A discussion of ethnographic research methods and their relevance for the translation process

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Hubscher-Davidson, Séverine (2011)

In recent years, technologically advanced methodologies such as Translog have gained a lot of ground in translation process research. However, in this paper it will be argued that quantitative research methods can be supplemented by ethnographic qualitative ones so as to enhance our understanding of what underlies the translation process. Although translation studies scholars have sometimes applied an ethnographic approach to the study of translation, this paper offers a different perspective and considers the potential of ethnographic research methods for tapping cognitive and behavioural aspects of the translation process. A number of ethnographic principles are discussed and it is argued that process researchers aiming to understand translators’ perspectives and intentions, how these shape their behaviours, as well as how translators reflect on the situations they face and how they see themselves, would undoubtedly benefit from adopting an ethnographic framework for their studies on translation processes.
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