The borrowers: Researching the cognitive aspects of translation

Sharon O’Brien

Abstract

The paper considers the interdisciplinary interaction of research on the cognitive aspects of translation. Examples of influence from linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, reading and writing research and language technology are given, with examples from specific sub-disciplines within each one. The breadth of borrowing by researchers in cognitive translatology is made apparent, but the minimal influence of cognitive translatology on the respective disciplines themselves is also highlighted. Suggestions for future developments are made, including ways in which the domain of cognitive translatology might exert greater influence on other disciplines.

Keywords
Table of contents

Translation process research has been ongoing for approximately thirty years now, but the field has grown significantly in the last decade or so, as evidenced by the number of recent publications dedicated to the topic (see, for example, the volumes by Hansen 1999; Alves 2003; Göpferich 2008; Göpferich et al. 2008; Mees et al. 2010; Shreve and Angelone 2010; O’Brien 2011a). The impetus for this growth, in my opinion, is due to a thirst for a greater understanding of translation as an expert task. The growth in research has also come about due to the development and increased accessibility of tools and methods for measuring specific cognitive aspects of the translation task, in particular screen recording, keystroke logging and eye-tracking technologies.

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