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Durham Research Online
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Time pressure in translation: Psychological and physiological measures

Weng, Yu and Zheng, Binghan and Dong, Yanping (2022) 'Time pressure in translation: Psychological and physiological measures.', Target: International Journal of Translation Studies .


Translators may experience significant psychological and physiological responses to time pressure. This study examines such responses with the aim of identifying valid indicators of time pressure in written translation. Forty-five postgraduates participated in the study, translating three comparable English texts into Chinese under three time conditions (Short, Standard, and Free). A positive relation between time stringency and the arousal level detected by a set of self-reporting and biomarker measures was hypothesised. The hypothesis was corroborated by results derived from participants’ self-reporting on stress and anxiety, and the biomarkers of heart rate, blood pressure, and pupil dilation, but not by skin temperature, galvanic skin response (GSR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Thus, the measures that confirm the hypothesis are considered successful indicators of time pressure in translation. In addition, an inverted ‘U-shaped’ pattern was observed in the relation between time stringency and the arousal level indexed by GSR and HRV. These findings may facilitate research and training in translation and other cognitively demanding language-processing activities.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Date accepted:06 December 2021
Date deposited:25 January 2022
Date of first online publication:10 January 2022
Date first made open access:25 January 2022

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