Edited By Dagmar Knorr, Carmen Heine and Jan Engberg
Looking beyond text: The usefulness of translation process data
One of the major challenges in translation process research has been establishing its relevance to the quality of products. Comparisons of individuals with different levels of experience can and have been used in attempts to identify the parameters associated with translation competence. The present article explores how various quantitative measures derived from a large corpus of translation processes differentiate students from professionals and might be predictive of future student performance. Focused use of external resources, pausing, and speed of target text production were robust indicators of professional experience. In addition, the amount of self-revision done by MA students in the beginning of their first semester seemed to be inversely related to their performance in their final-semester translation course. We propose that reflective text production may be a strong indicator of translation competence and discuss some implications of our findings for diagnostics, training, and evaluation.
A common criticism directed at most process researchers is the futility of studying processes without addressing the issue of quality, which is almost always understood as referring to the final products. We would argue that just as the notion of quality must be expanded to include the process, the notion of product must be expanded to include typically process-related characteristics. For example, the efficiency of information searches is a process-related indicator that by definition is related to quality. As a text is revised to come increasingly closer to the quality level required for a particular job, intermediate versions are produced with each revision. These...
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