Forthcoming: Empirical modelling of translation and interpreting

Silvia Hansen-Schirra   Oliver Čulo   Sascha Hofmann   Bernd Meyer  


Empirical research is carried out in a cyclic way: approaching a research area bottom-up, data lead to interpretations and ideally to the abstraction of laws, on the basis of which a theory can be derived. Deductive research is based on a theory, on the basis of which hypotheses can be formulated and tested against the background of empirical data. Looking at the state-of-the-art in translation studies, either theories as well as models are designed or empirical data are collected and interpreted. However, the final step is still lacking: so far, empirical data has not lead to the formulation of theories or models, whereas existing theories and models have not yet been comprehensively tested with empirical methods.

This publication addresses these issues from several perspectives: multi-method product- as well as process-based research may gain insights into translation as well as interpreting phenomena. These phenomena may include cognitive and organizational processes, procedures and strategies, competence and performance, translation properties and universals, etc. Empirical findings about the deeper structures of translation and interpreting will reduce the gap between translation and interpreting practice and model and theory building. Furthermore, the availability of more large-scale empirical testing triggers the development of models and theories concerning translation and interpreting phenomena and behavior based on quantifiable, replicable and transparent data.


  • News translation
    Text analysis, fieldwork, survey
    Rovena Troqe, Francis Marchan
  • What does a translator do when not writing?
    Daniel Couto-Vale
  • Sketch of a Noisy Channel Model for the Translation Process
    Michael Carl, Moritz J. Schaeffer
  • Metaminds
    Using metarepresentation to model minds in translation
    Annegret Sturm
  • Cognitive effort and explicitation in translation tasks
    Igor A. Lourenço da Silva, Adriana Silvina Pagano
  • Language processing and translation
    Moritz J. Schaeffer, Michael Carl
  • Universals of editing and translation
    Mario Bisiada
  • On the achievement of question-answer sequences in doctor-patient interpreter-mediated interactions
    Some notes on coordination as mediation
    Claudio Baraldi, Laura Gavioli
  • Making the impossible possible, or how to research in specific settings in public service interpreting
    Anca Bodzer, Ráquel Lázaro Gutiérrez
  • Aspects of a primacy of frame model of translation
    Oliver Čulo
  • Audiovisual speech decreases the number of cognate translations in simultaneous interpreting
    Anne Catherine Gieshoff
  • Cognitive economy and mental worlds
    Accounting for translation mistakes and other communication errors
    Pertti Hietaranta
  • Comparing novices and semi-professionals
    False friends as a case in point
    Iryna Kloster
  • The influence of self-monitoring on the translation of cognates
    Katharina Oster
  • “All I know is that I know nothing?”
    Empirical evidence of self-confidence and inexperience in novice vs. professional translators
    Carla Quinci
  • Modelling the analysis of translation memory use and post-editing of raw machine translation output
    A pilot study of trainee translators’ perceptions of difficulty and time effectiveness
    Alessandra Rossetti, Federico Gaspari
  • Changes of word class during translation
    Insights from a combined analysis of corpus, keystroke logging and eye-tracking data
    Tatiana Serbina, Sven Hintzen, Paula Niemietz, Stella Neumann
Silvia Hansen-Schirra
Silvia Hansen-Schirra, Dipl.-Übers., Dr. phil., PD, is a full professor of English linguistics and translation studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germersheim, Germany. Her main research interests include specialized communication, text comprehensibility, post-editing, translation process and competence research. As fellow of the Gutenberg Research College she is the director of the Translation & Cognition (TRACO) Center in Germersheim and co-editor of the online book series "Translation and Multilingual Natural Language Processing".
Oliver Čulo
Oliver currently holds an Assistant Professor ("Juniorprofessor") position for Translation-relevant Linguistics at the Translation Faculty at Mainz University. He attended Saarland University, where he received his diploma in computational linguistics and his PhD in machine translation. His thesis work focused on developing ways of automatically comparing verb valence between English and German using parallel corpora. During a one-year stay at ICSI at the University of California in Berkeley in 2011 and 2012, he worked with researchers in the FrameNet Project, who are building a lexical database based on frame semantic analyses. He is interested in how grammar and semantics interact in translation.
Sascha Hofmann
Sascha Hofmann is Associate Professor for English Linguistics and Translation Studies since November 2014 at JGU Mainz. His research interests, besides general applied translation studies and translation process research, are all aspects of translator education and especially translation competence development. Together with Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Don Kiraly he has worked in the field from a curriculum development perspective as Managing Director at the Faculty for Translation, Linguistics and Cultural Studies for years, before turning towards empirical research again.
Bernd Meyer
Dr. Bernd Meyer is a linguist by training, and a specialist for different aspects of multilingual communication in institutional settings. Since 2010, he is Professor for Intercultural Communication and Cultural Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany) in the Department for Translation, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies. Having been a full-time researcher and principal investigator on projects on interpreting and multilingualism conducted at the Research Centre for Multilingualism in Hamburg, he is an expert in the analysis of interpreter-mediated interaction in institutional settings, as well as in the application of such findings to interpreter training. More specifically, he conducted research on ad hoc-interpreting in doctor-patient communication, and, together with Kristin Bührig, developed a training module for ad hoc-interpreters in clinical settings. From 2005 to 2008, he also acted as a full-time researcher in a project on simultaneous and consecutive interpreting headed by Juliane House.
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