Developing Information Competence in Translator Training

by Urszula Paradowska (Author)
©2021 Monographs 280 Pages
Series: Łódź Studies in Language, Volume 68


This book addresses the question whether translation students can successfully increase their information competence as a result of a purposeful intervention. As translation technologies have become a staple in the translation industry, the ability to interact with the Web to solve translation problems is now a basic market requirement. Although there is a growing body of empirical research into web search behaviors of translators and the use of web-based resources in translation, none of the studies aimed at incorporating information competence strategy training into a translation course. The study described in this volume aims to fill this gap. The book will be of interest to translator educators as well as to professional translators who want to improve their web search expertise.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Translator Training and the Study of Translation Processes
  • Introduction
  • 1.1. Holmes’ map of translation studies
  • 1.2. Approaches to translator training
  • 1.3. Approaches to technology in Polish translator training programmes
  • 1.4. Translation research: a shift from product to process
  • 1.5. Models of the translation process
  • 1.6. Process-oriented research methods
  • 1.7. Translation Process Research (TPR) studies
  • 1.8. Joint TPR research initiatives
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 2: Information Competence and Web Search Behaviour
  • Introduction
  • 2.1. Defining information competence
  • 2.2. Web search behaviour
  • 2.3. Web search expertise
  • 2.4. Web-based resources for translators
  • 2.5. Previous research on information competence
  • 2.5.1. Research studies focusing on the use of external resources
  • 2.5.2. Research studies focusing on external resources and information search behaviour
  • 2.5.3. Research studies focusing on the development of information competence
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 3: Information Competence from the Translation Competence Perspective
  • Introduction
  • 3.1. Ability, skill, competence, proficiency and expertise
  • 3.2. Competence and expertise in translation
  • 3.3. Learning strategies and strategy training
  • 3.4. Approaches to defining translation competence
  • 3.5. Information competence as a translation competence component
  • 3.5.1. PACTE’s translation competence model (2003, 2005, 2009, 2014)
  • 3.5.2. Göpferich’s translation competence model (2009)
  • 3.5.3. Alves and Gonçalves’ translation competence model (2007)
  • 3.5.4. Kelly’s translation competence model (2005, 2007)
  • 3.5.5. EMT’s translation competence model (2009, 2017)
  • 3.5.6. ISO 17100:2015 standard for translation services
  • 3.5.7. PACTE’s competence levels in translation competence acquisition (2018)
  • 3.5.8. Kiraly’s translation competence models (2000, 2006, 2013, 2015, 2018)
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4: Developing Information Competence of Translation Students – an Empirical Study
  • Introduction
  • 4.1. Aims
  • 4.2. Study design
  • 4.3. Research questions
  • 4.4. Participants
  • 4.5. Procedure
  • 4.6. Preliminary study
  • 4.7. The main study
  • 4.7.1. Classroom setting and technical infrastructure
  • 4.7.2. Information competence training
  • 4.7.3. Translation practice
  • 4.7.4. Pre- and post-training sessions
  • 4.8. Materials used in pre- and post-sessions
  • 4.9. Data collection instruments
  • 4.10. Instruments for data processing and analysis
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 5: Results and Discussion
  • Introduction
  • 5.1. Quantitative results (cross-case analysis)
  • 5.1.1. Information needs
  • Change in information needs
  • Web search duration
  • Simple and complex translation problems
  • 5.1.2. Information competence
  • Expert search behaviour
  • Google search operators
  • Web-based resources
  • 5.1.3. Web search success and satisfaction
  • Search success rate
  • Search satisfaction
  • 5.1.4. Summary
  • 5.2. Qualitative results (within-case analyses)
  • 5.2.1. Student 1 (the most likely to succeed)
  • 5.2.2. Student 3 (the least likely to succeed)
  • 5.2.3. Student 4 (the best performance)
  • 5.2.4. Student 7 (the worst performance)
  • 5.2.5. Summary
  • 5.3. General discussion of research findings
  • 5.4. Limitations of the study and future research
  • Conclusions
  • Final Remarks and Conclusions
  • References
  • Index of Names
  • Appendices
  • A. Initial Questionnaire
  • B. Sample translation report (preliminary study, Semester 1)
  • C. Sample translation report (preliminary study, Semester 2)
  • D. Information Search Behaviour Questionnaire
  • E. Online Activities and Web Search Expertise Questionnaire
  • F. Pre-Session Domain Expertise Questionnaire
  • G. Post-Session Domain Expertise Questionnaire
  • H. Translation Report
  • I. Final Questionnaire
  • J. Source Text Used in the Pre-Training Session
  • K. Source Text Used in the Post-Training Session
  • L. Source Text Assessment Questionnaire
  • M. Summary of research findings for each participant
  • Series index

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List of figures

Fig. 1.Holmes’ map of translation studies (after Toury 1995).

Fig. 2.Basic division of translation aids (after Hirci 2013).

Fig. 3.Deductive classification of translation resources according to ‘choice’: a suggested categorisation (after Grego 2010).

Fig. 4.PACTE’s revised translation competence model (after PACTE 2003: 60).

Fig. 5.Göpferich’s translation competence model (2009).

Fig. 6.Translator’s competence model (after Alves and Gonçalves 2007).

Fig. 7.The wheel of competence (after EMT Expert Group 2009: 4).

Fig. 8.EMT Competence Framework (after EMT Board 2017: 4).

Fig. 9.Componential model of translator competence (after Kiraly 2006).

Fig. 10.Multi-vortex model of translator competence development (after Kiraly 2013, 2015; Kiraly and Hofmann 2015).

Fig. 11.Holarchic representation of co-emergence of learning (after Kiraly et al. 2018).

Fig. 12.Data entry spreadsheet. Effective search.

Fig. 13.Data entry spreadsheet. Switching between tabs.

Fig. 14.Total information need types distribution.

Fig. 15.Total duration of addressing information needs (% of searching time).

Fig. 16.Change in the number of NTACC information needs.

Fig. 17.Change in duration of NTACC information needs.

Fig. 18.Change in the number of NTPAR information needs.

Fig. 19.Change in duration of NTPAR information needs.

Fig. 20.Change in the number of NTMUN information needs.

Fig. 21.Change in duration of NTMUN information needs.

Fig. 22.Change in the number of NTEXT information needs.

Fig. 23.Change in duration of NTEXT information needs.

Fig. 24.Web searching duration (Google Chrome).

Fig. 25.Time spent on solving simple translation problems.

Fig. 26.Time spent on solving complex translation problems.

Fig. 27.Occurences of expert search behaviours.

Fig. 28.Change in the total number of expert search behaviours.

Fig. 29.Change in the number of Google search operators.

Fig. 30.Change in the number of Google search operators.

←15 | 16→

Fig. 31.Change in the use of recommended resources.

Fig. 32.Time spent on using the Google search engine.

Fig. 33.Time spent on consulting bilingual dictionaries.

Fig. 34.Total distribution of web-based resources.

Fig. 35.Search success rate – Rich Points.

Fig. 36.Search success rate – simple translation problems.

Fig. 37.Perceptions of search success.

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Recent years have seen a growing dependence of present-day translators on technologies; in particular, Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Over a decade ago, Gouadec pointed out that as a result of the technological revolution contemporary translators resemble “airline pilot[s]‌, connected to the outside world by an amazing variety of tools designed to help find information, communicate with others and carry out all the different tasks required” (2007: 263). A cursory look at job advertisements reveals that the translation market needs graduates who, in addition to translating texts, are prepared to fill a number of other roles such as post-editors of machine translation, revisers, software localisers, subtitlers, translation project managers, and terminologists, to mention just a few. More and more clients and employers seek language professionals who are able to evaluate the reliability of translation memory databases and to train machine translation engines. All of these emerging translation-related professions are heavily dependent on technology.

Even though web searching is so common in our personal and professional lives, observations of new generations of translation students show that even those born into and raised in the digital world do not use all search engine features and rely on a limited range of web-based resources. Kuznik and Olalla-Soler (2018: 21) point out that difficulties are often caused by “the very broad range of options for finding the required information.” Translators need to know what they want to search for (scope), how to search it (strategy), where to search it (source selection), and how much to search for (efficiency). The process of information searching has been greatly affected by the growth of the Internet. As Olvera-Lobo et al. (2009: 166) aptly observe, “[a]‌lthough the Internet has made this process easier, today’s translators face the new challenges of developing research strategies and evaluating the quality of information, tasks previously carried out with the help of other professionals such as librarians or documentalists, or subject matter experts.” Translation teachers can help their students to deal with a plethora of information available on the Internet by improving their online information seeking skills and increasing their working knowledge of web-based resources.

The need to develop information competence is recognised by translation teachers and researchers (Massey and Ehrensberger-Dow 2011a; Austermühl 2013; Pym 2013) as well as authors of various translation competence models (PACTE 2005, 2009; Göpferich 2009; EMT Expert Group 2009; EMT Board ←17 | 18→2017). An increasing body of empirical research on the use of web-based resources in translation and web search behaviours of translators is available (Pinto and Sales 2008; Enríquez Raído 2011; Massey and Ehrensberger-Dow 2011a; Chodkiewicz 2015, 2020; Gough 2016; Chang 2018; Olalla-Soler 2018). However, none of the studies aimed at developing information competence.

Considering the above, the aim of this book is to propose an approach to developing information competence in undergraduate translation students based on the review of literature and an empirical study conducted in an attempt to answer the question whether this process could be enhanced with a noticeable positive effect through a planned didactic intervention embedded in a general translation course. The author adopted an integrated approach to improving her students’ level of information competence, aiming to improve their ability to locate, evaluate, and use the needed information effectively (ACRL 2000, 2015) while developing their translation competence. This approach makes it easier to respond to the ever-changing technological realities and offers more opportunities to practise information skills, which is more effective than participation in a special course on translation technologies (Pym 2013).


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2021 (August)
information competence web searching translator training translation process research translation technologies
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2021. 280 pp., 37 fig. b/w, 17 tables.

Biographical notes

Urszula Paradowska (Author)

List of tables List of figures Introduction Translator training and the study of translation processes Information competence and web search behavior Information competence from the translation competence perspective Developing information competence of translation students – an empirical study Results and discussion Final remarks and conclusions References Appendices


Title: Developing Information Competence in Translator Training
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