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Understanding the organization of cognitive approaches to translation

Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

Cognitive approaches to translation studies are driven by three interrelated aims: to understand the structure and organization of the capacities of cognitive agents involved in processes of translation, to build better theories and models of translation, and to develop more efficient methods and programs for translator training. Meeting the goals of such a broad agenda requires the fusion of different theoretical and experimental tools, from fields such as cognitive psychology, linguistics, and artificial intelligence. From exploratory studies that aimed to carve out the problem space for cognitive approaches to translation through methodologically refined studies based on triangulation and statistical analysis, to large scale projects that promise helpful technological innovations for translation studies, the current landscape of research programs that investigate the cognitive underpinnings of translation is both varied and constantly developing.

This essay showcases some current research programs that reflect the fruitfulness of the interdisciplinary structure of translation studies. Instead of thinking about cognitive research on translation as being driven by a master cognitive theory, it is more descriptively adequate and more fruitful to understand it as a family of projects based on multiple theories that are relevant for studying different aspects of the translation process. This perspective allows us to extract the erotetic structure of these programs which are organized around specific problems or questions that have been shaped by previous research, by well-established cognitive hypotheses and by the current interests of the discipline of translation studies. Comparing different studies and models of translation will serve to illustrate how different theoretical and experimental approaches contribute to organizing and addressing specific problems on the agenda of a multidisciplinary field such as that of translation studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Philosophy
EditorsPhilip Wilson, Piers Rawling
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2017
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

ID: 172264197