Theoretical and methodological approaches
Ricardo Muñoz Martín Standardizing translation process research methods and reports 1 Introduction Setting a date for the beginning of empirical research in Translation Studies (TS) is not an easy task. In a way, it seems to have existed since the dawn of times. After all, translation criticism and error analyses are empirical ways to knowledge on translation (Kussmaul and Tirkkonen-Condit 1995: 177). However, they are not very informative about the translation process. The use of a scientific method to study mental processes in our field began with the first works on simultaneous interpreting. Until recently, studies on cog- nitive aspects of simultaneous interpreting used to leave their translation counterparts far behind. This text focuses on some aspects of the meth- ods for studying written translation and tries to contribute to improving translation process research quality. Here, at least, we have a clear date: to my knowledge, the first empirical study on the mental processes of transla- tors was Sandrock’s (1982), which was also the first one to use think-aloud techniques to elicit data. Sandrock’s pioneering Diplomarbeit coexisted with the failure to develop a Science of Translation. The paradox is only apparent: on the one hand, the Science of Translation was mainly inspired by (generative) linguistics while Sandrock was shifting her paradigm to draw from cogni- tive and experimental psychology instead. On the other hand, researchers like Snell-Hornby (1988: 14) had concluded that adopting methods and approaches from the exact sciences led nowhere. Snell-Hornby did not write it down,...
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