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Language independent evaluation of translation style and consistency: comparing human and machine translations of Camus’ novel “The Stranger”

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We present quantitative and qualitative results of automatic and manual comparisons of translations of the originally French novel “The Stranger” (French: L’Étranger). We provide a novel approach to evaluating translation performance across languages without the need for reference translations or comparable corpora. Our approach examines the consistency of the translation of various document levels including chapters, parts and sentences. In our experiments we analyse four expert translations of the French novel. We also used Google’s machine translation output as baselines. We analyse the translations by using readability metrics, rank correlation comparisons and Word Error Rate (WER).