Testing Indicators of Translation Expertise in an Intralingual Task
Massey/Ehrensberger-Dow (2014) showed that the focused use of external resources, more frequent but shorter pauses, and fast text production speed correlated with the level of translation experience in participants translating a text from English into German. This paper aims to: (1) investigate whether these indicators distinguish professional translators from trainees and language students who translated from English into Polish, and (2) test which indicators are also present in an intralingual task, i.e., when paraphrasing a text. Additionally, task duration and the quality of the target texts produced by the three groups are compared with a view to expand the list of indicators of translation expertise. The data discussed here come from the ParaTrans research project in which professional translators, translation trainees and language students translated and paraphrased comparable texts. The results confirm that the less frequent use of external resources, shorter problem-solving pauses, fast text production and high quality target texts are strong indicators of expertise in translation. The number of problem-solving pauses was the only parameter found to distinguish professionals from trainees and language students in the paraphrasing task. This suggests that translation expertise perceived as a general construct can be seen as encompassing task expertise: the ability to reformulate meaning (transferable to a paraphrasing task) and the domain knowledge expertise inclusive of the ability to efficiently use bilingual knowledge when producing a translation
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