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The role of consultation sources revisited : an empirical study of English–Chinese translation.

Zheng, Binghan (2014) 'The role of consultation sources revisited : an empirical study of English–Chinese translation.', Perspectives : studies in translatology, 22 (1). pp. 113-135.


This paper contributes to empirical research into expertise in translation by investigating how translators approach source texts and how they use consultation sources, specifically dictionaries, to inform their translation choices. Subjects participating in the study described were divided into three groups – novice, semi-professional and professional translators – based on their levels of experience in translation. The aim of the study described was to determine if and how experience affects the way in which translators approach the translation task. Data obtained from Think-aloud protocols, translation evaluations and retrospective interviews were triangulated. As a result, findings show that: consultation aims tend to evolve from comprehension to expression as experience in translation increases; professional translators tend to be more flexible and diversified in their use of consultation sources (the selection of consultation methods is related to multiple factors such as text style, time pressure and personal preferences); and professional translators display an investigative attitude towards consultation sources (they have a better understanding of how to use consultation sources with maximum efficiency, regularly engaging in reverse lookup activities and showing a higher frequency of use of Predominantly Internal Support). Finally, in addition to translation experience, consultation proficiency has been found to be a significant factor in determining the frequency of consultation, and the efficiency of the translation process.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Consultation sources, Consultation process, Think-aloud protocols, Investigative attitude, Translation experience
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Perspectives : studies in translatology published online on 30 Nov 2012 and available online at:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:05 December 2014
Date of first online publication:2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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