Volume 62, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Drawing on cognitive linguistics and psychology, this paper attempts to model the subtitler’s decision-making as involving two types of operations. They are referred to as System 1 and System 2, the former being fast, automatic and requiring little effort, and the latter being slower, controlled and effortful. To test the dual-processing hypothesis, I analyse trainee subtitlers’ renditions with a focus on the construction “you + to like + me” which exemplifies a cross-language asymmetry and a potential (disguised) translation challenge. Remarkably, the English construction is employed equally-conventionally to represent the concept of being favourably disposed to somebody in a non-physical/sexual manner, on the one hand, and being attracted to somebody, on the other. In Polish, however, the “prototypes” will typically be represented as distinct expressions. The present findings suggest that because differentiating between the prototypes and coding them linguistically is not challenging to the participants, it is the automation of their judgment that leads them to settle for flawed target variants (Stage 1). Additional evidence is obtained (Stage 2) as participants are induced to go from System 1 to System 2 thinking–a cross-stage comparison indicates that the fast-to-slow switch reorients the trainees’ subtitling choices and ultimately improves translation quality.


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