The Journal of Specialised Translation
Issue 8 - July 2007
7. Toury, Gideon (1995). “Studying Interim Solutions”, in Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Benjamins: Amsterdam, 181-192.
This study looked at four successive stages (manuscript, typescript, proofs, pre-print) in the production of a sentence from the English translation of a German novel. The article is focused on methodology rather than results, and Toury notes that nothing can be concluded from a single sentence. Still, the sequence of changes he found is of interest. For example, the manuscript first had the expression ‘stomachs full of haricots and beef’ (mirroring the German order of the two food items), but this was crossed out and replaced with ‘full of pork and beans’ (the beef being changed to pork to yield an Anglicized dish, plus a change in word order, presumably to reflect the usual English order for such two-part dishes, with the meat item named first as in bacon&eggs, fish&chips, chicken&dumplings). Three further changes were then made so that finally, by the proofs stage, the translation read ‘beef and haricot beans’ (with the English order retained, but avoiding the suggestion that German soldiers were eating an Anglo-Saxon dish). Thus the sequence was from formal similarity to extreme equivalent-effect translation and then back to a compromise.
8. Asadi, Paula and Séguinot, Candace (2005). “Shortcuts, strategies and general patterns in a process study of nine professionals.” Meta
In this study, nine professionals working
in the pharmaceutical
industry translated texts in this field, two working from French to English and the rest from English to French (all subjects were working into L1). All their screen actions were recorded, and their spoken
thoughts on what they were doing were recorded.
The study identified two different approaches to composition of the translation. Some of the translators
the initial seemed to
create their translations in their minds and only then enter them on- screen, making only a few changes immediately after typing; others seemed to translate-by-revising, so to speak, that is, they would very frequently type words and then immediately revise what they had typed. This same difference in approach was found by Englund Dimitrova, and also by Krings in a part of his study where he compared human translation with post-editing of MT output.
The study also identified different distributions of writing, researching and revising tasks over the pre-drafting, drafting and post-drafting phases. At one end of the scale were people who wrote very quickly, leaving much of the work of research and revision until the post-