Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 8

Sandra Gmez

Dr. David Sawyer
November 7, 2014

Action plan
As the market demands increase, translators are being required to work faster and still
render quality translations. Therefore, translators are reducing the amount of time they
spend on the translation process, sometimes even ignoring some of the phases of the
translation process described by Gile: comprehension of the source text, transfer, and
revision. On one hand, this could lead them to make translation mistakes or to make
poor vocabulary choices. On the other hand, concentrating too much on the quality of
the target text could make a translator become less productive. The purpose of this
action research project is to analyze different ways to approach the translation process
in order to find the most effective strategies for translators to improve their efficiency
without compromising the quality of their work.
Throughout the years, Translation scholars have designed models and strategies
to approach the translation process. One of these scholars is Daniel Gile, who proposed
a sequential model of translation in which he describes translation as a recursive
process followed Translation Unit by Translation Unit (Gile, 2009:106). Here the
translators read the translation unit and give a meaning to it. Then, they decide if it is
appropriate. If it is acceptable, they continue to the next unit, and if it is not, they go
back, and start the process again. This would, in theory, save the translators time, since
they would start with the translation process immediately instead of reading the source
text first, and then go on to the translation.

On the other hand, scholars like Christiane Nord talk about a preparatory phase as a part
of the comprehension phase in the translation process. During this phase the translators
read the source text in order to identify possible difficulties before starting to
reformulate it, and they must identify certain aspects that go beyond simple linguistic
choices. The analysis examines the extra-textual and intra-textual features of a text.
According to Nord, the extra-textual features include: the motive; the function of the
target text; the readers profile and expectations; the means of publication, and the time
and place, and the intra-textual features include the content, subject matter,
presuppositions, text composition, non-verbal elements, lexis, sentence structure, and
suprasegmental features.
However, engaging in such an extensive analysis before going into the
reformulation phase could prove counterproductive. Although it is true that analyzing
the text can help the reformulation stage flow smoother, it is also true that this process
takes a lot of time, and sometimes, during the reformulation process, translators keep
finding problems they did not consider during the analysis which means they still have
to go back, re-read the text and try to find a suitable solution.
Regarding quality vs. speed, Paula Gorszczynska states the importance of
interdisciplinarity in the field of Translation studies and raises the question of the
usefulness of sight translation for the written translation process.
She refers to a series of studies carried out by other scholars where the differences
between translators and interpreters, in terms of quality and speed processing, were
analyzed. According to Gorszczynska translators take less time to produce a sight
translation than to produce a written translation, and that the accuracy of the translation
does not vary much because the translator has the time to read the entire text beforehand
and search for unknown vocabulary.

Gorszczyska reached the conclusion that translators and interpreters could work
together during the translation process and thus minimize translation times and maintain
quality standards.
According to this, sight translation would improve the translators anticipation
skills, thus reducing processing times and enhancing the translators productivity. This
could be an effective method for translators that have experience in the field of sight
translation. Novice translators, with little experience in sight translation, could see their
practice slowed down since they would make longer pauses during the process and
revision stage could take them longer.
We cannot forget that evaluating the translators practice, there are also other
aspects that come into play. Some are influenced by the extra-textual features of the
translation assignments, others, are just present in other daily activities of the translator
like concentration, confidence, problem solving and time management skills.
In this action research project I analyzed my current approach to the translation
process and tried to identify the factors that were preventing me from delivering high
quality translations in a shorter amount of time. To do this, I used three different
strategies and applied them to my translation assignments in order to find if they would
help me improve my efficiency without affecting the quality of my work. The first one
was to start the translation and do the textual analysis while translating. This meant that
I did not read the source text in advance and I had to deal with terminology and
syntactic problems once I started translating. The second one was to do a more
extensive analysis of the source text before starting the translation. This included
terminological research as well as the identification of the source text intention, register,
content, and a short analysis of the structure and the syntax of the source text. The last
strategy was to incorporate sight translation into the written translation process. I would

start the assignment doing a sight translation, and then transcribe the results. Finally I
would revise and edit the translation before submitting it.
The analysis of the log entries in my journal allowed me to identify several
patterns in my practice. The first pattern showed me that I chose which method to use
during the assignments based on the time constraints I had. For example, in the
assignment reported on the fist log entry the teacher had given us one hour to complete
the project; therefore, I decided I did not have enough time to do a complete analysis
before starting the translation. On the other hand, on the assignment reported on log
entry # 5 I did a complete textual analysis prior to starting the translation. In this case, I
was not under time pressure although the assignment did have a deadline, but I wanted
the target text to have a good quality. Finally, the analysis of the entries showed me that
I only used the sight translation strategy once. Although I was really interested in testing
the sight translation approach, when I followed this strategy I realized I took me a long
time to finish my task. I had some long pauses in the sight translation process and the
result was a rather literal translation of the text. Then, after I transcribed the audio
recording, I spent a long time revising the text. However, I think that the sight
translation helped me understand the text and made the process of making a draft easier.
The problem, I believe, is not the strategy but the fact that I have never done sight
translation before and I need more experience for it to show valuable results.
After analyzing this first pattern, I reached the conclusion that most of the
assignments were not highly complex and therefore, there was no real need for a deep
textual analysis before the translation. On the other hand, doing a general analysis of the
source text to determine the intention of your translation and your audience is very
helpful because it gives the translator an idea of how to translate the text and which
register to use. This could also save the translator some research time. For example, I

noticed that on my last assignment, documented on log 6, I had a clear image of what I
wanted to achieve before I even started the translation. I knew the register I wanted to
use and how I was going to deal with the structure of the text. This was reflected on the
time it took me finish the task. Off course, time pressure also played an important role
here, because I was forced to do things fast, without going back to think too much about
my choices.
The second pattern I identified is that when I am not under time pressure, I get
easily distracted and switch my focus from one activity to another. Fortunately, I also
identified a way to help me focus, which I applied for the assignments 5 and 6.
Listening to instrumental music seems to help me concentrate because it blocks all other
noises. Therefore, it has a positive impact on my efficiency because I waste less time.
On the other hand, the third pattern visible on my log entries shows that when I
am under time pressure, and even when I am focused, I avoid the revision process
because of the time constraints, and this results in all types of errors in the translation,
including format, sense and typing errors. I concluded that I can improve my translation
processing time if I minimize the distractions and set a deadline that still allows me to
revise the assignment a few days before it is actually due. In this way, I will be working
under a kind of self- imposed pressure, avoiding stress, and I will have time to go back
to the assignment, revise it carefully and calmly, and make sure I turn in a quality
There are also other patterns that can be deduced from the analysis of the log
entries. For example, the time spent when translating from my B language to my A
language is almost half the time I spend translating from my B language to my A
language; It takes me an average of 1:30 minutes to translate into my A language and 3
hours to translate into my B language. Another important finding was that felt more

confident of my results when I completed the assignments in the morning or early

afternoon, as opposed to when I completed them at night. This showed me that I am
more alert and focused in the morning and that I should try and work in the mornings to
improve my efficiency.
From the analysis of my practice log I concluded that there was an evolution of
some of the problems and challenges I had. During the reflection stage I gradually
began to identify my problems, especially those related to productivity. On the 4th log
entry I was able to propose a solution to my concentration problem and I was able to
successfully apply it during my 5th and 6th assignments.
On the other hand, although I recognized that I had a problem quality assurance
when working under time pressure, most of the times, I could not manage to organize
my time in order to have enough time to revise my translations.
The patterns in my log entries indicated that in my particular case both,
efficiency and quality are related to concentration. They also showed that once I focus
on my tasks, the application of the strategies begin to show better results. I found that
doing at least a short text analysis before starting to translate improves the quality of the
translation without necessarily adding a lot of time to the overall translating process.
My goal for this new stage of the project is to improve my translation speed and
the quality of my translations by applying what I learned from the assessment of my
practice. During the next semester I will take the following steps to accomplish my
Include a preparatory phase to the translation process for every assignment.
During this preparatory phase I will do an analysis of the translation assignment
in order to have a idea of what is expected from the translation.

Add a daily 30-minute practice of sight translation into my routine in order to

improve my sight translation abilities.
Implement sight translation into English into Spanish assignments in order to
evaluate the benefits of sight translation for the written translation process. I
will not implement it to the assignments into my B language because I believe I
have to strengthen my B language first in order to achieve positive results.
I believe that implementing the short text analysis will lead me to understand the
aim of the translation, thus improving the quality of my work. Moreover, adding sight
translation as a part of the written translation process will improve my productivity as I
become more skilled in the practice of sight translation.


Gile, D. (2009). Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator
Training (Revised Ed.). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Newmark, P (1988) A textbook of translation, London: Prentice-Hall International

Gorszczyska, P. (2009). The Potential of Sight Translation to Optimize Written

Translation: the Example of the English-Polish Language Pair, Retrieved from

Roberts, R. (1992). Translation Pedagogy: Strategies for Improving Dictionary

Use. TTR: traduction, terminologie, rdaction, vol. 5, (n1). pp. 49-76. doi:

Mendoza, I., Ponce, N. (2009). Proposal for the analysis of the source text in the
comprehension phase of the translation process: Contextualization, and analysis of
extra-linguistic and intra-linguistic aspects. Redit: Revista electrnica de didctica
de la traduccin y la interpretacin (n2). pp.128-150. Retrieved from

Jakobsen, A (2003). Effects of think aloud on translation speed, revision, and

segmentation. In Alves, F. (ed.), Triangulating Translation: Perspectives in
process oriented research, Vol.45. pp.69-95. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Rothe-Neves, R (2003). The influence of working memory features on some

formal aspects of translation performance. In Alves, F. (ed.), Triangulating
Translation: Perspectives in process oriented research, Vol.45. pp.97-119.
Amsterdam: Benjamins.

rsted,J. (2001). Quality and Efficiency: Incompatible Elements in Translation

Practice? Meta: Translators' Journal, vol. 46 (n 2), pp. 438-447. doi:

Hansen, G (2006). Time Pressure in Translation Teaching and Translation Studies.

Retrieved from http://gydehansen.dk/en/articles/

Michael, C, Martin, K. (2011). Gazing and Typing Activities during Translation: A

Comparative Study of Translation Units of Professional and Student Translators.
Meta: Translators' Journal, vol. 56, (n 4). Pp. 952-975. doi: 10.7202/1011262ar