Eye tracking

Jan-Louis Kruger
Macquarie University, Sydney

Table of contents

The study of eye movements using eye tracking technology has become an important method in a number of areas within translation studies (TS) (see, for example, Doherty & Kruger 2018; Hvelplund 2014; Kruger 2019; O’Brien 2009; Walker & Federici 2018). It has been used extensively in translation process research (TPR) to study the cognitive processes involved in translation and post-editing, as well as in studies on the translator’s workspace (see Ergonomics and translation workplaces) and to a lesser extent in other processes like interpreting. The past two decades have seen a rapid and accelerating growth in the use of eye tracking in TPR but also in studies that focus on the processing and reception of translation products. In Audiovisual translation (AVT), subtitling has been studied using eye tracking since the 1980s and as AVT has developed a stronger identity, eye tracking has become one of the most important methods for investigating how viewers process text in multimodal contexts. With a growing number of articles, chapters and volumes on the use of eye tracking in TS, the methodology has become more robust and current trends focus on establishing conversations with neighbouring fields like psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics. Eye tracking is a powerful tool in the hands of TS scholars and, if used responsibly, it can provide sound empirical evidence and allow researchers to test hypotheses and theories about processes during the production and reception of translation that have previously relied predominantly on philosophical approaches and textual evidence.

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Further essential reading

Chmiel, Agnieszka, Przemyslaw Janikowski, and Agnieszka Lijewska
2020 “Multimodal processing in simultaneous interpreting with text: Interpreters focus more on the visual than the auditory modality.” Target 32 (1): 37–58. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
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2011Eye Tracking: A Comprehensive Guide to Methods and Measures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Kruger, Jan-Louis
2019 “Eye tracking in audiovisual translation research.” In Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation, ed. by Luis Perez-Gonzalez, 366–382. London: Routledge. Google Scholar
Rayner, Keith
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Walker, Callum, and Federico M. Federici
(eds) 2018Eye tracking and multidisciplinary studies on translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI logoGoogle Scholar