Is Web-Based Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) Software Usable for Blind Translators?

  • Silvia Rodríguez VázquezEmail author
  • Dónal Fitzpatrick
  • Sharon O’Brien
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10896)


In spite of the progress made to date in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), recent experience reports by end users as well as research work have suggested that leading desktop-based Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tool providers fail to consider the particular needs of screen reader users when developing their software. The study presented in this paper was conducted to assess the usability of two popular online CAT tools (Matecat and Memsource) that could serve as an alternative solution to inaccessible desktop applications. Findings indicate that Matecat is significantly more usable than Memsource, although changes would be needed in the former for blind translators to be able to perform a translation job completely autonomously and efficiently. Overall, our study suggests that accessibility awareness is still low in the translation technology industry, and that further research and development is needed in to guarantee equal opportunities for all in the translation market.


Computer-Aided Translation Web accessibility Blind translators Usability 


  1. 1.
    Al-Bassam, D., Alotaibi, H., Alotaibi, S., Al-Khalifa, Hend S.: EasyTrans: accessible translation system for blind translators. In: Miesenberger, K., Bühler, C., Penaz, P. (eds.) ICCHP 2016. LNCS, vol. 9759, pp. 583–586. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ceaparu, I., et al.: Determining causes and severity of end-user frustration. Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Interact. 17(3), 333–356 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lazar, J., et al.: What frustrates screen reader users on the web: a study of 100 blind users. Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Interact. 22(3), 247–269 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lewis, J.R.: IBM computer usability satisfaction questionnaires: psychometric evaluation and instructions for use. Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Interact. 7(1), 57–78 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moorkens, J., O’Brien, S.: Assessing user interface needs of post-editors of machine translation. In: Kenny, D. (ed.) Human Issues in Translation Technology: The IATIS Yearbook. Routledge, Oxford (2017)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Owton, T., Mileto, F.: Translation tools and software - help or hindrance? (2011).
  7. 7.
    Rodríguez Vázquez, S., Mileto, F.: On the lookout for accessible translation aids: current scenario and new horizons for blind translation students and professionals. J. Transl. Educ. Transl. Stud. 1(2), 115–135 (2016)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Teixeira, C.S.C., Moorkens, J.: Creating a tool for multimodal translation and post-editing on touch-screen devices. In: Translating and the Computer (TC39) Conference, London, UK (2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Torres-Hostench, O., et al.: Testing interaction with a mobile MT postediting app. Int. J. Transl. Interpret. Res. 9(2), 138–150 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Rodríguez Vázquez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dónal Fitzpatrick
    • 2
  • Sharon O’Brien
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Dublin City UniversityGlasnevin, Dublin 9Ireland

Personalised recommendations