Extended Translation: A Sociocognitive Research Agenda

Hanna Risku and Florian Windhager

Consideration of current developments in cognitive science is indispensable when defining research agendas addressing cognitive aspects of translation. One such development is the recognition of the extended nature of human cognition: Cognition is not just an information manipulation process in the brain, it is contextualised action embedded in a body and increasingly mediated by technologies and situated in its socio-cultural environment. Parallel developments are found in neighbouring disciplines, such as sociology with its actor-network and activity theories. This paper examines these approaches, their shared methodological tenets (i.e., ethnographic field studies) and the implications of the situated cognition approach for describing the cognitive aspects of translation, using a translation management case study to discuss conceptual and methodological issues.

Table of contents

This paper discusses concepts used in the relatively young paradigms of situated and distributed cognition and examines their implications for research into the cognitive aspects of translation. Cognitive science has seen the development of notable extensions within the last decades by emphasising the increasing importance of the social and physical environment. Viewed from this perspective, cognition is the result of the constant interaction between people and their social and material environments—a distributed and highly adaptive process, which weaves—and is woven by—networks of actors and artefacts.

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