On the cognitive side of translation and interpreting: Process, performance, and product

15 January 2021 → 14 January 2025
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Corpus linguistics
    • Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics
  • Social sciences
    • Cognitive processes
psycholinguistics translation cognitive processing interpreting cognition
Project description

When translators and interpreters render a given text in another language, they first need to comprehend the input, then transfer its meaning, produce an output, and lastly edit the output where necessary. The aim of the current project is to glance behind the cognitive screens of translation and interpreting, creating a cognitive model of the entire rendition from input to output, while also taking into account performance and the quality of the final product. Hence, a first objective is to investigate whether translators/interpreters process text differently from control subjects, such as regular bilinguals. This will be done for natural reading/listening as well as reading/listening for translation. In addition, it is our intention to explore how translators and interpreters monitor their own output when a transfer into another language is required. A second objective is to determine whether these processes become attuned during translation/interpreter training and practice. Specifically, we will examine whether certain aspects related to the act of translation/interpreting differ between novices, experienced professionals, and controls. These aspects will include processing of anomalous/ambiguous text, working memory capacity, and language control. A third and final objective is to look at the translation output (spoken and written) and determine whether readers/listeners display cognitive differences when processing a rendition as compared to the original text. Hereby, we will also be able to identify possible difficulties related to transferring the text into another language.