ADAPT Centre Research Project MTrill Published on the European Commission’s Cordis Website

14 December 2021
Can Neural Machine Translation Reduce Gender Bias?

Project MTrill, the highly process-oriented research work led by Natalia Resende, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at the ADAPT Centre, has been published under the ‘Results in Brief’ section of the European Commission’s Cordis Website. MTrill sheds light on the effect of freely available Machine Translation systems (Google Translate, DeepL and Bing) on students learning English as a second language.

The research used a mixed-method approach including a survey and an experiment to study the reliance of English learners on Machine Translation systems as well as their likelihood of mirroring the English syntactic structure offered by such systems while learning the language. As a result, the research reveals that users change their linguistic behaviour in the second language to match what they read or hear on the Machine Translation system. 

While talking about the key impact made by this project, Natalia Resende said: “This research shows that translation tools not only minimise language barriers, they can also be used by language teachers as an ally in the language learning process”. 

If Machine Translation systems can have such a significant impact on users’ language cognition, the MTrill research project confirms that bad translation solutions can have a negative effect on the learning experience of users too. Hence, it is critical to consider the interplay between Machine Translation and human linguistic cognition while developing language translation technology.  

Click here to read more about this research on the European Commission’s Cordis Website.