The Effect of Machine Translation on Translation Classes at the Tertiary Level



Machine Translation, Technology, Digital Dictionary Tools, Language Learners, Reflections


Machine translation (MT) has rapidly become an essential tool for almost all students at all levels all around the world to assist their translation tasks.  The present study investigated the role of MT in translation classes as a facilitating tool at the tertiary level and presented some possible challenges that the participants faced during the implementation process. To this end, 49 students majoring in an English Language and Literature department of a state university in Turkey participated in the study. Data was collected through an open-ended questionnaire with 24 items, and analysis of the semi-structured interview notes obtained from the focus group discussion. The results apparently prove that participants utilize MT to assist their translation tasks irresistibly, and they mostly agreed that MT is unquestionably a facilitating and beneficial tool despite the possible challenges deriving from cultural and linguistic differences between the source and target languages. Thus, it is suggested that some of the functions provided with MT tools need to be developed to meet the needs of learners while translating some certain cultural expressions.  Finally, this study reveals that MT with its multiple features is a useful and pedagogical tool that can be utilized by foreign language learners as a digital resource in translation classes.


Ali, A. (2016). Exploring the problems of machine translation from Arabic into

English language faced by Saudi University student of translation at the Faculty of

Arts, Jazan University Saudi Arabia. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sci-ence, 21(4), 55–66.

AlQahtani, M. (2015). The importance of vocabulary in language learning and how to be taught. International Journal of Teaching and Education, 3(3), 21-34.

Alsohybe, N.T., Dahan, N.A., & Ba-Alwi, F.M. (2017). Machine-translation history and evo-lution: Survey for Arabic-English translations. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology. 23(4), 1-19

Arnold, D., Balkan, L., Humphreys, R. L., Meijer, S., & Sadler, L. (1994). Machine

translation: An introductory guide. NCC Blackwell Ltd.

Bakay, Ö., Avar, B., & Yıldız, O.T. (2019). A tree-based approach for English-to- Turkish translation. Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences. 27(01), 437–452.

Ballabh, A., & Jaiswal, U. C. (2015). A study of machine translation methods and their challenges. Int. J. Adv. Res. Sci. Eng, 4(1), 423-429.

Chandra, S. O., & Yuyun, I. (2018). The use of google translate in EFL essay writing. LLT Journal: A Journal on Language and Language Teaching, 21(2), 228-238.

Creswell, J.W., (2002). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantita-tive and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Creswell, J.W., (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods ap-proaches. SAGE

Dornyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fred, L., & Perry, J. (2005). Research in applied linguistics. London: Lawrence Erlbaum As-sociates.

Ganjalikhani, M.K. (2014). An investigation of Google translate machine in rendering English sentence structures into Persian. Proceeding of the Global Conference On Language Practice & Information Technology (GLIT 2014)9-10 June 2014 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Sinhal, R. A., & Gupta, K. O. (2014). Machine translation approaches and design as-pects. IOSR Journal of Computer Engineering, 16(1), 22-25.

Hampshire, S., & Salvia, C. P. (2010). Translation and the internet: Evaluating the quality of free online machine translators. Quaderns: revista de traducció, (17), 197-209.

Hatim, B., & Munday, J. (2004). Translation: An advanced resource book: Psychology Press.

Hutchins, J. (2003). Machine Translation: General Overview. The Oxford Handbook of Com-putational Linguistics. Oxford University Press.

Jolley, J.R., & Maimone, L. (2015). Free online machine translation: Use and perceptions by Spanish students and instructors. Learn Language, Explore Cultures, Transform Lives. 181-200.

Jurafsky, D.& Martin, J.H. (2000). Speech and language processing. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Karnal, A. R., & Vera, P. W. (2015). Reading comprehension and the use of Google transla-tor.

International Journal of English Linguistics, 3(6), 133-118.

Kirchhoff, K., Turner, A. M., Axelrod, A., & Saavedra, F. (2011). Application of statistical machine translation to public health information: a feasibility study. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 18(4), 473-478.

Korošec, M. K. (2012). Applicability and challenges of using machine translation in

translator training. Elope Language, 7-18.

Köksal, O., & Yürük, N. (2020). The role of translator in intercultural communication, Interna-tional Journal of Curriculum and Instruction 12(1), 327–338

Kumar, A. (2012). Machine translation in Arabic-speaking ELT classrooms: Applications and implications. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 2(6), 442-445.

Lee, S. M. (2020). The impact of using machine translation on EFL students’ writ-ing. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 33(3), 157-175.

Marito, S., & Ashari, E., (2017). EFL students’ perceptions about machine translation, Dimen-si, 6 (2), 256-269

Munday, J. (2016). Introducing translation studies: Theories and applications. Routledge.

Niño, A. (2009). Machine translation in foreign language learning: language learners’ and tu-tors’ perceptions of its advantages and disadvantages. ReCALL, 21(2), 241-258.

Omar, L. I. (2021). The use and abuse of machine translation in vocabulary acquisition among L2 Arabic-Speaking Learners. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (1) 82-98

Shuttleworth, M., & Cowie, M. (2014). Dictionary of translation studies. London/New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis.

Sujarwo, S. (2020). Students’ perceptions of using machine translation tools in the EFL class-room. Al-Lisan: Jurnal Bahasa (e-Journal), 5(2), 230-241.

Weber, R. (1990). Basic content analysis (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage

Yang, Y. X., & Wang, X. L. (2019). Modeling the intension to use machine translation for student translators: An extension of technology acceptance model. Computers & Edu-cation, 133, 116–126.

Zengin, B., & Kacar, I. G. (2011). Turkish EFL academicians' problems concerning translation activities and practices, attitudes towards the use of online and printed translation tools, and suggestions for quality translation practice. Turkish Online Journal of Edu-cational Technology-TOJET, 10(2), 274-286




How to Cite

Çakır, İsmail, & Bayhan, S. . (2021). The Effect of Machine Translation on Translation Classes at the Tertiary Level. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 9(16), 122–134. Retrieved from