METM10 presentation     Thread: Knowledge Updates

Further tools for corpus-guided decision-making: a knowledge update

David Cullen and Mary Ellen Kerans -” Barcelona, Spain

For those who have been to MET's workshops on mining corpora to study phrasing patterns and guide language choices for translation or editing, or who have come to corpus analysis by other routes, we briefly present tools we think may be new to some participants.


Custom-built corpora for desktop concordancing are wonderful for tools, but they can be difficult to compile and keep up to date. This is not the case with SpringerExemplar, however. Springer, a leading academic publisher, has done a good deal of the hard work for us and provided their entire output -” both books and journals -” to produce a corpus that dates back many years. It has also produced an easy-to-use web interface that is open to anyone with a connection to the internet. All told it is a fabulous resource.

Caveat emptor. Buyer beware, why? An easy-to-use web-based concordancer is only ever as good as its corpus and this may be SpringerExemplar's Achilles' heel. The journals included in the corpus are many and wide-ranging, but they may not be the leading journals in their field, so results should always be interpreted carefully. We will present this tool and advise on how to filter the corpus wisely so as to be able to quickly access reliable information.

AntConc-”the freeware concordancer MET recommends for language pattern research

Recent versions of MET's corpus-guidance workshops have emphasized a few advanced search strategies beyond simple concordancing that all users may not be aware of. We'll list them briefly and show how they can be used to filter concordances when using large corpora. We'll also make available the most recent larger and cleaner version of the medical corpus as well as other corpora we've introduced in recent versions of the workshops.


David Cullen is an English language specialist. He was born in Northern Ireland, raised in Leeds, educated at Oxford and has been living in Barcelona for the last 10 years. After stints in hospitality, language teaching, and freelance translation, David is now taking care of the translations into English at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC).

Mary Ellen Kerans came to translation and editing by way of a career in English language instruction, particularly the teaching of academic writing and English for specific purposes in the health sciences. Her MA is from Teachers College Columbia University. She is currently the Chair of Mediterranean Editors and Translators.