1 March 2013 workshop: Corpus-based decision-making

Presenter: Mary Ellen Kerans

Date:  Friday 1 March 2013

Time: 9:45 - 17:15 (doors open at 9:15)

Location: Park Plaza Hotel, Utrecht (just a short walk from Central Station)

Cost: 95.00 euros for SENSE members; 125.00 euros for non-members (includes buffet lunch  and coffeee/tea)

Contact: Lee Ann Weeks

If places are still available, registration for non-members will open 11 February. 


Important: To ensure the transaction is properly completed, please remember to click VOLTOOIEN or BESTELLING AFRONDEN at your bank's site.

For sworn translators: Bureau btv has approved this workshop for 6 PE points category A-D, code 596-3509 

A list of registrants is here (visible only to SENSE members).

About the workshop 

Corpus analysis is increasingly being used by editors and translators for guidance on usage. However, many express well-founded reservations about the wisdom of relying on a corpus. (After all, just because some author or even several authors have expressed an idea in a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to follow along uncritically.) Other potential users wonder if corpus analysis is any better than simply googling.

In this full-day workshop, our main aim is to learn about the types of questions that a corpus analysis can best be used to answer. Participants should come away with an instinct for when to go first to a corpus, which corpus to go to and how to pose the question for corpus analysis. Other aims are to practice interpreting the output of a simple corpus analysis program (freeware) and to learn how to build a corpus or add to the “substrate” corpora provided with this workshop. Corpus-mining tasks will be completed and we will discuss the problem-based decision-making processes.

Both new and experienced editors and translators are welcome. The emphasis will be on the language of medicine, but we will take brief excursions away from medical texts. One nonmedical task will allow experienced language professionals to relive the uncertainty of earlier times in their careers, reflect on decision-making requirements and show where corpora fit into our continuing professional development. Other tasks will show how we can use corpora to combat language attrition. And still other tasks will show how clashes of dialect or idiolect -- for example, between team members or with clients -- can be serenely resolved with the aid of corpus analyses.

Participants will receive a list of suggested reading. Ideally, participants will have a laptop with WiFi contact. The freeware analysis program does not require much memory. 

About Mary Ellen Kerans

Mary Ellen KeransMary Ellen has taught English, academic writing and English for specific purposes in a variety of university and non-university settings for more than 30 years. She has been an author's editor and translator since the late 1980s, mainly in the field of medicine. She has also copyedited journal manuscripts from authors whose native languages vary along the way.

Mary Ellen holds an MA from Teachers College Columbia University in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). She currently freelances in Barcelona. And since 2005, she has been active in encouraging language consultants of all types to share their knowledge through the association of Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET).