Professor Arnt Lykke Jakobsen
Arnt Lykke Jakobsen, President of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST), is the Professor Emer. of Translation and Translation Technology at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). In 1995 he invented the keylog software program Translog. In 2005 he established CRITT, the CBS Center for Research and Innovation in Translation and Translation Technology, which he directed until his retirement at the end of 2013. His main focus of research has been on developing and exploiting a methodology for translation process research using keylogging and eyetracking. He was CETRA Chair Professor in 2014. In 2016 he was selected President of the European of Society for Translation Studies (EST).
Translation process research and the new construction of meaning
Translation process research (TPR) has been said to be in need of being reembedded in a new conceptual and methodological framework (Muñoz ed. 2016). The main reason for this is that meaning has been found or claimed to be ‘4EA’: embodied, embedded, enacted, extended, and affective. The further claim is that traditional TPR (Jakobsen 2017), using keylogging, eyetracking and retrospective think aloud in lab-oriented experiments, is unable to capture the complexity, concreteness and situatedness of this new construction of meaning. In the new construction, cognition and meaning are not only in our heads, but in our bodies or even in networks (Risku and Windhager 2013). The kind of translation that is done in a lab is artificial and ecologically invalid, it has been claimed. Real translation is best studies in professional translation workplaces (Ehrensberger-Dow et al 2015), and the best method to study translation here is by using anthropological field study methodology.
While much of this criticism carries considerable conviction, there is still much to be said in favour of experimental, process-oriented work. It is not yet clear how field-study methodology or actor network theory will enhance either our understanding of the dependence of human cognition on brain, body, environment, situation and technology, or will reveal how these factors impact on translators’ cognition and decision making.
A case will be made for claiming that translation exists in many places, is equally real in them all, should be studied in them all, and can be relevantly studied with an array of different methodologies.
Ehrensberger-Dow, M., Englund Dimitrova, B., Hubscher-Davidson, S., & Norberg, U. (Eds.) (2015)
Describing Cognitive Processes in Translation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Jakobsen, A. L. (2017) Translation Process Research. In Schwieter, J. W. & Ferreira, A. (Eds.)
The Handbook of Translation and Cognition. Hoboken NJ: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 21-49.
Muñoz Martín, R. (Ed.) (2016). Reembedding Translation Process Studies. Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Philadelphia, PA: Benjamins.
Risku, H. and Windhager, F. (2013) Extended translation. A sociocognitive research agenda. Target 25 (1), 33-45.