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Cognitive efficiency in translation

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Abstract

This article concerns the cognitive mechanisms that underlie the efficient allocation of cognitive resources during the translation process. Three indicators of efficient resource allocation are outlined and examined as correlates of translation expertise: flexibility, automaticity, and processing flow. Analyses of eye tracking and keylogging data from two groups of translators – professional translators and student translators – reveal that the more experienced group performs more efficiently. Professionals exhibit greater variation in attention unit duration, indicating greater cognitive flexibility and adaptability, while analysis of pupillary data suggests a lower cognitive load on professional translators’ cognitive systems. The two groups of translators exhibit different processing flow patterns. The study demonstrates that analyses of cognitive flexibility, cognitive automaticity, and processing flow are useful to determine processing efficiency in translation.

References

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