Methods and strategies of process research

Methods and strategies of process research: Integrative approaches in translation studies. Ed. by Cecilia Alvstad, Adelina Hild, and Elisabet Tiselius. (Benjamins translation library 94.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011. Pp. xii, 377. ISBN 9789027224422. $143 (Hb).

Reviewed by Taras Shmiher, Ivan Franko National University

This book marks the significance of Birgitta Englund Dimitrova’s translation process–oriented research. The three parts of the book embrace a variety of data types and methodological issues.

Part 1 focuses on conceptual and methodological discussions. Cecilia Wadensjö (13–21) concentrates on the development of two competing trends in studies of interpreting: evidence-based interpreting practice vs. interpreting as an academic field. Andrew Chesterman (23–35) discusses the well-known literal translation hypothesis that while processing a text, translators tend to start from a literal version of the target text and then move toward a freer one. Arnt Lykke Jakobsen (37–55) summarizes the results of some experimental studies on the addition of eye-tracking to keylogging, which has made it possible to examine in much greater detail the way a translator processes text.

In an article by Brian Mossop (57–66) we find a model for a translator’s self-analysis. An article by Sonia Vandepitte and Robert J. Hartsuiker (67–92) incorporates approaches from psycholinguistics and translation studies to investigate how translators deal with metonymic language. Performance analysis, as a tool for identifying cognitive translation processes, is presented in an article by Gregory M. Shreve, Isabel Lacruz, and Erik Angelone (93–120). Šárka Timarová, Barbara Dragsted, and Inge Gorm Hansen (121–46) contribute to the methodological exploration of the time lag between the source text input and the interpreter’s target text.

Part 2 deals with process research in interpreting and translation. Miriam Shlesinger and Ruth Almog (149–68) share their experience from Israel’s two-year Translation Skills Program for secondary schools whose aim is to develop students’ meta-linguistic awareness and enrich their command of two languages. A behavioral study by Antin Fougner Rydning and Christian Lachaud (169–86) examines the cognitive processing of primary and complex conceptual metaphors during the initial step of translation process (i.e. comprehension). Alexander Künzli and Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow (187–200) present an experimental study of reception capacity and audience response to subtitled movies; meanwhile, Ulf Norberg (219–29) shows cognitive processes during the translation of complex wordplay. Two case studies that follow produce extensive theoretical insights: one by Daniel Gile (201–18), scrutinizing errors, omissions, and infelicities in President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech as broadcast in French, German and Japanese, and one by Claudia V. Angelelli (231–46), penetrating a typical conversation between an English-speaking healthcare provider and a Spanish-speaking patient about chronic illnesses via critical discourse analysis.

Part 3 contributes to the study of interpreting and translation expertise. Adelina Hild (249–67) presents an experimental expert-novice comparison study for the effects of linguistic complexity by analyzing syntactic metrics. The studies by Elisabet Tiselius and Gard B. Jenset (269–300) report on the differences in performance between interpreters with short and long periods of experience. Gun-Viol Vik-Tuovinen (301–15) explores how professional thinking and acting are elaborated and expanded in the framework of interpreting. Aimed at the validation of its translation competence model, the Procés d’Adquisició de la Competència Traductora i Avaluació (PACTE) Group (317–43) presents one of its study variables: identification and solution of translation problems.

The book ends with an interview with Dimitrova, conducted by Elisabet Tiselius (345–59), followed by a list of Englund Dimitrova’s publications (361–66), notes on the book’s contributors, and an index of subjects.