Methodological Aspects of Interpretation (and Translation) Research
INALCO & CEEI (ISIT), Paris
Very little actual scientific research has been carried out in I/T to date, essentially because of the lack of scientific background among I/T investigators. Major problems are found in the sampling procedures, materials, experimental conditions and tasks, quantification procedures and conclusion-drawing logic. In order to foster I/T research, methodological research training could be given to investigators, and interdisciplinary contacts and networking should be promoted. The input of I/T practitioners to I/T research can be valuable in spite of their lack of training provided they use simple methods and are supervised appropriately. Non I/T practitioners should work with practitioners.
Because of their importance in the development of culture and because they involve language, interpretation and translation have been the focus of much reflection and have generated a large mass of literature. However, [ p. 154 ]most of the writings on I/T are normative or philosophical, and scientific research in the field is very recent, only several decades old. One of the driving forces behind the development of I/T research were efforts towards machine translation, which started in the fifties, stopped for a while and are again in full swing. Other vectors of translation research are the increasing use of mathematical methods and statistics in the behavioural and linguistic sciences and the interest psychologists and psycholinguists have taken in I/T.
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