Title: Does professional translation into L2 involve more effort than into L1?
Authors : Hunziker Heeb, Andrea
Conference details: Translation process research workshop 4, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 15-17 January
Issue Date: 2015
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Translation process research; Directionality; Professional translation; Cognition
Subject (DDC) : 418.02: Translating and interpreting
Abstract: One of the many assumptions about L2 translation (or translation into the second language) is that it requires more effort than L1 translation and therefore is not recommended as a professional practice. However, this does not seem to discourage a considerable number of professional translators from working into their L2. In recent years, several studies on the issue of effort in professional L2 translation have been published, for example by Pavlović and Jensen (2009), Alves et al. (2009) and Ferreira (2014). In summary, results indicate that the relation between translation effort and translation direction is not as simple and straight forward as may be expected. Therefore, a multi- method approach is certainly useful in order to be able to determine and measure various indicators of translation effort. Translation effort in this study is seen as the situated and embodied cognitive effort translators decide to invest in performing their task. As cognitive effort cannot be observed directly but manifests itself in temporal, technical and verbal indicators, some of these will be measured. The study design involves three groups of professional translators. The first group consists of professionals who regularly translate into their L2 (German-English) as well as into their L1 (English-German) and are referred to as bidirectional translators. The second and the third group are professional translators who exclusively translate into their L1, the former working from German into English and the latter from English into German. They are referred to as unidirectional translators. At the institute's usability laboratory each participant wrote one or two short translations, which were recorded using screen recording, eyetracking and keystroke logging software. Afterwards, the participants were shown a video of their on- screen translation process and asked to comment freely. In addition, background information was collected in an interview. Various measures have then been used to find similarities and differences within and between the participant groups. Firstly, the analysis of the total time on task shows that the L2 translation process involves more time than the L1 translation process. Secondly, the total number of letters and spaces produced during the task compared to the actual length of the final target text is much higher for L2 translation than for L1 translation. Thirdly, in their retrospective comments, the bidirectional translators mention a broader range of issues  they attend to while translating than the unidirectionals. This may indicate that the formerperform more conscious and reflective problem-solving and decision making processes whereas the latter perform more automatic processes. In conclusion, these three measures suggest that professional L2 translation indeed involves more effort than L1 translation. Additional indicators of translation effort and their analysis will be discussed in the poster. Alves, F., Pagano, A. and I. da Silva, Igor (2009). A new window on translator's cognitive activity: methodological issues in the combined use of eye tracking, key logging and retrospective protocols. In I. Mees, F. Alves and S. Göpferich (eds). Methodology, technology and innovation in translation process research: a tribute to Arnt Lykke Jakobsen. Copenhagen studies in language 38. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur. 267- 291. Ferreira, A. (2014). Analyzing recursiveness patterns and retrospective protocols of professional translators in L1 and L2 translation tasks. Translation and Interpreting Studies, 9 (1). 109-127. Pavlović, N. and K. Jensen (2009). Eye tracking translation directionality. In A. Pym and A. Perekrestenko (eds). Translation Research Projects 2. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group. 93-109.
Departement: Angewandte Linguistik
Organisational Unit: Institute of Translation and Interpreting (IUED)
Publication type: Conference Poster
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/7332
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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