Finnish literary translators' use of translation technology and tools: processes, profiles, and purposes


  • Minna Ruokonen Itä-Suomen yliopisto
  • Leena Salmi Turun yliopisto



literary translation, translation technology use, computer-assisted literary translation (CALT), translation memories, machine translation


While Translation Studies has started investigating the potential of translation technology in literary translation, the research has largely focused on optimizing product quality and bypassed the experiences of literary translators. This study contributes to filling that gap by means of a survey (n=72) and interviews (n=7) among literary translators with Finnish as a working language. Combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, we investigate what tools are used by literary translators, at what stages of the translation process, and for what purposes, and what factors are linked to technology use. We identify three types of translation processes (“from scratch”, “TM use”, and “MT post-editing”) with some individual and source-text-specific variation, and observe that translation technology use is more likely for translators who also use it for non-literary translation. The results also draw attention to literary translators’ different processes and the variety of purposes for which the different tools are used. The results have implications for publishers’ workflows, usability, and literary translators’ agency and profession.


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