The development and current state of translation process research

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<atl></affil></aug><abs>Interest in process-oriented translation studies has been intense for the past almost half a century. Translation process research (TPR) is the label we have used to refer to a special descriptive, empirical, experimental approach to translation studies based on close, technology-supported observation of translational (micro)behaviour. Fundamentally, TPR is based on software which logs a translator’s keystrokes on a computer keyboard in time in combination with an eyetracker which simultaneously tracks the translator’s eye movements across a screen displaying both a source text and the translator’s emerging translation. This research method was developed as a means of qualifying and strengthening translation process hypotheses based on verbal reports by providing additional, different, quantitative data from the same events, on the basis of which supplementary analyses and interpretations could be derived. With this method, many processes can be directly observed at different levels of granularity and can be compared with reported features of the mental process, which itself remains inaccessible to outside observation. What mental processes underlie measurable (micro)behaviour can only be inferred. A multi-methodological approach is clearly called for in order to capture the full complexity of translation, and translation studies must be open to extend its curiosity beyond itself, into regions like cognitive psychology, psycho- and neurolinguistics, and neuroscience, where the interest in what goes on in our heads is also very strong.


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