Machine translation for everyone: Empowering users in the age of artificial intelligence

Dorothy Kenny  


Language learning and translation have always been complementary pillars of multilingualism in the European Union. Both have been affected by the increasing availability of machine translation (MT): language learners now make use of free online MT to help them both understand and produce texts in a second language, but there are fears that uninformed use of the technology could undermine effective language learning. At the same time, MT is promoted as a technology that will change the face of professional translation, but the technical opacity of contemporary approaches, and the legal and ethical issues they raise, can make the participation of human translators in contemporary MT workflows particularly complicated. Against this background, this book attempts to promote teaching and learning about MT among a broad range of readers, including language learners, language teachers, trainee translators, translation teachers, and professional translators. It presents a rationale for learning about MT, and provides both a basic introduction to contemporary machine-learning based MT, and a more advanced discussion of neural MT. It explores the ethical issues that increased use of MT raises, and provides advice on its application in language learning. It also shows how users can make the most of MT through pre-editing, post-editing and customization of the technology.


  • Introduction
    Dorothy Kenny
  • Europe, multilingualism and machine translation
    Olga Torres-Hostench
  • Human and machine translation
    Dorothy Kenny
  • How to choose a suitable NMT solution?
    Evaluation of MT quality
    Caroline Rossi, Alice Carré
  • Selecting and preparing texts for machine translation
    pre-editing and writing for a global audience
    Pilar Sánchez-Gijón, Dorothy Kenny
  • How to deal with errors in machine translation
    Sharon O’Brien
  • Ethics and machine translation
    Joss Moorkens
  • How neural machine translation works
    Juan Antonio Pérez-Ortiz, Mikel L. Forcada, Felipe Sánchez-Martínez
  • Custom neural machine translation
    Gema Ramírez-Sánchez
  • Machine translation for language learners
    Alice Carré, Dorothy Kenny, Caroline Rossi, Pilar Sánchez-Gijón, Olga Torres-Hostench


  • Review on LinguistList by Polina Zorina published January 19, 2023
    [...] Overall, “Machine Translation for Everyone: Empowering Users in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” is a well-written and comprehensive guide to machine translation. It is essential reading for anyone interested in using machine translation for language learning, translation, or any other purpose. The book provides a thorough understanding of the technology, its benefits and pitfalls, and the ethical issues that arise when using it. It is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to become a more informed and responsible user of machine translation.[...]


Author Biography

Dorothy Kenny, Dublin City University

Dorothy Kenny is full professor of translation studies at Dublin City University (DCU). She holds a BA in French and German from DCU, and an MSc in machine translation and a PhD in language engineering, both from the University of Manchester. Her current research interests include corpus-based analyses of translation and translator style, literary applications of machine translation and approaches to the teaching of translation technology. She is principal investigator on MultiTraiNMT, a European-Union funded strategic partnership that aims to create and disseminate innovative materials for teaching and learning about machine translation. She is co-editor of the journal Translation Spaces and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

Book cover


July 6, 2022
LaTeX source on GitHub
Cite as
Kenny, Dorothy. 2022. Machine translation for everyone: Empowering users in the age of artificial intelligence. (Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing 18). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.6653406


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Details about the available publication format: PDF


ISBN-13 (15)




Details about the available publication format: Hardcover


ISBN-13 (15)