Blog post: CLARIN Workshop "Translation memories, corpora, termbases: Bridges between translation studies and research infrastructures"

Submitted by Linda Stokman on 29 March 2018

Blog post written by Vesna Lušicky (Centre for Translation studies, Universität Wien) and Tanja Wissik (ACDH - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities). 

On 8 and 9 February 2018, the ACDH of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Centre for Translation Studies of the University of Vienna hosted a CLARIN user involvement workshop “Translation memories, corpora, termbases: Bridges between translation studies and research infrastructures”.


Background and aims of the workshop

Various language resources, such as mono- and multilingual corpora, translation memories, terminology resources, and lexica are compiled and used in translation studies, translation practice, and translation training. However, the practical aspects of re-using, sharing and archiving of language resources in translation studies is not well documented and users are not supported adequately in their endeavours. CLARIN offers a great potential to address this user- group and their needs for reusing, sharing and depositing language resources, but so far there was not much uptake or exchange (cf. Lušicky and Wissik, 2017).

The workshop addressed international researchers and trainers in translation studies and related fields with an interest in language resources (e.g. translation memories, corpora, termbases, lexica, etc.). The aims of the workshop were:

  • to show the potential of using research infrastructures, resources and tools for translation studies in hands-on sessions;
  • to raise awareness for legal issues of using, reusing, compiling, and sharing of language resources,
  • to show the potential of integrating research infrastructures and their services into translation training (not only in technology-related courses but also horizontally throughout all courses);
  • to discover the ways in which technology, developed within CLARIN, would be helpful for translation studies research,
  • to share experience and best practices using, reusing, compiling, and sharing of language resources,
  • to establish new collaborations and sustainable knowledge sharing.


Invited speakers and participants

The call for participation targeted international researchers and trainers in translation studies and related fields. The participation was open to all translation domains and all languages. We received almost 40 applications. The workshop was limited to 25 participants due to the hands-on character of the event. The 25 accepted participants came from all over Europe. The participants were affiliated with institutions from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, UK, Ireland, Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.


Fig 1. Distribution of countries


Before the workshop, less than 60% of participant were familiar with CLARIN. Approximately 15% of participants had used CLARIN services before attending the workshop.

In addition to the organizers of the workshop, Tanja Wissik (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Vesna Lušicky (University of Vienna), the following invited speakers provided insight into the CLARIN services and specific topics relevant for the targeted user group: Darja Fišer (CLARIN and University of Ljubljana), Pawel Kamocki (ELDA), Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski (both University of Innsbruck), Matej Ďurčo (Austrian Academy of Sciences), and Martina Trognitz (Austrian Academy of Sciences).

The workshop took place in Vienna on one the premises of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Fig. 2: Participants, invited speakers and organizers of the workshop


Fig. 3: Martina Tognitz presenting depositing services

The workshop

On the first day, the participants were welcomed by the organizer of the workshop, Tanja Wissik (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Vesna Lušicky (University of Vienna).

The first sessions were devoted to the introduction to CLARIN and CLARIN services and how translation studies scholars and trainers could benefit from them. Darja Fišer (CLARIN and University of Ljubljana) introduced the main benefits of CLARIN in her aptly named invited talk “Intro 2 CLARIN 4 Translation Studies”, providing an overview over the main CLARIN services relevant for the participants. In the next session, Tanja Wissik (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Vesna Lušicky (University of Vienna) introduced the participants to the lifecycle of language resources and presented several use cases and examples for each stage of the lifecycle. This was followed by a presentation by Pawel Kamocki of the European Language Resources Distribution Agency (ELDA) on “Legal issues pertinent to translation-related resources”. The last session of the first day was a hands-on session in which the participants were introduced to CLARIN Virtual Language Observatory and tested out the service themselves.


Fig. 4: Darja Fišer presenting “Intro 2 CLARIN 4 Translation Studies”


Fig. 5: Pawel Kamocki presenting legal issues pertinent to translation-related resources


Fig. 6: Vesna Lušicky and Tanja Wissik during the hands-on session.


In the evening, we invited the participants for dinner at Melker Stiftskeller, a restaurant in the 1st district of Vienna, serving traditional Austrian food.

On the second day, specific CLARIN services were presented in hands-on sessions. Martina Trognitz (Austrian Academy of Sciences) presented the service ARCHE as one of the depositing services provided by CLARIN. Matej Ďurčo (Austrian Academy of Sciences) introduced the participants to the web service for processing text resources e.g. Weblicht or UDPipe.

These hands-on sessions were followed by a presentation of the integration of the CLARIN services and language resources in the translation classroom by Vesna Lušicky (University of Vienna) and Tanja Wissik (Austrian Academy of Sciences). In the next session, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski (both University of Innsbruck) presented the principles of the TransBank Project.

Furthermore, the participants had the opportunity to present their own projects related to the workshop topics. All available presentations can be found here and here.


Fig. 7: The well-being of the participants at a CLARIN workshop in the carnival time is guaranteed.


Outcomes of the workshop

A follow-up survey about the workshop showed an overall satisfaction with the programme and the organization of the workshop. Based on the participants’ comments the workshop provided good opportunities “for getting familiar with various tools and projects. Great opportunity for networking and sharing knowledge and ideas”. The participants also reported that the workshop yielded good insights and ideas on possible integration of CLARIN services into their research and/or teaching. 95% of the respondents would integrate CLARIN resources and tools into their research and 85% would integrate them into their teaching. It should be also mentioned that several early-stage researchers, who participated in the workshop, reported on being already familiar with or already using CLARIN services. Furthermore, all the respondents were clearly in favour of a follow-up workshop.

All in all, the workshop brought together a substantial number of multipliers from the translation studies community from 13 countries, thus opening CLARIN services for this user group. At the same time, the experiences and project reports by the participants provided an important input towards possible improving and adapting the CLARIN services. The participants will continue knowledge sharing and exchange through a designated mailing list.


Watch the workshops video CLARIN workshop – Translation memories, corpora, termbases on YouTube.


The organizers of the workshop would like to thank CLARIN for the support of the workshop and our institutions, the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna for their in-kind contributions. Our special thanks go to the invited speakers and all the participants who made this workshop a memorable and enriching event.