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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Centre for Intercultural Mediation Seminar: Professor Arnt Jakobsen 'Translation Process Research and the New Construction of Meaning'

16th January 2019, 16:30, ER140, Elvet Riverside I, Durham University

Abstract: Translation process research (TPR) has been said to be in need of being reembedded in a new conceptual and methodological framework (Muñoz 2016). The main reason for this is that meaning has been found or claimed to be ‘4EA’: embodied, embedded, enacted, extended, and affective. The further claim is that traditional TPR (Jakobsen 2017), using keylogging, eyetracking and retrospective think aloud in laboriented experiments, is unable to capture the complexity, concreteness and situatedness of this new construction of meaning. In the new construction, cognition and meaning are not only in our heads, but in our bodies or even in networks (Risku & Windhager 2013). The kind of translation that is done in a lab is artificial and ecologically invalid, it has been claimed. Real translation is best studies in professional translation workplaces (Ehrensberger-Dow et al 2015), and the best method to study translation here is by using anthropological field study methodology. While much of this criticism carries considerable conviction, there is still much to be said in favour of experimental, process-oriented work. It is not yet clear how fieldstudy methodology will enhance either our understanding of the dependence of human cognition on brain, body, environment, situation and technology, or will reveal how these factors impact on translators’ cognition and decision making. A case will be made for claiming that translation exists in many places, is equally real in them all, should be studied in them all, and can be relevantly studied with an array of different methodologies.

Arnt Lykke Jakobsen is Professor Emeritus of Translation and Translation Technology at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). From 1978 till 1985, he was associate professor of English at Copenhagen University, and from 1985 associate professor of English at Copenhagen Business School, where he was appointed professor of translation and translation technology in 2007. In 1995 he invented the keylog software program Translog. In 2005 he established CRITT, the CBS Centre for Research and Innovation in Translation and Translation Technology, one of six CBS ‘world-class’ centres, which he directed until his retirement at the end of 2013. His main focus of research has been on developing and exploiting a methodology for translation process research using keylogging and eyetracking. He was CETRA Chair Professor in 2014. In 2016 he was elected President of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST).

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