Translation and Interpreting

Translation and Interpreting

Research on translation and interpreting in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University reflects the multidimensionality of translation and interpreting as cognitive activities embedded in complex local and global multilingual settings. Given this multidimensionality, our research is highly interdisciplinary, connecting with linguistics, psychology, cognitive sciences and arts.

Cognitive translation processes create textual translation products that fulfil a range of functions in particular societies. We are interested in the cognitive “black box” of bilingual language processing and decision-making processes involved in producing translations and interpreting output. Our research also considers various aspects of the products and functions of translation and interpreting. We are interested in the linguistic and discourse features of translated and interpreted language, and in the complex ways in which translation and interpreting function in different sociocultural contexts.

Insights into cognitive processing in translation and interpreting, and the roles and functions of translation and interpreting in facilitating intercultural communication in complex local-global settings form the basis of our research on translation pedagogy, expertise and testing.

Areas of interest

Audiovisual translation and accessibility

Much of the work we do on audiovisual translation (AVT) is on the reception of AVT products like subtitles and audio described film. We are interested in the impact AVT products have on the ability of the audience to immerse in fictional realities, on their comprehension of film, and on the cognitive load experienced in the presence of the AVT product. Our research on AVT strongly links up with research on cognitive processing in translation and interpreting reception. We have a particular interest also in the way in which subtitles can be used in education to improve access for all students, but in particular for students whose access is impeded by physical factors (e.g. a loss of hearing or sight), or by linguistic factors (studying through a second language).

Cognitive processing in translation and interpreting production and reception

In our state-of-the-art translation labs, we use eye-tracking, keystroke-logging and EEG to investigate cognitive processing during translation and interpreting production. We also study cognitive processing in reception – we are especially interested in how readers’ reading behaviour and comprehension are affected by different translation strategies, and how subtitled and audiodescribed films are processed by viewers and listeners. Our work in this area is reflected in the affiliation of Dr Haidee Kruger and Associate Professor Jan-Louis Kruger with TREC (Thematic Network on Empirical and Experimental Research in Translation) and APTRAC (Asia-Pacific Translation and Cognition Research Group), of which they are founder members.

Community interpreting

At the interface of sociolinguistics, applied linguistics and interpreting studies, work into the interactional characteristics of interpreter-mediated communication in community settings (health, police, social work) provides insights into the role of interpreters in ensuring effective communication. This work challenges traditional roles of the dialogue interpreter and informs models of practice for interpreter training.

Corpus linguistics and translation

We use electronic corpora and quantitative corpus linguistic methods to analyse the linguistic features that set translated language apart from non-translated language. We try to “fingerprint” what makes translated language different from language that has not been translated, and develop hypotheses about the cognitive and social constraints that give rise to these features. We also use corpus methods to investigate a variety of other research questions in translation, including translation style and ideology in translation.

Discourse and text analysis in translation and interpreting

In this research area, we use linguistic models to investigate how translators/interpreters approach a text and analyse discourse features of the text, based on which they make delicate choices in translation. We are particularly interested in exploring the meaning-making resources that lie behind a source text and how they are realised in a target text. We use corpora to observe the lexicogrammatical profile of certain text types and explore their relationship with translation choices.

Translation and interpreting pedagogy, testing and expertise

Interpreter and translator performance measurement forms the basis of high-stakes certification decisions and as such must demonstrate good validity and reliability. However, the complexity of measurement across many languages and cultures, as is the case with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) tests, requires interdisciplinary collaboration that brings together expertise in the psychometric properties of tests and an understanding of translation and interpreting performance. Evaluation is embedded across the curriculum from informal and formal formative classroom assessments to summative assessments of achievement, it is also fundamental to curriculum design and implementation of pedagogical practices.

Translation and language contact

Translation can be seen as a form of language contact, and under certain conditions it can introduce variation in a language – and lead to language change. Using synchronic and diachronic corpora, we investigate what the conditions are under which translation can contribute to language change, and the kind of changes it may lead to.

Our people

Current researchers

Ilija Casule
Jinhyun Cho
Jing Fang
Della Goswell
Haidee Kruger
Jan-Louis Kruger
Yan Qian
Helen Slatyer
Stanley Zhongwei Song
Canzhong Wu

Current PhD students

Ibrahim Alasmri: The features of translated language across register and time: A corpus-based study of translation from English to Arabic

Hayyan Al-Roussan: Subtitling of cultural references from English into Arabic: A corpus-based study

Eisa Asiri: Translation strategies for culture-specific items in the Qur’an: A corpus-based descriptive study

Ahmad Assiri: Coherence and audience reception in AVT

Wing Chan: An investigation of subtitles as learning support in university education

Sixin Liao: Processing of bilingual subtitles

Karien Redelinghuys: Language contact and change through translation in Afrikaans and South African English: A diachronic corpus-based study

Yousef Sahari: A corpus-based study of taboo language in Arabic subtitles

Kun Yan: How to use sight translation for skill development and transfer in simultaneous interpreting training

Weiwei Zhang: Making sense of note-taking in consecutive interpreting: A discourse analysis approach

Xiaomin Zhang: Investigating explicitation in children’s literature translated from English to Chinese

Contact us

Dr Haidee Kruger haidee.kruger@mq.edu.au

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