The effect of translator training on interference and difficulty

Brenda Malkiel
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Twenty-two translation students translated two texts using Translog keystroke-monitoring software, once at the beginning of their studies and again three semesters later. Performance on two measures of interference, lexicalizable strings and false cognates, improved significantly among both the students working into L1 and those working into L2. Students working into L1 found the task as difficult after three semesters as they had at the beginning of their studies. For students translating into their L2, translation did get significantly easier as judged by the objective measures of time and keystrokes, but the students’ subjective assessment of difficulty and satisfaction was unchanged. This study also indicates that students appreciate the contribution of translation theory to practice.

Table of contents

The lay view of translation as a straightforward and rather simple task and of the translator as someone who knows several languages has very little to do with the reality of professional translation. Professional translation is a highly complex undertaking, which requires a wealth of expertise and can be dauntingly difficult. By its very nature, professional translation involves decision making, compromise, and problem solving.

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