School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Lucas Nunes Vieira

  • Former Research Student

Doctoral Student in Translation Studies – Cognition


Dr Francis Jones, Dr Michael Jin, Dr Yalta Chen

Cognitive Effort in Post-Editing of Machine Translation

Identifying indices of cognitive effort in post-editing of machine translation can serve a number of purposes, including estimating raw-output quality, calculating post-editors’ pay rates, as well as contributing to a better understanding of the activity from cognitive and psycholinguistic perspectives. I research the expenditure of cognitive effort in post-editing through a mixed-method approach involving eye tracking, a subjective scale of mental effort, and think-aloud protocols. Variables investigated in connection with effort include characteristics of the source text and machine-translation output, different linguistic aspects of the task post-editors attend to, and the fluency and adequacy of the post-edited text. From a methodological perspective, the suitability of think-aloud protocols as a method for estimating cognitive effort is also inspected, with empirical results in this respect being hoped to contribute to current methodological debates on the topic. More generally, findings obtained in the study are expected to inform professional practice as well as further Translation Studies research on the use and evaluation of machine translation.

Research Interests

Translation, Psycholinguistics, Translation Technology, Cognitive Psychology, Experimental Methods and Statistics


Undergraduate: POR 2061 Portuguese Level B


  • SML7000 Information Technology for Translators and Interpreters
  • SML 8010 Professional Issues in Translating and Interpreting
  • SML 7001 Translation Studies I
  • SML 8008 Translation Studies II
  • SML 8012 Translation Practice and Principles
  • MA Dissertation Supervision 


Unpublished conference presentations:

  • 2015 – “Cognitive Effort in Machine Translation Post-Editing: A Mixed-Method Approach”. Innovation Paths in Translation and Intercultural Studies. IATIS 5th International Conference. Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
  • 2014 – “Cognitive Effort and the Role of the Source Text in Post-Editing”. New Perspectives on Translation Research - Insights into the Performative and Cognitive Work of Translators. ARTIS Inaugural Symposium. Manchester, UK.
  • 2014 – “Indices of Cognitive Effort in Machine Translation Post-Editing”. Translation in Transition: Between Cognition, Computing, and Technology. Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 2013 – “Indexes of Cognitive Effort in MT Post-Editing: Methodological Choices and Potential Applications”. Newcastle University First Year Postgraduate Conference 2013 - Breaking Boundaries, Newcastle, UK.
  • 2013 – “Text Complexity, Translation Quality and Cognitive Effort in Machine Translation Post?Editing”. The International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting (IPCITI), Edinburgh, UK.
  • 2012 – “Translation Post-Editing Tools: A Wiki for Translation Professionals”. Workshop on Expertise in Translation and Post-editing: Research and Application, Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • Vieira, L.N. (2014). Indices of Cognitive Effort in Machine Translation Post-Editing. Machine Translation 28(3-4):187-216.doi: 10.1007/s10590-014-9156-x
  • Vieira, L.N. (2013). An Evaluation of Tools for Post-Editing Research: The Current Picture and Further Needs. In: Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Post-Editing Practice and Technology, MT Summit. Nice, France, pp. 93-101. PDF
  • Baptista, J., Vieira, L.N., Diniz, C., Mamede, N. (2012). Coordination of -mente Adverbs in Portuguese: an Integrated Solution. In: Helena, C., Villavicencio, A., Teixeira, A., Perdigão, F. (eds.) Computational Processing of the Portuguese Language - PROPOR 2012. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 7243. Springer Berlin-Heidelberg, pp. 24-34.
  • Vieira, L.N., Diniz, C., Mamede, N., Baptista, J. (2012). A Lexicon of Verb and -mente Adverb Collocations in Portuguese: Extraction from Corpora and Classification. In: Proceedings of the Lexis and Grammar Conference 2012 (LGC 2012), Novè Hrady, Czech Republic, 19-22 September 2012, pp. 155-161. PDF
  • Vieira, L.N. (2012) PT-EN Collocation Equivalents and Machine Translation Evaluation. BULAG Natural Language Processing and Human Language Technology 37: 117-136 .
  • Vieira, L.N. and Specia, L. (2011) A Review of Machine Translation Tools from a Post-Editing Perspective. In: Proceedings of the Third Joint EM+/CNGL Workshop Bringing MT to the Users: Research Meets Translators" (JEC '11), Luxembourg, 14 October 2011, pp. 33-42. PDF


  • Postgraduate Research Student Representative 2012-2013
  • Member of the organising team of the 2014 Televic Simultaneous Interpreting Competition

Competitive Funding

  • Grant to attend the Translation Research Summer School, UCL (2013) - awarded by the Translation Research Summer School, UK.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship (2012-2015) - awarded by Newcastle University, UK.
  • Translation Process Research Course fee waiver (2012) - Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
  • Fully Funded Erasmus Mundus Masters Scholarship (2010-2012) - awarded by the European Commission.
  • 3 Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships in Portuguese Philology (2007 – 2009) - awarded by Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil.

Academic Background

  • PGCert in Research Training at Newcastle University, UK.
  • MA in Natural Language Processing and Human Language Technology at Universidade do Algarve, Portugal/ Université de Franche-Comté, France.
  • BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil.