Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

An Investigation into Iranian Students' Translation Strategies Based on Gerloff's Model of Think -Aloud

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

An Investigation into Iranian Students' Translation Strategies Based on Gerloff's Model of Think -Aloud

Article excerpt


The present study tended to investigate different strategies applied by Iranian B.A students of translation. The researchers used Gerloff's (1986) model of TAP in order to review the procedures applied by such students during the process of translating a text from English into Persian with special reference to literacy genre. To begin with, using the model of TAP in question, each and every recorded action done by the translators were categorized under their possible classifications. Then, applying the Chi-Square procedure, the differences between the frequencies of such students were investigated. The results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the frequencies of the TAP strategies applied by the participants while dealing with translation of literary genre from English into Persian. The findings also revealed that 'extra-textual or language use & task monitoring (LUTM)', 'Editing (ED)', and 'text contextualization (TC)' were the most frequently used strategies among the seven main strategies introduced by Gerloff (ibid.).

Key Words: Think-Aloud Protocol, Translation Strategies, Literary Genre, Gerloff (1986).

1. Introduction

During the history of translation, there have been a lot of theories, models and procedures introduced by several scholars in order to understand the phenomenon of translation better. Although Translation Studies has not been treated as an academic field of science (Munday, 2008) and thus has not been studied in isolation within the academic context, the history of translation shows that many attempts have been made without noticing the academic issues in this field of science. Recently, it has been a core topic of discussion to investigate into different aspects in a translation project in order to know what really takes place from the very beginning steps while translating a text. In doing so, a considerable number of scholars have already categorized different aspects of translation. One of the most tangible one, was made by Holmes (1988). In his "map" of Translation Studies (henceforth TS), he (ibid.) divided the TS into two main categories namely pure and applied TS. The pure branch further is subdivided into theoretical and descriptive TS. The present study relates to the Descriptive Translation Studies (henceforth DTS). Its different sub-divisions are given a brief introduction as follows:

1. Product-oriented DTS: examines existing translations. In most cases, a comparison is made between a translated text with its original one.

2. Process-oriented DTS: is related to the psychology of translation and seeks to find out what happens in a mind of a translator (Munday, 2008, p.ll).

3. Function-oriented DTS: is the study of context rather than the text. It examines which books were translated when and where, and what influences they exerted (Munday, 2008, p.10).

During 1990s, an increasing attention was given to process-oriented DTS research, as Holmes (1988) termed it, where the mental activity of translating is studied. Empirical data were collected through "think-aloud protocols" (henceforth TAP), where translators were asked to verbalize their thinking during or immediately after the translation process (see Lörscher 19%; Fraser 1996). These studies have observed translators at various levels of expertise, both trainees and professionals. As Venuti (2004, p.339) points out, "some research emphasizes psycholinguistic procedures; some aims to improve training, especially by giving it a stronger vocational slant, approximating current trends in the profession."

Think-aloud protocols are beset by a number of theoretical problems that must be figured into any use made of their data. According to Venuti (2004, p.339) "verbalization won't register unconscious factors and automatic processes, and it can change a mental activity instead of simply reporting it. Similarly, subjects are sometimes instructed to provide specific kinds of information: description, for instance, without any justification. …

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