MET workshops

Corpus building and mining with Sketch Engine

Working with specialized corpora (collections of texts on a particular subject or from a particular genre, for example) is potentially of interest to anyone who translates, edits or teaches, because you can see how words are used in the context that matters. Building a corpus, however, can be a daunting task and learning how to use one both efficiently and effectively can take time and practice. This workshop develops the corpus presentation I gave at METM18 in Girona (Corpus building and mining in the real world: an introduction for the uninitiated) to give participants time to try their hand at building and mining a corpus to resolve typical issues that come up in their everyday work.

Developer and facilitator: Anne Murray

Purpose: To show participants how and why I use corpora on an almost daily basis and to provide them with ample hands-on time to put my tips and strategies into practice in a structured environment.

Description: Participants will hear about my experience with working with corpora, see examples of how I build and use them, and then practise and discuss what they have learned.

Structure: I will begin with an abbreviated version of my presentation in Girona, showing why and how I build and mine corpora to answer my daily translation and editing dilemmas. Equipped with a “cheat sheet” summarizing strategies and tips, participants will build a corpus on their own or in pairs, adding to it where necessary, and then edit a text that contains typical challenges we encounter in our everyday work. I will be on hand during this task to answer questions and offer guidance. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of the experience, a summary of the lessons learned, and suggestions for continued use once the participants are back in their own offices.

Who should attend? The workshop is of interest to corpus-naïve translators and editors and to anyone who has dabbled in corpus-guided translation and editing but who would like some guidance on effective practices.

Outcome skills: Participants will have practised building and mining a corpus in a simulated real-world task and will be better equipped to apply corpus-guided translation and editing to their own work.

Pre-workshop information: This workshop is focused on the use of Sketch Engine, which requires a subscription (MET members qualify for a discount). Shortly before the conference, participants will receive a code for a three-month free trial, which they should activate before the start of the workshop. Participants need to bring a laptop to the workshop.
About the facilitator: Anne Murray is a freelance medical translator and authors’ editor based in Barberà de la Conca, Tarragona. She has a degree in translation from Dublin City University, Ireland, and a Foundation Certificate in Medical Writing from the European Medical Writers Association. She stepped down from MET council in October 2018 after a stint of 13 years.