Time pressure in translation: Psychological and physiological measures
YuWeng,BinghanZheng and YanpingDong
Durham University | Zhejiang University
Translators may experience significant psychological and physiological responses to time pressure. This study examines such responses with the aim of identifying valid indicators of time pressure in written translation. Forty-five postgraduates participated in the study, translating three comparable English texts into Chinese under three time conditions (Short, Standard, and Free). A positive relation between time stringency and the arousal level detected by a set of self-reporting and biomarker measures was hypothesised. The hypothesis was corroborated by results derived from participants’ self-reporting on stress and anxiety, and the biomarkers of heart rate, blood pressure, and pupil dilation, but not by skin temperature, galvanic skin response (GSR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Thus, the measures that confirm the hypothesis are considered successful indicators of time pressure in translation. In addition, an inverted ‘U-shaped’ pattern was observed in the relation between time stringency and the arousal level indexed by GSR and HRV. These findings may facilitate research and training in translation and other cognitively demanding language-processing activities.
The effects of time pressure on task performance have attracted attention from various disciplines in recent decades. Existing empirical translation studies have investigated the influence of time pressure on translation product quality (Ghobadi, Madadi, and Najafian 2017), translators’ linguistic behaviours (Jensen and Jakobsen 2000; Hansen 2006; Alves and Liparini Campos 2009), and patterns of visual attention distribution (Sharmin et al. 2008). The psychological and physiological impacts of time pressure on translators, however, have rarely been investigated empirically. Time pressure as a form of stress could evoke particular psychological experiences and trigger the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, leading to various physiological effects (McCarty 2007). Investigating these psychological and physiological impacts of time pressure could facilitate the identification of valid time-pressure indicators in translation experimentation, develop our understanding of the multifaceted translation process as a whole, and contribute to better monitoring of translators’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Alves, Fabio, and Tânia Liparini Campos
2009 “Translation Technology in Time: Investigating the Impact of Translation Memory Systems and Time Pressure on Types of Internal and External Support.” In Behind the Mind: Methods, Models and Results in Translation Process Research, edited by Susanne Göpferich, Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, and Inger M. Mees, 191–218. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
2010 “Uncertainty, Uncertainty Management and Metacognitive Problem Solving in the Translation Task.” In Translation and Cognition, edited by Gregory M. Shreve and Erik Angelone, 17–40. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Baghi, Hoorieh, and Masood Khoshsaligheh
2019 “Stress in Written and Sight Translation in Training Setting.” Hikma 18 (2): 237–255.
Bakdash, Jonathan Z., and Laura R. Marusich
2017 “Repeated Measures Correlation.” Frontiers in Psychology 8: 1–13.
Bates, Douglas, Martin Mächler, Ben Bolker, and Steve Walker
2015 “Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lmer4.” Journal of Statistical Software 67 (1): 1–48.
2009 “Methodological Reflections on the Experimental Design of Time-Pressure Studies.” Across Languages and Cultures 10 (2): 193–206.
Benedek, Mathias, and Christian Kaernbach
2010 “A Continuous Measure of Phasic Electrodermal Activity.” Journal of Neuroscience Methods 190 (1): 80–91.
2009 “Foreign Language Anxiety in Taiwanese Student Interpreters.” Meta 54 (3): 605–621.
2010 “Foreign Language Anxiety and Student Interpreters’ Learning Outcomes: Implications for the Theory and Measurement of Interpretation Learning Anxiety.” Meta 55 (3): 589–601.
Cooper, Cary L., Rachel Davies, and Rosalie L. Tung
1982 “Interpreting Stress: Sources of Job Stress among Conference Interpreters.” Multilingua 1 (2): 97–107.
Critchley, Hugo D.
2002 “Review: Electrodermal Responses: What Happens in the Brain.” The Neuroscientist 8 (2): 132–142.
Daviu, Nuria, Michael R. Bruchas, Bita Moghaddam, Carmen Sandi, and Anna Beyeler
2019 “Neurobiological Links between Stress and Anxiety.” In Stress Neurobiology Workshop 2018, edited by Lawrence Reagan, Richard Hunter, and Matthew N. Hill, special issue of Neurobiology of Stress 11: 1–9.
ed.2007Encyclopedia of Stress. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Academic Press.
Ghobadi, Mehdi, Golnaz Madadi, and Bahareh Najafian
2017 “A Study of the Effects of Time Pressure on Translation Quantity and Quality.” International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies 5 (2): 7–13.
2006 “Time Pressure in Translation Teaching and Translation Studies.” In Interdisciplinarité en Traduction: Proceedings of the IInd International Colloquium on Translation organised by Yildiz Technical University, vol. II, edited by Sündüz Öztürk Kasar, 71–80. Istanbul: Les Éditions Isis.
Hart, Sandra G., and Lowell E. Staveland
1988 “Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results of Empirical and Theoretical Research.” In Human Mental Workload, edited by Peter A. Hancock and Najmedin Meshkati, 139–183. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Jankowiak, Katarzyna, and Paweł Korpal
2018 “On Modality Effects in Bilingual Emotional Language Processing: Evidence from Galvanic Skin Response.” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 47 (3): 663–677.
Jennings, J. Richard
2007 “Heart Rate.” In Fink 2007, 274–277.
Jensen, Astrid, and Arnt Lykke Jakobsen
2000 “Translating under Time Pressure: An Empirical Investigation of Problem-Solving Activity and Translation Strategies by Non-professional and Professional Translators.” In Translation in Context: Selected Contributions from the EST Congress, Granada 1998, edited by Andrew Chesterman, Natividad Gallardo San Salvador, and Yves Gambier, 105–116. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Jensen, Kristian Tangsgaard Hvelplund
2009 “Indicators of Text Complexity.” In Behind the Mind: Methods, Models and Results in Translation Process Research, edited by Susanne Göpferich, Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, and Inger M. Mees, 61–80. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
Kao, Po-Chi, and Philip Craigie
2013 “Evaluating Student Interpreters’ Stress and Coping Strategies.” Social Behavior and Personality 41 (6): 1035–1043.
1994 “Putting One’s Heart into Simultaneous Interpretation.” In Bridging the Gap: Empirical Research in Simultaneous Interpretation, edited by Sylvie Lambert and Barbara Moser-Mercer, 213–224. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
2016 “Interpreting as a Stressful Activity: Physiological Measures of Stress in Simultaneous Interpreting.” In Language Processing in Translation, edited by Bogusława Whyatt, special issue of Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 52 (2): 297–316.
Korpal, Paweł, and Aleksandra Jasielska
2019 “Investigating Interpreters’ Empathy: Are Emotions in Simultaneous Interpreting Contagious?” Target 31 (1): 2–24.
2002 “Physiological Stress Responses during Media and Conference Interpreting.” In Interpreting in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities, edited by Giuliana Garzone and Maurizio Viezzi, 195–202. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
2003 “Physiological Stress During Simultaneous Interpreting: A Comparison of Experts and Novices.” The Interpreters’ Newsletter 12: 51–67.
Kuznetsova, Alexandra, Per B. Brockhoff, and Rune Haubo Bojesen Christensen
2017 “lmerTest Package: Tests in Linear Mixed Effects Models.” Journal of Statistical Software 82 (13): 1–26.
Kyriakou, Kalliopi, Bernd Resch, Günther Sagl, Andreas Petutschnig, Christian Werner, David Niederseer, Michael Liedlgruber, Frank H. Wilhelm, Tess Osborne, and Jessica Pykett
2019 “Detecting Moments of Stress from Measurements of Wearable Physiological Sensors.” Sensors 19 (17): 1–26.
Lazarus, Richard S.
1976Patterns of Adjustment. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Luque-Casado, Antonio, José C. Perales, David Cárdenas, and Daniel Sanabria
2016 “Heart Rate Variability and Cognitive Processing: The Autonomic Response to Task Demands.” Biological Psychology 113: 83–90.
Maule, A. John, and G. Robert J. Hockey
1993 “State, Stress, and Time Pressure.” In Time Pressure and Stress in Human Judgment and Decision Making, edited by Ola Svenson and A. John Maule, 83–101. New York: Plenum Press.
2007 “Fight-or-Flight Response.” In Fink 2007, 62–64.
Minkel, Jared, and Samantha Phillips
2015 “Methodological Considerations When Integrating Experimental Manipulations of Sleep and Emotion.” In Sleep and Affect, edited by Kimberly A. Babson and Matthew T. Feldner, 119–138. London: Academic Press.
2005 “Remote Interpreting: The Crucial Role of Presence.” Bulletin VALS-ASLA (Swiss Association of Applied Linguistics) 81: 73–97.
Moser-Mercer, Barbara, Alexander Künzli, and Marina Korac
1998 “Prolonged Turns in Interpreting: Effects on Quality, Physiological and Psychological Stress (Pilot Study).” Interpreting 3 (1): 47–64.
Nourbakhsh, Nargess, Fang Chen, Yang Wang, and Rafael A. Calvo
2017 “Detecting Users’ Cognitive Load by Galvanic Skin Response with Affective Interference.” ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems 7 (3): 1–20.
Paas, Fred, Juhani E. Tuovinen, Huib Tabbers, and Pascal W. M. Van Gerven
2003 “Cognitive Load Measurement as a Means to Advance Cognitive Load Theory.” Educational Psychologist 38 (1): 63–71.
Partala, Timo, and Veikko Surakka
2003 “Pupil Size Variation as an Indication of Affective Processing.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 59 (1–2): 185–198.
Pijeira-Díaz, Héctor J., Hendrik Drachsler, Paul A. Kirschner, and Sanna Järvelä
2018 “Profiling Sympathetic Arousal in a Physics Course: How Active Are Students?” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 34 (4): 397–408.
R Core Team
2018 “R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing”. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Accessed December 1, 2021. https://www.R-project.org/
Rastegary, Haleh, and Frank J. Landy
1993 “The Interactions among Time Urgency, Uncertainty, and Time Pressure.” In Time Pressure and Stress in Human Judgment and Decision Making, edited by Ola Svenson and A. John Maule, 217–239. New York: Plenum Press.
Rojo, Ana, and Marina Ramos Caro
2016 “Can Emotion Stir Translation Skill? Defining the Impact of Positive and Negative Emotions on Translation Performance.” In Reembedding Translation Process Research, edited by Ricardo Muñoz Martín, 107–130. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Seeber, Kilian G.
2013 “Cognitive Load in Simultaneous Interpreting: Measures and Methods.” Target 25 (1): 18–32.
Sharmin, Selina, Oleg Špakov, Kari-Jouko Räihä, and Arnt Lykke Jakobsen
2008 “Where and for How Long Do Translators Look at the Screen while Translating?” In Looking at Eyes: Eye-tracking Studies of Reading and Translation Processing, edited by Susanne Göpferich, Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, and Inger M. Mees, 31–51. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
Sherwood, Andrew, and Robert A. Carels
2007 “Blood Pressure.” In Fink 2007, 335–342.
Slavich, George M., Sara Taylor, and Rosalind W. Picard
2019 “Stress Measurement Using Speech: Recent Advancements, Validation Issues, and Ethical and Privacy Considerations.” Stress 22 (4): 408–413.
Spielberger, Charles D., Richard Gorsuch, Robert E. Lushene, Peter R. Vagg, and Gerard A. Jacobs
1983Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Tarvainen, Mika P., Juha-Pekka Niskanen, Jukka A. Lipponen, Perttu O. Ranta-aho, and Pasi A. Karjalainen
2014 “Kubios HRV – Heart Rate Variability Analysis Software.” Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 113 (1): 210–220.