Readability and Comprehensibility in Translation Using Reading Ease and Grade Indices

Alpaslan Acar, Korkut Uluç İŞİSAĞ


The study compared and contrasted the readability and comprehensibility levels of technical and scientific texts in English and their Turkish translations through Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, The Coleman-Liau Index, The SMOG Index, Automated Readability Index and Linsear Write Formula. Atesman Reading Ease Formula was employed to measure the reading ease of the translated texts in Turkish. To measure the comprehensibility levels of the source texts and target texts, a checklist consisting of source texts and corresponding questions were administered to 43 English lecturers. One text was translated through Google translation. The comprehensibility level ranges from 0 to 100. (for English text: Comprehensibility level = (total items scores *100)/11; for Turkish texts comprehensibility level = (total items scores *100) /12. If comprehensibility level is 0-20, comprehensibility is considered very low; 21-40 is low; 41-60 is intermediate; 61-80 is high; 81-100 is very high. Cronbach's alpha statistics showed the internal consistency is 0,768 for the English texts and 0,796 for the Turkish texts. T-test was used for independent samples. Wilcoxon test was used for two related samples.  The results showed that Flesh Reading Formula was compatible to Ateşman Reading Ease Formula. The comprehensibility levels of the source texts and the target texts were found higher than the readability of the texts.  The comprehensibility of the target texts was found higher than that of the source texts. A statistical difference was found between the readability and comprehensibility levels of the texts. Google translation had the lowest comprehensibility level.


Technical Translation, Scientific Translation, Readability, Comprehensibility

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