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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

'Mapping Expertise in Translation: Insights from an Empirical-experimental Approach' by Professor Fabio Alves (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)

15th February 2012, 14:00, ER142, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

Since Hans Krings's pioneering and groundbreaking work Was in den Köpfen von Übersetzern vorgeht (Krings 1986), there has been a non-abating interest in the cognitive processes involved in translation, and scholars are gradually piecing together the clues to the workings of what they variously refer to as the translator's brain, head, mind and "black box". In pre-computer days in the 1980s, think-aloud protocol (TAP) was for the first time possible to gain insight into the mental processes of the translator. The 1990s saw the development of keystroke logging programs such as Translog (Jakobsen and Schou 1999), which enabled researchers to trace keyboard activity and pauses. Round about the beginning of the new millennium, the use of eye-tracking technology was introduced into translation. Fabio Alves, however, pointed out the concept of triangulating translation (Alves 2003) which applies several instruments of data gathering and analysis in their attempts to throw light on the nature of the process of translation. In this general lecture, Fabio will be talking about main cognitive features related to expertise in translation as characterized by empirical-experimental research (Shreve 2006, Alves & Gonçalves 2007). It will be focusing on expertise trajectory (Shreve 2002) and instances of peak performance (Jakobsen 2005, Alves & Hurtado Albir 2010). As a world leading scholar in translation studies as well as an excellent public speaker, Fabio's speech will have a strong appeal to audiences with backgrounds in translation studies, linguistics, cognitive psychology, education, etc.

About the speaker:

Fabio Alves is Professor for Translation Studies and Anglo-Germanic Languages at the Graduate Program in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. His research interests are focused on empirical-experimental research of the translation process and on the development of expertise in translation. He is the editor of Triangulating Translation: perspectives in process oriented research (John Benjamins, 2003), Competência em Tradução (UFMG, 2005), Relevância em Tradução (FALE, 2006) and has published articles, among others, in Meta - Revue des Traducteurs, Journal of Translation Studies, TradTerm, Cadernos de Tradução and Letras de Hoje. (email: