chapter  4
23 Pages

Methods for Research into Translation and Related Information Behaviors

The diversity of research methods and goals in process-oriented studies has signifi cantly helped improve our understanding of various aspects characterizing the translation process. Nevertheless, as Jääskeläinen remarks, this multiplicity of research approaches and interests is not entirely unproblematic (1996: 61). In her view, “the differences in the kinds of data collected, the kinds of analyses carried out, and particularly the overall goals of research have made it . . . diffi cult to test the methods employed in different studies” (ibid.). These methods, borrowed primarily from psycholinguistics and the cognitive sciences, include various types of (non)verbal introspection and direct observation. Verbal protocols, for example, were predominantly used (often combined with video recordings, questionnaires, and interviews) during the fi rst decade of translation process research (i.e., from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s). The use of different kinds of verbal protocols, however, made the comparison of results across several think-aloud protocol (TAP) studies particularly challenging. Furthermore, the methodological shortcomings associated with verbal reporting led to the development, in the late 1990s, of more rigorous methodologies by supplementing thinking aloud (TA) with other methods, such as keystroke logging. More recently, other sophisticated methods like screen recording and eye tracking have also found their way in the investigation of both translation processes and related information-search processes.