Anna Estellés is a Tutor in Open University of Catalonia and a translation technologies consultant.

She holds a PhD in Translation, Society and Communication and a Master’s Degree in Translation Technologies and Localization. In her doctoral research she studied the application of ontologies in concept description.

Between 2007 and 2013 she taught Translation Technologies and Terminology at the University Jaume I, Spain.

Her current work focuses on the study of translators’ adoption of new developments in translation technologies (cloud services, machine translation, online CAT tools).

Anne Estellés and Esther Monzó Nebot

will present…

The catcher in the CAT. Playfulness and self-management in the use of CAT tools by professional translators



This contribution draws on the different models developed to assess and predict technology acceptance (particularly the Unified Theory, UTAUT) and discusses the factors considered and their applicability to CAT tools and professional translators.

It further draws on translator studies to discuss how the current research on the translators’ habitus can support and enhance the existing models.

The model suggested comprises five categories (performance and effort expectancy, social norms, perceived playfulness and self-determination), whose relevance is tested empirically with a cohort of professional translators.

The survey is carried out through a questionnaire where translators working in different language combinations and different institutions and companies, with different status (free-lancers and permanent in-house professionals), report their adherence to specific statements pertaining to the five constructs analyzed. The analysis highlights the importance of one of the two innovative factors contained in this proposal, self-determination, across the professional characteristics of the participants.

Extended Abstract

In the last ten years, computer-assisted tools (CAT) have evolved significantly to face changing marketplaces and an increased need for productivity (see Dunne 2012:151). Cloud computing (Software as Service), machine translation and crowdsourcing translation are altering the scenario of professional translation and are leading to new ways in the access and use of technology.

These changes, however, are sometimes imposed on translators by companies, institutions, agencies or the market’s command. Among other factors, this explains why CAT tools are unevenly used and appreciated by professionals. The acceptance of technology in general has been shown to depend on a number of factors. Models have been developed to determine the influence of computer anxiety, peer pressure and vertical imposition, job-related relevance, output quality and productivity, among many other parameters (see i.a. Lo et al 2012, Oliveira et al 2014, Faqih & Jaradat 2015, Hsu & Lin 2015).

In this contribution, we examine some of the factors included in existing models for predicting technology acceptance, especially the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1986) and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model (UTAUT) (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003). We discuss the issues considered across the different proposals and their empirical testing. We then examine contributions specifically developed to assess the use of technology in general and CAT tools in particular by professional translators (including Dillon & Fraser, 2006; Fulford & Granell-Zafra, 2005; Gough, 2011; Renga, 2012), and contributions to our discipline’s knowledge on the translators’ habiti (including Simeoni 1998, Wolf 2007, Meylaerts 2010). On the basis of this discussion we argue that (1) performance and (2) effort expectancy, (3) social norms, (4) perceived playfulness and the space for (5) self-management allowed for by the tools have an impact on how likely translators are to initiate and continue the use of CAT tools.

The relevance of these five issues is then tested surveying professional translators working in different language combinations and different institutions and companies, both free-lancers and permanent in-house professionals. Variances between the five categories in this model and translators’ self-reported intention to use CAT tools are then analysed. We argue that our results can be taken upon by developers to move beyond productivity and to better cater to the needs but also the wants of professional translators.



Davis, F. D. (1986). A technology acceptance model for empirically testing new end-user information systems : theory and results. Ph.D. Dissertation, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dillon, S., & Fraser, J. (2006). Translators and TM: An investigation of translators’ perceptions of translation memory adoption. Machine Translation, 20(2), 67–79.

Dunne, Keiran J. (2012). “The industrialization of translation: Causes, consequences and challenges.” Translation Spaces 1: 143-168.

Faqih, Khaled M. S., and Mohammed-Issa Riad Mousa Jaradat (2015). “Assessing the moderating effect of gender differences and individualism-collectivism at individual-level on the adoption of mobile commerce technology: TAM3 perspective.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 22: 37-52.

Fulford, H., & Granell-Zafra, J. (2005). Translation and Technology: a Study of UK Freelance Translators. The Journal of Specialised Translation, (4), 2–17.

Gough, J. (2011). An empirical study of professional translators’ attitudes, use and awareness of Web 2.0 technologies, and implications for the adoption of emerging technologies and trends. Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series – Themes in Translation Studies.

Hsu, Chin-Lung, and Judy Chuan-Chuan Lin (2015). “What drives purchase intention for paid mobile apps? – An expectation confirmation model with perceived value.” Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 14 (1): 46-57.

Lo, Fan-Chen, Jon-Chao Hong, Ming-Xien Lin, and Ching-Yuan Hsu. 2012. “Extending the Technology Acceptance Model to Investigate Impact of Embodied Games on Learning of Xiao-Zhuan().” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 64: 545-554.

Meylaerts, Reine (2010). ‘Habitus and self-image of native literary author-translators in diglossic societies’, Translation and Interpreting Studies, 5, 1.

Oliveira, Tiago, Miguel Faria, Manoj Abraham Thomas, and Aleš Popovič (2014). “Extending the understanding of mobile banking adoption: When UTAUT meets TTF and ITM.” International Journal of Information Management 34 (5): 689-703.

Renga, K. R. (2012). Translation and Technology: Factors that Influence a Translator’s Decision to use or not to use Modern Technology in the Translation Process. University of Nairobi.

Simeoni, Daniel (1998). ‘The Pivotal Status of the Translator’s Habitus.’ Target, 10, 1-39.

Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, F. D., & Davis, G. B. (2003). User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly, 27(3), 425–478.

Wolf, Michaela (2007). ‘Introduction. The emergence of a sociology of translation’, in Michaela Wolf and Alexandra Fukari (eds.), Constructing a Sociology of Translation. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Esther Monzó is a Professor Esther Monzó is a Professor in Translation at the Universitat Jaume I, Spain. Between 2013 and 2015 she was a Professor in the Sociology of Translation at the University of Graz, Austria.

Her current work focuses on the study of translators working for international organizations from a sociological perspective.

She has published extensively on the textual, technological and sociological aspects of legal and sworn translation. She has also conducted consultancy services and action research projects for the application of CAT tools in the field of legal and sworn translation.

She has been a practicing translator at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization, Switzerland.