Translation and Meaning. New Series, Vol. 2, Pt. 1

by Lukasz Bogucki (Volume editor) Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Volume editor) Marcel Thelen (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 322 Pages
Series: Łódź Studies in Language, Volume 42


The volume contains a selection of articles on current theoretical issues in Translation Studies and literary translation. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in the world. The book will be an indispensable aid for trainers and researchers, but may be of interest to anyone interested or active in translation and interpreting. A companion volume in this series contains articles on audiovisual translation, translator training and domain-specific issues.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Section I: Translation Studies: A Theoretical and Descriptive Perspective
  • Translation Process Analysis Revisited
  • Ease of use of translation process research methods
  • Volunteer translation, collaborative knowledge acquisition and what is likely to follow
  • Translation Quality Assessment: The Application of the Argument Macrostructure Model to Texts across Different Fields
  • Remapping meaning: Exploring the products and processes of translating conceptual metaphor
  • How to sneeze off papers from the desk in Polish translation: re-conceptualization and approximation at work
  • A Comprehensive Approach to Translation.Reconciling Antagonistic Orientations in Contemporary Translation Studies
  • Rendition of Formulaicity in Simultaneous Interpreting: A Case Study
  • Inclusion et traduction automatique
  • Quelques Réflexions Sur Le Traitement Automatique Des Collocations
  • Les facteurs d’équivalence dans la traduction de l’humour verbal
  • Section II: Topics in Literary Translation
  • The Anatomy of Two Medieval Translations of the Psalter
  • Figuratively Allusive: The Aesthetic Meaning of Literary Translation from Chinese into English
  • Stylistic Analysis of Source Text and Target Text as an Instrument for Translation Quality Assessment (Example of Latvian Translation of Ulysses by James Joyce)
  • Maintenance of the Message in the Translation of Literary Texts: A Contribution or an Onslaught to African Languages
  • Translation and Meaning: A Reflection in the Novel Mafangambiti
  • Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929): nouns, verbs, the CONDUIT metaphor, and literal translation
  • The English Past Perfect Tense in Translation into Polish
  • Translating intertext and intermedial meanings: Problems with Alice

← 6 | 7 →


When the idea for the Maastricht – Łódź Duo Colloquium on “Translation and Meaning” was born in the late 1980s, the position of Translation Studies was different from where the discipline is now as the practice of translating in those times differed from today. The first conference took place in 1990 – in Maastricht in spring, in Łódź in autumn. Since then, the six editions of the Duo Colloquium have hosted the greatest minds in Translation Studies, including the late Eugene A. Nida, the late Peter Newmark, Albrecht Neubert, Gideon Toury, Mona Baker, Christiane Nord, Juliane House, Jeremy Munday, more recently Anthony Pym and Dorothy Kenny – the list certainly does go on. The fruit of the past five colloquia (1990–2005) are the ten volumes published by Universitaire Pers Maastricht, whose contents have contributed significantly to the development of the discipline and have shaped the academic careers of many translation scholars, including the editors of this book.

As of this year, papers delivered during the Duo Colloquium will be published by Peter Lang in the Lodz Studies in Language series. Volume One published earlier this year contains papers from the Maastricht Session in May 2015, while Volume Two, parts One and Two are made up of papers read during the Łódź Session in September that year. The contents reflect the current trends in translation research, with the prominent notions of translation in digital space, intersemiotic translation and collaborative translating, while managing to shed some new light on key concepts and paradigms, such as quality assessment or translation process.

The first section of this book is devoted to Translation Studies from a theoretical and descriptive standpoint. Wolfgang Lörscher elaborates on the development of research on the process of translation. Urszula Paradowska tackles a similar issue, analysing methods of translation process research. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Łukasz Bogucki look at what the future may hold for collaborative translation enterprises. Rafat Alwazna scrutinises the issue of translation quality assessment depending on the text field. Gary Massey investigates translating conceptual metaphor, while Jacek Tadeusz Waliński looks at reconceptualisation and approximation in translation. Lucia Salvato attempts a comprehensive approach to translation by looking at antagonisms in contemporary theories and models. Patrycja Wojtania explores lexical issues and formulaicity in the theory and practice of simultaneous interpreting. The section finishes with three papers in French; Beata Śmigielska researches machine translation, Magdalena Perz looks ← 7 | 8 → at collocations in translation, and Magdalena Szeflińska-Baran studies issues in translating verbal humour.

The second section of the present book concentrates on issues in literary translation. Magdalena Charzyńska-Wójcik scrutinises psalter translation with two medieval texts as cases in point. Kelly Kar Yue Chan looks at the Chinese – English language pair and language-specific issues in the translation of literature. Sigita Ignatjeva explores another language pair (English to Latvian) with a case study of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Cordelia Khoza studies the specificity of African languages from the point of view of literary translation. Similarly, James Mafela looks at the novel Mafangambiti in translation. Krzysztof Kosecki has chosen Ernest Hemingway’s texts in translation to illustrate a range of lexical phenomena. Janusz Wróblewski’s paper concentrates on a grammatical issue, namely the English Past Perfect tense. Lastly, Smiljana Narančić Kovač explores Alice in Wonderland from the point of view of intertextuality.

The editors

Lukasz Bogucki, Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Marcel Thelen

← 8 | 9 →

Section I
Translation Studies:
A Theoretical and Descriptive Perspective

← 9 | 10 →

← 10 | 11 →

Wolfgang Lörscher
University of Leipzig

Translation Process Analysis Revisited

Thirty years of research into translation processes

Abstract: The paper will provide an overview of three research projects concerning the psycholinguistic investigation into translation processes. These have been carried out by the author during the last thirty years and reflect the development of translation process analysis in general. The projects differ in their designs, their data bases as well as in their methodologies employed. The investigations will be critically reviewed and considerations about perspectives for future research will be made.

Keywords: Translation processes, translation strategies, translation problems, translation versions, translation competence, translation performance, bilingual translation, professional translation, non-professional translation, thinking-aloud

1.  Introduction

Until the mid-eighties of the last century, translation studies were primarily concerned with two phenomena: with translation as a product and with translation competence:

Translation as a product, i.e. a written text in a target-language (TL) as the result of a translation process, was traditionally described and analysed by a comparison with the respective source-language (SL) text. The relation between the SL text and the TL text was dealt with in a large number of different and highly theoretical models of equivalence. By and large, these models were prescriptive rather than descriptive and of very limited use to the practical translator.

Translation theory was mainly competence-oriented and focussed on (professional) translators’ internalised knowledge. The models of translation were theoretical and speculative rather than empirical and concentrated on idealizations rather than on actually occurring data.

As a consequence of translation theory being product- and competence-oriented, hardly any attention was given to the many-facetted process by which a translation is produced, and to translators’ actual performance. This narrowing of the object and its dimensions of investigation came to be realized as a deficit in the nineteen-eighties. As a result, the first approaches to a new type of translation-procedural ← 11 | 12 → and performance-analytical research began to take shape about thirty years ago and developed into a new, additional paradigm within translation studies. The first researchers in this field were Pamela Gerloff, Riitta Jääskeläinen, Hans Krings, Candace Séguinot, Sonja Tirkkonen-Condit and myself.

The considerations which will be made in this paper can be located within this area of research. They are based on a research project in which psycholinguistic aspects of the translation process are investigated by analysing translation performance. This is done in order to reconstruct translation strategies. These underlie translation performance, operate in the translation process and thus are not accessible to direct inspection.

2.  The Design of the Investigation

The empirical basis of the investigation is eighty-three recorded translations (German-English; English-German) of nine written texts.

During the first phase of the project, translation processes of advanced foreign language learners were investigated. The subjects – mostly students of English in lower semesters – had received no or only a minimal education in translation. They had only a partial competence in English beside their German mother tongue. The translations were performed orally since presumably more aspects of the process of speech production – and thus also those of the translation process – can be externalised herein than would be the case in written translation. The results brought forth are shown in my monograph Translation Performance, Translation Process, and Translation Strategies. A Psycholinguistic Investigation. Tübingen. 1991.

In 1992, the project entered its second phase in which the mental processes of professional translators were analysed. Now, a third phase is in progress which concentrates on bilinguals’ translation processes

3.  Methodology

Concerning the methodology which has been applied for the investigation of the translation process, a distinction can be made between the methods for data collection and those for data evaluation.

3.1  Methods of Data Collection

As regards data collection, a combination of thinking-aloud and retrospective probing plays a decisive role as a method to discern the mental processes involved. The subjects were asked to verbalise the thoughts that occurred to them as much as ← 12 | 13 → possible while they performed the translation task. In addition, the subjects were confronted with their translation problems shortly after their translation and were asked to comment on the problems and the ways in which they tried to solve them.

During the last years, many arguments have been put forward about the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure. Elsewhere, I pointed out seven arguments in favour of thinking-aloud as a method for the elicitation of data on translation processes. By way of conclusion, it can be assumed that thinking-aloud in combination with retrospective probing represents a useful instrument to gain insights into mental processes in general and into translation processes in particular. It goes without saying that both the situation in which the data has been externalised and its inherent limitations must be taken into account.

To minimize these limitations retrospective procedures (ex-post thinking-aloud, retrospective probing immediately after translation task) are additionally employed. Such a combination of introspective and retrospective methods should minimize the weaknesses of each procedure when it is used separately. This triangulation of methods is also propagated by Ericsson and Simon (1984).

The subjects’ translations, their thinking-aloud protocols interwoven with the translations and the retrospective information are recorded and serve as the data basis for the analysis.

3.2  Methods of Data Analysis and Evaluation

The analysis and evaluation of data are carried out by means of an interpretive approach, as is customary in performance analysis. The primary aim of this approach is the hypothetical reconstruction of sense relations. In the process of interpretive reconstruction, certain data are interpreted as (observable) indicators of (unobservable, mental) translation strategies. These indicators represent the basis for the formation of hypotheses on the mental translation process. A more detailed description of these phenomena is discussed in Lörscher 1991.

The process of knowledge accumulation with respect to translation strategies has a dialectical nature. On the one hand, the analysts must have some knowledge of the concept of translation strategies in order to be able to ascribe the status of strategy indicators to their respective signs. On the other hand, translation strategies are only constituted by their indicators, so that knowledge of them can, to a very large extent, only be gained by means of strategy indicators. Therefore, the analysts must often proceed in a speculative and hypothetical way. They often do not interpret signs to be indicators because they know the respective entity, i.e. the strategy, but rather on the basis of considerations of probability. These can ← 13 | 14 → be corroborated or turn out to be false in the course of accumulating further knowledge of the phenomena and of acquiring more experience in interpretation.

4.  A Strategic Analysis of the Process of Translation

Translation strategies have been defined by me as procedures which the subjects employ in order to solve translation problems (Lörscher 1991. Accordingly, translation strategies have their starting-point in the realisation of a problem by a subject, and their termination in a (possibly preliminary) solution to the problem or in the subject’s realisation of the insolubility of the problem at the given point in time.

Between the realisation of a translation problem and the realisation of its solution or insolubility, further verbal and/or mental activities can occur which can be interpreted as strategy steps or elements of translation strategies. They can be formalised to yield categories of a model for the strategic analysis of the translation process. A model of this type was developed on the basis of a corpus of translations made by foreign language students. In the second stage of the project, it was applied to translations performed by professional translators. Significant modifications of the model were unwarranted for an adequate analysis of professional translation processes although the quality and structure of the translation strategies and their elements, as well as their quantitative distribution differ considerably, at least in part.

The model consists of two hierarchical levels. The first and lowest level contains those phenomena which can be interpreted to be elements of translation strategies, i.e. the smallest discrete problem-solving steps. The second level captures the manifestations of translation strategies. Translation versions can be located within strategies or can comprise several strategies, and are thus intra- or interstrategic phenomena. More about the hierarchical organisation of the model will be pointed out in parts 4.3 and 5.

4.1  Elements of Translation Strategies

The elements of translation strategies can be distinguished as to whether they are original, i.e. constitutive, or potential. The former only occur within strategic, i.e. problem-oriented phases of the translation process and are thus original, constitutive elements of translation strategies. The latter may also occur within non-strategic phases of the translation process.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2017 (March)
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2016. 322 S.

Biographical notes

Lukasz Bogucki (Volume editor) Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Volume editor) Marcel Thelen (Volume editor)

Łukasz Bogucki is director of the Institute of English Studies at the University of Łódź and head of the Department of Translation Studies. His academic interests include the theory of audiovisual translation, translation studies as an academic discipline, interpreting, specialised and computer-assisted translation, as well as localisation. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk is professor of English Language and Linguistics at the State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, where she holds the position of professor ordinarius at the Department of English and Translation. Marcel Thelen is senior lecturer of translation and terminology and former head of school at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences.


Title: Translation and Meaning. New Series, Vol. 2, Pt. 1