A Survey of Online Tools Used in English-Thai and Thai-English Translation by Thai Students

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1 69 A Survey of Online Tools Used in English-Thai and Thai-English Translation by Thai Students Sarathorn Munpru, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand Pornpol Wuttikrikunlaya, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand Abstract: This present study examined Thai university students use of online tools in English- Thai, and Thai-English translation. The subjects were 65 undergraduate students. The subjects responded to the questionnaires which composed of three parts: kinds of tools, their purposes, and their attitudes. The findings revealed that online dictionaries were the most frequently used (61%). Thai students tended to deal with L1 and L2 such as translating, checking meaning, and unknown words. In terms of searching for content in L2 learning, search engines were greatly used (61%) for searching unknown words (74.24%). The findings of this study will be useful for teachers, students, and researchers who attempt to find an effective way to teach L2 learners. This study will increase awareness of using online tools to students who study English or other languages. The results suggest the enhanced quality in language education in L2 learning. Keywords: survey, online tools, translation, Thai students Rationale of the Study Online tools have received increased attention as witnessed by rapidly changing of Technology. Students use those tools in solving the barrier of second language (e.g, Gaspari, 2007; Conroy, 2010; Zengin & Karçar, 2011, Garcia and Pena, 2011). On the basis of the above notion, it is obviously declared by researchers that young people are in the age of digital technology and Internet. With the advancement of technology and wireless, there are increasingly used of laptop computers, palmtop computers, and mobile phones in education. These technology provide anytime, and anywhere education to students (Cavus & Ibrahim, 2009). No doubt, technology facilitates them to access varieties of endless learning (Gardner & Holmes, 2006). These evident demonstrated that technology brings close relationship within itself to young people. Many current studies are widespread to students used of online dictionaries in solving difficulties and consulting language in translation (Zengin and Kaçar, 2011, Fujii, n.d, Somers, Gaspari, and Niño, 2006). For example, Zengin and Kaçar (2011) stated that L2 learners used online dictionaries in order to correct accuracy of style, and structure consulted difficulties of language. Apart from online dictionaries, machine translations were used in assisting L2 students in translation. Yamamoto (n.d) claimed that machine translation (MT) is used in translating source texts to target texts. Google Translator s survey announced on For what purpose(s) did you use Google Translator today? responded by a language learner. The results showed that a learner used Google Translator in order o learn foreign words, short phrases, read webpage, , and article. He/she also learnt how to write and saying a word or phrase (as cited in Garcia & Pena, 2011).

2 70 Fujii (n.d) indicated that most of L2 Japan students did not know how to use some functions such as editing (89%) provided by search engines. In addition, Fujii (n.d) stated that using of search engines motivated L2 Japan students in learning and improving their vocabulary and language skills while translating their assignments. These skills consisted of vocabulary, grammar, and complicated sentences. The respondents also commented that they would use search engine with their assignments in the future. Search engines can be applied with any language learning (88%). Zengin and Kaçar (2011) illustrated that Turkish scholars and L2 learners had positive attitudes toward using search engines in translation. Participants used search engines with online dictionaries more than using paper dictionaries. Moreover, participants reported that they used both online dictionaries and search engines to help them in correcting style and structure in translation. It also reported by participants that they can check the fluency of language usage from both tools. The studies of using mixed online tools have proved to be the very useful topic in increasing students awareness and L2 learning. The combination used of tools among L2 students seemed to extend knowledge to teachers or researchers to gain an insight, and how students combine those tools in solving, consulting, and correcting language Recently, there has been an emphasis on the new trends of acquiring new language by using online tools among Thai students. Online tools can be used for two purposes. These are solving language difficulties such as online dictionaries, machine translations, and grammar checkers. On the other hand, search engines and encyclopedias were used by L2 students searched for contents. This was found to be the case in Wuttikrikunlaya (2012). However, most studies have been conducted in Europe and other countries with a focus on second language learners and used of online tools separately. Little is known about how Thai university students use online tools in translation. There are a few studies that initiate the combination of online tools in students translation (Zengin & Karçar, 2011, Fujii, n.d). Online tools and L2 learning conducted in Thailand are very few and should be explored to increase awareness for teachers who teach L2 and L2 students themselves. Therefore, this study aimed to contribute to the knowledge based on exploring kinds of online tools, purposes, and attitudes of students toward using combination of online tools in translation. The findings in this study are beneficial to increasing awareness to teachers who teach and students themselves. Also, this study tended to present the exact needs of Thai students toward using online tools in translation. Thus, teachers of English exactly gain insights about how their students cope with translation by using online tools. In addition, it will raise teachers awareness in teaching students how to use those tools effectively, to avoid plagiarizing raw data from the online engines. Research Questions 1. What kinds of online tools do Thai students use in English-Thai and Thai-English translation? 2. What are Thai students purposes of using those online tools in English-Thai and Thai-English translation?

3 71 3. What are Thai students attitudes toward those using online tools in English-Thai and Thai- English translation? Research Methodology Subjects The subjects consisted of 65 Thai students of a state university who were English major and English for Careers major students. All subjects studied a translation course in the second semester of academic year The subjects were asked to answer the questionnaires on five sections: general information, frequency, kinds of using online tools, purposes, and attitudes. All participants were selected by convenience sampling because they were studying a translation course. Table 1 presented general information about the subjects. Table1 General Information of the Subjects Gender: Items Frequency Percentage (%) Male Female GPA: Majors: English English for Careers Table 1 demonstrated that the majority of the respondents were female (72.30%). Only 27.27% of the respondents were male. In terms of GPA scales, most of the respondents received the range between 3.01 to 3.50 (58.46%). Furthermore, over half of the subjects (English major) aged years old (58.46%). Aged 19 to 20 years old were English for Careers major students (41.54%).

4 72 The Instrument The data was gained from the questionnaires (see appendix) which categorized into five parts. The first part was set for gaining the biography of subjects such as genders, age, majors, and grade point average (GPA). The second part consisted of questions asked about frequency of students used of online tools. The third part indicated kind of online tools that students used in translation. In addition, the fourth part included the purposes of students make use of online tools. The final part was questions asking for students attitudes toward utilizing online tools and mixed online tools. All respondents had many chances to select more than one possible answers in section three to section five provided in the questionarie. Procedures The researcher made an appointment with the instructors. After that the researcher entered to the classrooms and asked the instructors for their permission to provide the questionnaires to the subjects at the end of classes. A total of 65 subjects were asked to respond to the questionnaires. Then, subjects returned the questionnaires. All data was collected, and it was analyzed into frequency and percentages. Data Analysis Both the quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the present study. The quantitative data included frequency, kinds of tools, and purposes of students toward online tools. In contrast, qualitative data consisted of attitudes of students toward online tools and used of mixed online tools. Descriptive statistics was used to describe frequency and percentage of students biographical information, kind of tools, students purposes, and their attitudes. Attitudes of students toward using online tools were coded as good, bad, so-so before counted into frequency and analyzed into percentage (Wuttikrikunlaya, 2012). The frequency of using of online tools, purposes, and attitudes of the subjects were calculated into a percentage using the following formula: Nx100 T N = The frequency of online tools used, purposes, and attitudes of the subjects T= The total number of the subjects who respond to the questionnaires

5 73 Results and Discussion Table 2 Frequency of the Subjects used of Online Tools when Translating English-Thai and Thai-English Assignments Items Frequency Percentage (%) Always Frequently Sometimes Total 65 0 It is apparent from this table that most of the respondents solved their difficulties with online tools. A relationship exited between an individual s responding with always and frequently seemed to suggest how important of online tools used by Thai students. The findings provided a picture of somewhat Thai undergraduate students reflected to using of online tools as independent language learning, improving, and solving their translation outside their classrooms. Interestingly, a recent study by Zengin and Kaçar (2011) showed that L2 scholars also frequently use online tools consulted their translation. Sanchez (2006) proposed that experts in translation are sometimes have difficulties with words and spelling. The scholars also need tools to assist them in solving problems with writing. He also stated that translation is a process of writing and reading. This evident was supported by Garcia and Pena (2011), Somers et al. (2006), who proposed that online tools (machine translation) can be easily and accessible. Undoubtedly, apart from experts and other users who cannot comprehend language, language learners also used it to cope with their problems with L2. Table 3 Kinds of Online Tools Classified into Two Main Types Kind of Online Tools Frequency Percentage (%) Solving language difficulties: Online Dictionaries Machine translations Grammar Checkers

6 74 Searching for contents: Search engines Encyclopedias This study had shown that when asked about kinds of online tools that Thai students used in translation assignments, they mostly preferred using online dictionaries, and search engines (92.31%). A survey such as that conducted by Zengin and Kaçar (2011) have shown that academia respondents also preferred use these tools to cope with their translation. What we know about machine translation was largely based upon many studies that investigated how exploit of its output as Somers et al. (2006) had suggested. However, the present study indicated that there were slightly different amount of using online dictionaries and machine translations among the subjects. Never the less, previous study composed by Zengin and Kaçar (2011) had conclusively been shown that academia respondents definitely used it less than other online tools. The present study showed that half of the respondents had never used grammar checkers deal with their translation assignments. In addition, the results highlighted the usage of the subjects with encyclopedias for searching contents. However, one respondent reported that she used it to find unknown words. Table 4 Name of Online Tools Used among the Subjects Name of Online Tools Frequency Percentage (%) Online dictionaries -Longdo Cambridge, Oxford Lexitron Marriam-Webster Machine translations -Google Translate Yahoo Babel Fish Altavista Search engines -Google

7 75 -Ask.com Yahoo Hotbot Encyclopedias -Wikipedia New World Encyclopedia Britannica It can be seen from the data in Table 4 that numerous respondents used Longdo dictionary, Cambridge, and Oxford for solving language difficulties, while Google Translate and Wikipedia used when searching for contents. The results further support the idea of earlier surveyed expressed by Wuttikrikunlaya (2012) who conducted Thai students used of online tools in writing. The results indicated that the percentage of using monolingual dictionary (Oxford and Cambridge) and bilingual dictionary (Longdo) in translation among Thai students appeared slightly different amount. It may be assumed that students benefitted from bilingual dictionary more than monolingual dictionaries. A possible explanation for this might be that the majority of subjects used these tools such as Longdo, Oxford, Cambridge, Google, and Wikipedias because of its famous. They may have known the name of the tools more than the other online tools presented to them while responding to the questionnaire. This can be showed as an example of one respondent who answered that Oxford and Cambridge are reliable source, and can be used in coping with translation assignments. Table 5 Using of Online Tools according with Solving Language Difficulties when Translating English-Thai and Thai-English Assignments of the Subjects Kinds of Online Tools Online dictionaries Machine translations Grammar checkers Purposes Frequency % Frequency (%) Frequency (%) 1. Check unknown word Check meaning Translate English to Thai

8 76 4. Check wording Translate Thai to English Find synonym Check spelling

9 77 8. Check sentence structure 9. Translate at phrasal level 10. Translate at sentential level 11. Translate at clausal level 12. Translate at paragraph level Check collocation Check grammar Thai students used online tools as consultation outside of the classroom. The findings seemed to suggest that the respondents used online dictionaries in order to check unknown words, followed by check meaning. Thus, it seem that vocabulary is one of the problem of foreign students when write into L2. The data from the present study proposed that the respondents used machine translation to translate at phrasal and sentential level (62.12%). However, one student replied that she used machine translations in finding words. Moreover, the findings presented that the respondents not only check for grammatical errors that the tools actual provided, but they also perceived other results such as words, collocation, and sentence structure checking.

10 78 Table 6 Using of Online Tools according with Searching for Contents when Translating English- Thai and Thai-English Assignments of the Subjects Kinds of Online Tools Search engines Encyclopedias Purposes Frequency % Frequency (%) 1. Check unknown word Check wording Find synonym Check sentence structure Check collocation Check grammar According to Wuttikrikunlaya (2012), the respondents only used search engines and encyclopedias to search for information. In contrast, the present study showed that search engines and encyclopedias offered others functions. Over half of the respondents indicated those solutions consisted of checking unknown words, checking wording. Furthermore, checking of sentence structure, collocation, grammar, and verbs also were used among the respondents when consulted problems of language. Adafe and Rijke (2006) stated that encyclopedia such as Wikipedia provided bilingual lexicon and titles which translated into various languages. No doubt, the findings indicated that that the respondents utilized encyclopedias in checking wording.

11 79 Table 7 Students attitude toward using online tools Items Frequency Percentage (%) Good Provide new vocabulary, unknown words, and examples of sentences 2. Fast Make translation correctly Provide various functions Check correction Convenient Save of time Improve vocabulary, phrases, idioms knowledge Acceptable tools Check grammar Use as guideline when learning language Help translation goes faster Beneficial than paper dictionaries Correct errors Bad Provide wrong meanings and contexts Provide direct translations Provide grammar errors Lack of suggestion of wordings Have to rearrange sentence again (continued)

12 80 Table 7 (Continued) Students attitude toward using online tools Items Frequency Percentage (%) So-So It is Convenient but it is not good as paper dictionaries It easy to understand but provide wrong meaning It is fast, convenient but provide wrong results Online dictionaries are good, but Machine translations cannot make correction Table 7 presented that (80%) of the subjects commented positive attitudes toward using online tools. The reasons that those who reported Good toward using of online tools included finding, checking, and correcting difficulties of language such as words, sentences, grammatical errors, and sentence structures. Also, they said that they used online tools because they provided them convenient and fast. Online tools provided them new vocabulary, unknown words, and examples of sentences. In addition, online tools presented the respondents translation correctly and provided many several functions in the websites. About (10.77%) of the respondents said that online tools were bad for them. Moreover, only (1.54%) stated that online tools presented them grammar errors, lack of suggestions. They had to rearrange sentences again by themselves. They responded that online tools provided them wrong meaning which may relate to the contexts. Some evident from the results suggested that online tools offered them direct translation, grammatical errors. Also, online tools lacked of suggestion of word usage. They had to rewrite the sentences by themselves. This supported to Garcia and Pena (2011), when L2 used machine translations were used as only draft L2 students had to correct it by themselves which depended on each other ability of language. Not more than five respondents had suggested the exploits of machine translations. Nevertheless, few students presented as so-so (9.23%). Apart from Good and Bad attitudes, the respondents presented that online tools were convenient; however, they were not good as paper dictionaries. Online tools were fast, convenient for the respondents. They said that online tools presented wrong meaning, and results. One student believed that online dictionaries helped them search for correction unlike machine translations.

13 81 Table 8 Attitude toward used of Mixed Online Tools in Translation Items Frequency Percentage (%) 1. Fast % 2. Provide various data, vocabulary and provide vocabulary and information more than paper dictionaries % 3. Convenient % 4. To double check the % 5. Check correctness % 6. Check new words, unknown words, sentences, idioms, part of speech % 7. To help translation better % 8. To save of time % 9. To be guideline in doing assignments % 10. Check wording % 11. Check collocation % 12. Check sentence structure % 13. Save of time % 14. Language solution % When asked about the respondent s attitudes toward using mixed online tools, they replied that they used them because of their convenience, fast. Online tools provided various data, vocabulary, and some information than paper dictionaries, Moreover, using of mixed online tools help them more confident with their editing. Using of mixed online tools help their translation better some said that used it as a guideline such as reading in order to under general information. This evident also similar to Zengin and Karçar (2011) who proposed that the subjects tended to

14 82 use online dictionaries and search engines when comparing with paper dictionaries. Zengin and Kaçar (2011) stated that L2 used of online dictionaries and search engines help L2 learners in order to correct accuracy of style, and structure consulted difficulties of language. Conclusion In order to find kinds, purposes, and attitudes of Thai students, this study attempted to surveyed online tools used when they translated English-Thai and Thai-English assignments. The findings provide a picture of somewhat Thai undergraduate students reflect to using of online tools as independent language learning, improving, and solving their translation. In this study, the subjects most common problems when translating English assignments was inability to consulted problem with words. The subjects mostly used online dictionaries and search engines solved language difficulties. Furthermore, the over half of the subjects satisfied and had good attitudes towards using of online tools. The data seem to indicate that quality wise there are some advantages to be gained with online tools help, although these are not as obvious as they were when considered some errors such as inappropriate meaning, and errors. Online tools have been suggested as a useful tool that assists Thai students with independently solves those lexical and grammatical problems raise while translating in L2, and L1. However, some respondents presented that they should not rely on these tools. Implications The relationship between L2 students and online tools has been widely investigated (Zengin, & Kaçar, 2011, Fujii, n.d). The results suggested that we are not able to avoid using online tools among L2 students. Moreover, the teacher of translation should be aware of online tools used among their students and classroom assignments. This is because the evident suggested (80.30%) of the respondents preferred using online tools. There is numerous information that users should aware of its result. Teachers of translation should be considered of raw data from the tools. This aid the students avoid of plagiarism. As suggested by Somers et al (2006) teachers should have criteria for checking student s assignments in translation classroom. Moreover, the teachers should suggest some benefits that students will find on the tools such as vocabulary in online dictionaries that were frequently used by scholar users. Machine translation, search engines, and encyclopedia are also useful for students in solving and searching for contents in translation. However, Fujii (n.d) stated that L2 students have to proofread their assignments because some tools such as search engines may create by carless writers. Garcia and Pena (2011) suggested that there should be trained of using machine translation in translation classrooms. If the present study showed some effectiveness results, the teachers should teach their students how to learn by the technology and tools, how it benefits and exploits their students.

15 83 References Adafe, F., S., & Rijke, D., M. (2006). Finding Similar Sentences across Multiple Languages inwikipedia. EACL th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics Proceedings, Retrieved from Conroy, M. A. (2010). Internet tools for language learning University students taking control of their writing. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), Retrieved from cilite.org.au/ajet26/conroy.html Fujii, Y. (n.d). Making the most of search engines for Japanese to English translation: Benefits and Challenges. ASEAN EFL Journal, Tokyo Denki University Garcia, I., & Pena, I. (2011). Machine translation-assisted language learning: writing for beginners. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24(5), doi: / Gardner, J., & Holmes, B. (2006). The Internet generation. E-Learning-An educational Revolution (pp.61-62). London: SAGE Publication Ltd. Gaspari, F. (2007). The role of online MT in webpage translation (Doctoral dissertation, the University of Manchester), doi: Somers, H., Gaspari, F., & Niño, A. (2006). Detecting inappropriate use of free online machine translation by language students- A special case of plagiarism detection. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the European Association of Machine Translation, Sanchez, P. M. (2006). Electronic tools for translators in the 21st century. Translation Journal, 10(4). Wuttikrikunlaya, P. (2012). A survey of language tools used in L2 writing, with a special reference to online tools. Proceedings of Language Across Borders: toward ASEAN 2012, Zengin, B., & Kaçar, I. (2011). Turkish EFL academicians problems concerning translation activities and practices, attitudes toward the use of online and printed translation tools, and suggestions for quality translation practice. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(2), Retrieve from

16 84 Appendix (The questionnaire was translated from Thai.) A Survey of Thai Students Use of Online Tools in Translation This questionnaire is collected by Miss Sarathorn Munpru, a graduate student of English Major, Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Srinakharinwirot University. The purpose of this questionnaire is to explore kind of tools, purposes, and attitudes of Thai students in translating English to Thai, Thai to English. The questionnaire is absolutely anonymous. The results will be used in the analysis part. Your responses to the questions will be very useful for the study. Many thanks for your kind cooperation. Instruction: Online Tools consists of tools that facilitate students in consulting the difficulties of language such as online dictionaries, search engines, machine translations, spelling and grammar checkers, and Encyclopedias Mixed Online Tools consists of using of varieties of online tools in solving difficulties of language The questionnaire includes five parts. Part 1: General information Please read each question and put in the blank of your choice in the space given. 1.1 Gender: Male Female 1.2 Age: 1.3 Major: English English for careers 1.4 GPA: Part2: Online tools used in translating from English-Thai and Thai-English Please read each question and put in the blank of your choice in the space given. 2.1 How often do you use online tools in learning English language? Always use it when translating English assignments Frequently use it when translating English assignments Sometimes use it when translating English assignments Never

17 85 Part3: Online tools used in translating English to Thai, Thai to English Please read each question and put in the blank of your choices in the space given. 3.1 What kinds of online tools do you use in translation? (you can answer more than one items.) Dictionaries Search Engines Machine Translations Encyclopedia Grammar Checker Others, please specify 3.2 What online dictionaries do you use in translation? (You can answer more than one items.) Oxford Longdo Cambridge Lexitron Merriam-Webter Others, please specify 3.3 What machine translation do you use in translation? (you can answer more than one items.) Google Translate Yahoo Babel Fish Altavista Others, please specify 3.4 What online grammar checkers do you use in translation? (you can answer more than one items.) SpellChecker.net Paperrater LanguageTool Abiword Others, please specify 3.5 What search engine do you use in translation? (you can answer more than one items.) Alta Vista Ask.com MSN Search Hotbot Google Yahoo Others, please specify 3.6 What online encyclopedia do you use in translation? (you can answer more than one items.) Wikipedia Britannica New World Encyclopedia Others, please specify Part 4: Purposes of using online tools in translating English-Thai and Thai-English Please read each question and put in the blank of your choices in the space given. 4.1 You use online dictionaries in translating texts or assignments to (you can answer more than one items.) Check word usage Check sentence structure Check unknown word Check equivalent at word level Check meaning Check grammatical errors Check spelling Check verb consistency Find synonym Others, please specify Translate English into Thai Translate Thai into English 4.2 You use machine translations translating texts or assignments to (you can answer more than one items.) Translate at phrasal level Translate at clausal level

18 86 Translate at sentential level Translate at paragraph level Others, please specify 4.3 You use grammar checkers translating texts or assignments to (you can answer more than one items.) Check wording Check unknown word Check meaning Check verb Check sentence structure Check grammar Check collocation Others, please specify 4.4 You use search engines translating texts or assignments to (You can answer more than one items.) Search information Check sentence structure Check wording Check grammar Check unknown word Check collocation Check verb Check synonym Others please specify 4.5 You use encyclopedia translating texts or assignments to (You can answer more than one items.) Search information Check wording Check unknown word Others please specify Part5: Attitude towards using online tools in translating English to Thai, Thai to English (please answer the question in this section) Please read each question and put a check mark in the blank of your choice in the space given. 5.1 Do you think online tools help your translation more effectively? Yes, because No, because 5.2 Why do you use mixed online tools in translating English to Thai, Thai to English assignments or texts? Thank you for your time and cooperation The researcher will use the information in developing teaching and English learning

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