining Translation Competence in an Electronic Age. In Defence of a Minimalist Approach. In: Meta: Journal des traducteurs. 48: 4. 2003. 481–497Google Scholar
  19. Pym, Anthony/Perekrestenko, Alexander/Starink, Bram (Hrsg.) (2006): Translation Technology and its Teaching. Tarragona: Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Intercultural Studies Group)Google Scholar
  20. Risku, Hanna/Freihoff, Roland (2000): Kooperative Textgestaltung im translatorischen Handlungsrahmen. In: Chestermann, Andrew et al. (2000): 49–59Google Scholar
  21. Schäler, Reinhard (2005): The Irish Model in Localization. LISA Forum Cairo 2005: Perspectives from the Middle East and Africa. PDF.[]=schäler, Zuletzt besucht: 22.12.2009.
  22. Snell-Hornby, Mary (2006): The Turns of Translation Studies. New paradigms or shifting viewpoints? Amsterdam/Philadelphia: BenjaminsGoogle Scholar
  23. Somers, Harold (Hrsg.) (2003): Computers and Translation: A translator’s guide, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: BenjaminsGoogle Scholar
  24. Vermeer, Hans J. (1989/2004): Skopos and Commission in Translational Action. A. Chesterman, Trans. In: Venuti, Lawrence (2004): 227–238Google Scholar
  25. Venuti, Lawrence (Hrsg.) (2004): The Translation Studies Reader. 2. Auflage. New York/London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Jud
  • Gary Massey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations