In search of directionality effects in the translation process and in the end product
This article tackles directionality as one of the most contentious issues in translation studies, still without solid empirical footing. The research presented here shows that, to understand directionality effects on the process of translation and its end product, performance in L2 → L1 and L1 → L2 translation needs to be compared in a specific setting in which more factors than directionality are considered—especially text type. For 26 professional translators who participated in an experimental study, L1 → L2 translation did not take significantly more time than L2 → L1 translation and the end products of both needed improvement from proofreaders who are native speakers of the target language. A close analysis of corrections made by the proofreaders shows that different aspects of translation quality are affected by directionality. A case study of two translators who produced high quality L1 → L2 translations reveals that their performance was affected more by text type than by directionality.
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