METM14 presentation

PETRA 1.0®: A semi-automated aid for the evaluation of the grammatical quality of English-to-Spanish translations

Rosa Rabadán, León, Spain
Co-authored by
Camino Guitiérrez Lanza, associate professor of English Language, University of León, Spain
Ana García-Gallego, associate professor of Statistics and Operational Research, University of León, Spain
Hugo Sanjurjo-González, PhD student, University of León, Spain

PETRA 1.0® is a computerized prototype that helps evaluate the grammatical quality of Spanish translations of “general-language” English texts – newspaper articles, essays, best-selling fiction, etc. It works on language-pair-bound data, which means that for each language combination and direction PETRA 1.0 activates a different set of language nodes.
PETRA 1.0 runs on empirical, corpus-based statistically significant contrastive differences between English and Spanish. It offers two types of evaluation: one is fully automated and uses quantitative information exclusively. The other, more advanced, requires some simple user intervention and uses both quantitative and qualitative data. In both cases, the system i) offers an assessment on a scale between 5 and 0, and ii) identifies and details the elements that need improvement. The assessment report can be downloaded as a PDF file.
The app presents a highly usable interface that is platform-independent and attractive to users thanks to web-based technology. Testers have reported high reliability. The straightforward marking of “areas to improve” has also received a high rate of approval.
PETRA 1.0 is addressed to language service providers who work in the fields of translation, revision, training, language competence evaluation, etc.

Rosa Rabadán is a Professor of English (Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies) at the Department of Modern Languages at the University of León in Spain, where she is the leader of the ACTRES research group ( Her areas of interest include translation studies, linguistic applications to translation and corpus-based English-Spanish contrastive grammar. Her publications have appeared in Languages in Contrast, Meta, Babel and TTR, among others, and she has contributed to a number of scholarly volumes in her areas of expertise. She has been a visiting researcher at the universities of Ottawa, Canada and Brighton, UK, and serves as an advisory board member for a series of academic book series and journals, including Benjamins Translation Library.