Edited by Kairong Xiao and Sandra L. Halverson
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies 8:2] 2021
► pp. 356–377
This paper explores decision-making in translation focusing on the self-revision process of novice and experienced translators of biomedical content in the English to European Portuguese language pair. Adopting process- and product-oriented methods, an experiment was designed to study thirty translations of a 244-word instructional text about a medical device intended for health professionals. The data elicited from fifteen novice translators and fifteen experienced translators included keylogging and screen-recording data. These data were triangulated and analyzed to describe the translation solutions in the interim and final versions in response to problematic translation units and to test if, during the self-revision process, novice and experienced translators tend to proceed from more literal versions to less literal ones, or vice versa, in biomedical translation. Contrary to expectations, the analysis points towards a literalization phenomenon in the translators’ processes. The data also indicates that the tendency to proceed from less literal versions to more literal ones is more pronounced in novice translators than in experienced translators. The findings reported here shed new light on the self-revision processes of novice and experienced translators and their relationship with prevailing translation norms, and enable us to better understand the practices in place in professional biomedical translation.