Different strokes for different folks
Exploring personality in professional translation
Until recently, the translator’s personality was a relatively unexplored area of research, but growing evidence points to the influence of personality on the translator’s decisions. Although findings are not always statistically significant, empirical research indicates that professional translators’ profiles differ from that of the local population, and that certain personality types are more likely to make creative translation choices. This article explores the relationship between personality traits as defined by the Big Five Inventory (Costa & McCrae 1989), and translation choices as defined by Baker (2018) and Molina & Hurtado (2002). The findings indicate that professional translators with a dominant neurotic personality trait are the most creative, whereas those with a dominant conscientious personality trait prefer literal translation choices. However, the findings also indicate that age and experience are competing variables, both indicating a preference for literal translation.
Keywords: personality trait theory, Big Five Inventory, translation techniques, text type, literal translation, creativity, translation process
Published online: 10 November 2020
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