Consciousness and the strategic use of aids in translation.

In this paper, Juliane House (2000) discusses the role of consciousness in translation process research and provides the background for a small empirical study using thinking-aloud techniques to investigate language learners' use of translational aids.

The study analyzed and compared the thinking-aloud protocols, the retrospective interviews, and the translations produced under the two treatments with the availability versus non-availability of translational aids.

The paper concluded that TAPs might contribute to improving our understanding of translation process. However, House (2000) favors the use of dialogic against monologic TAPs and retrospective immediate interviews as the data produced by pairs of subjects were generally less artificial, richer in translational strategies and often much more interesting.

On the translation teaching side, House (2000) proposes teaching translation in and as interaction (House 1986 and forthcoming) giving preference to collaborative translation work over the popular practice of asking students to translate in isolation. She also suggests deliberately exposing language learners and translation students to the two conditions (use versus non-use of translational aids), claiming such a treatment can be beneficial for making students reach a heightened awareness of their own strategic potential in translating as well as force them to recognize the real limits of their linguistic-cultural knowledge and translational competence.

This paper is a required reading for the Ph.D. in Translation Studies candidacy exam (Comps) at the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University. This Xmind map (you can view and download by clicking the Xmind icon) provides a summary of the main concepts presented in this paper: 

House, J. (2000). Consciousness and the strategic use of aids in translation. Benjamins translation library, 37, 149-162.


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