Volume 18, Issue 1 April 2022, pp. 110–136 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Chinese language learners evaluating machine translation accuracy

Li-Ching Chang https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9044-54111

1 University of South Australia, AUSTRALIA li-ching.chang@mymail.unisa.edu.au

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n1.592


With increasingly rapid advances in machine translation (MT) technology, such as Google Translate, MT has become an indispensable learning resource for second or additional language learners. Many studies indicate that MT or post-editing of MT (PEMT) can be an effective tool for L2 learning and teaching. Nevertheless, little research illustrates how language learners judge or evaluate the accuracy of MT output. The judgement of MT accuracy is essential because MT is not yet error-free. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore how L2 learners attempt to judge the accuracy of MT output when using MT or PEMT. This study was undertaken through a teaching intervention in an online English-Chinese translation course. Student participants included L2 learners of Chinese studying at a university in Taiwan. Findings from observations of screen recordings and focus group discussions reveal that students use different MT tools and additional online-based resources as complementary strategies to better judge MT accuracy. These include: 1) using more than one MT tool to cross-check MT output; 2) using dictionaries to check word meaning and word usage by looking at example sentences; 3) using search engines to check word definitions, translations, and collocations.


© Li-Ching Chang

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Chang, L.C. (2022). Chinese language learners evaluating machine translation accuracy . The JALT CALL Journal, 18(1), 110–136. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n1.592

Related Articles:

Intercultural education in times of restricted travel: Lessons from the Gaza Strip
Maria Grazia Imperiale
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 22–38. Download PDF

"I don't want to be stereotypical, but..." Norwegian EFL learners' awareness of and willingness to challenge visual stereotypes
Cecilie Waallann Brown
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 20 December, 2019, Volume 2(3), 120–141. Download PDF

"Writing like a health scientist": A translingual approach to teaching text structure in a diverse Australian classroom
Sue Ollerhead, Isobel Crealy, Rebecca Kirk
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 3(1), 77–90. Download PDF

(Mis)use of e-mail in student-faculty interaction: Implications for university instruction in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan
Anna Danielewicz-Betz
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2013, Volume 9(1), 23–57. Download PDF

(Re)imagining a course in language and intercultural communication for the 21st century
Adriana Raquel Díaz, Paul J. Moore
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), 83–99. Download PDF

3D digital games, virtual worlds, and language learning in higher education: Continuing challenges in Japan
Robert Swier, Mark Peterson
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2018, Volume 14(3), 225–238. Download PDF

A Case for the Drupal Content Management System
Paul Collett
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2010, Volume 6(1), 57–66. Download PDF

A case study of using Facebook in an EFL English writing class: The perspective of a writing teacher
Li-Tang Yu
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2014, Volume 10(3), 189–202. Download PDF

A comparative analysis of face to face instruction vs. Telegram mobile instruction in terms of narrative writing
Jamshid Heidari, Farzaneh Khodabandeh, Hassan Soleimani
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2018, Volume 14(2), 143–156. Download PDF

A comparison of computer-mediated peer corrective feedback between high and low-proficiency learners in a Japanese EFL writing classroom
Bradley D. F. Colpitts, Travis Hunter Past
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2019, Volume 15(2), 23–39. Download PDF