You are on page 1of 10

What can practitioners expect from research into translation and interpreting?

Daniel Gile ESIT, Universit Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

1. Introduction Practitioners of Translation (translation and interpreting !ave devoted "uc! t!oug!t to t!eir trade over t!e #ears$ T!is !as resulted in insig!ts, ideas and practical %or&ing and teac!ing "et!ods$ 'ver t!e past !alf(centur# or so, Translation !as also beco"e t!e ob)ect of researc! in t!e acade"ic sense$ Suc! researc! !as also produced insig!ts and ideas, partl# on t!e basis of t!e practitioners*, and partl# on t!e basis of t!eories and "odels fro" various researc! disciplines suc! as linguistics, literar# science, ps#c!olog#, sociolog# etc$ Suc! acade"ic researc! often co"es under !eav# attac&s (see for e+a"ple Dana!er, ,--. , per!aps partl# because translators and interpreters consider t!at it often a"ounts to "uc! ado about not!ing and t!at its production is not relevant or useful to t!e Translation professions$ T!is vie% !as persisted over t!e #ears/ see for instance van 0euven 1%aart, ,-2-/ 3!ester"an and 4agner, .55.$ T!e !ostilit# "a# be partl# due to resent"ent against %!at t!e# perceive as self( i"portance in so"e personalities fro" t!e %orld of TS (Translation Studies $ T!is paper is an atte"pt b# a practitioner of translation and interpreting cu" researc!er (a 6practisearc!er7 to "a&e an overall anal#sis of t!e potential and actual contributions of TS to practitioners$ I %ill start %it! re"inders about science and sta&e!olders, t!en tal& about %!at researc! into Translation !as produced over t!e past fe% decades, "a&e an assess"ent of t!e &ind of contribution it !as "ade so far and of t!e prospects and dra% a conclusion$ 2. Stakeholders in TS 'ne i"portant distinction is "ade in science bet%een basic researc!, %!ic!, sc!e"aticall#, ai"s to e+plore t!e %orld as it is and !elp to &no% it better, and applied researc!, %!ic! is researc! conducted %it! t!e ai" of c!anging t!e %orld, i$e$ using &no%ledge ac8uired b# scientific "eans to 9i"prove* it, generall# b# developing certain ob)ects or actions %!ic! %ill furt!er t!e interests of !u"an&ind : or of certain groups or organi;ations$ Societ# tends to prefer applied researc!, because its benefits are seen "ore clearl# b# la# people, but "uc! basic researc! is often needed before applications are soug!t or atte"pted$ <ot! govern"ent agencies and industrial co"panies are a%are of t!is and do support basic researc!, t!oug! funding is "ore easil# available for applied researc!$ In t!e %orld of Translation, societ# can be seen as "ade up of t!ree categories of sta&e!olders, na"el# Translators (practicing translators and interpreters , researc!ers and users of Translation$ Note t!at t!ere is no tig!t separation bet%een t!e t!ree, if onl# because virtuall# all !u"an beings are directl# or indirectl# users of Translation, but I believe t!e classification %ill be useful for t!e anal#sis nevert!eless$ =ost users of Translation are una%are of t!e e+istence of researc! into translation and interpreting, and %!en t!e# are told about its e+istence, t!e# tend to t!in& of it in ter"s of co"parative linguistics, le+icolog# or ter"inolog#$ 4!en t!e# do s!o% an interest in TS, besides curiosit# about t!e process underl#ing t!e see"ingl# counter(natural si"ultaneous "ode of interpreting, t!e# are "ostl# interested in applied researc!$

>s e+plained in t!e introduction, "ost translators are rat!er indifferent to TS$ T!e# feel it is re"ote fro" t!eir dail# concerns, %!ic! are practical and !ave to do %it! finding appropriate ter"s and p!raseolog# for t!eir translation %or& and %it! being able to increase t!eir productivit# and t!e general 8ualit# of t!eir %or&$ Interpreters are per!aps a bit "ore receptive to researc!? li&e t!e public at large, conference interpreters are often curious about t!e %a# t!eir "ind %or&s and about t!e li"itations t!e# encounter in t!eir abilit# to process certain speec!es$ I !ave found co""unit# interpreters and signed language interpreters to be "ore eager for input fro" researc! to !elp deter"ine t!e"selves %it! respect to role, et!ics, and status in societ#, %!ereas t!ese t!e"es !ave a rat!er lo% priorit# a"ong conference interpreters$ Nevert!eless, %!at "ost practicing translators interpreters %ould li&e to see fro" TS is practical applications t!at %ould enable t!e" to 9%or& better*$ TS researc!ers can be convenientl# classified into acade"ics, %!o are supposed to do researc! as part of t!eir regular activit# and professional obligations, and practitioners, including trainers %!o teac! in acade"ic institutions but do not conduct regular researc! activit#$ @or acade"ics, researc! is an end per se$ So"e are interested in applications, %!ile "an# ot!ers are "ore interested in basic researc!, and t!e# assess t!eir personal success and t!e success of TS as a discipline on an acade"ic basis, %!ic! does not necessaril# rel# on t!e discover# of facts or t!e develop"ent of "et!ods %it! a direct i"pact on t!e practice of TAI$ T!eir interests and e+pectations are not necessaril# convergent %it! t!ose of ot!er sta&e!olders, %!ic! e+plains %!# t!e# can engage for #ears %it! researc! on topics %it! practitioners consider of little or no relevance to t!e"$ 3. Scientific cultures In t!e acade"ic %orld, t!ere are t%o "a)or poles of researc! approac!es : or t%o scientific 9cultures*, as t!e# !ave been called (Sno%, .55,B,-C-D $ 'ne revolves around t!e canonical for" of science (3S> for 3anonical Science >pproac!es , is t#picall# found in t!e natural sciences and in e+peri"ental ps#c!olog#, and puts e"p!asis on e"pirical researc!, on a ver# rigorous approac! as regards data collection and anal#sis and on caution in inferences fro" t!e data$ In TS, it is t#picall# represented b# researc! on t!e translation process, on interpreting cognition, on translation universals, on 8ualit# perception$ T!e ot!er is t!at found in p!ilosop!# and t#picall# in t!e !u"an sciences$ It consists "ostl# of reflection and t!eoretical develop"ent$ I %ill call it ES>, for 9Eu"an Science >pproac!es*$ In TS, it is "ostl# found in %ritten translation, for instance %it! sociological and p!ilosop!ical considerations on t!e role and influence of translation in societ#, on t!e concept of e8uivalence, on t!e position of translated literature %it!in a given societ#, on t!e lin&s bet%een politics and translation, bet%een ideolog# and translation, bet%een gender(ine8ualit# and translation, on t!e lin&s bet%een a culture*s self(perception as 9strong* or 9%ea&* and its tendenc# to translate fro" ot!er cultures in a rat!er 9foreigni;ing* or 9do"esticating* orientationF >pplied researc! relies "ostl# on 3S>, but ES> can feed useful ideas into it$ In TS, a good e+a"ple is Gideon Tour#*s Descriptive Translation Studies, a sc!ool of t!oug!t %!ic! %as born out of t!eoretical reflection as opposed to e"pirical researc!, but %!ic! !as been a source of inspiration for "an# e"pirical studies$ In Translation )ournals, so"e papers are not 8uite in line %it! scientific nor"s, be t!e# S3> or ES>, in ter"s of rigorous design and i"ple"entation of e"pirical studies or of t!eoretical engage"ent %it! t!e e+isting literature on t!e ot!er$ T!e# are based on t!e practice of translation or interpreting, on reflection and on (personal generali;ation (PGG $ T!e# are generall# practical, often prescriptive, often related to training$ PGG also includes te+tboo&s

for students$ PGG literature could be called professional rat!er t!an 9scientific*$ In t!e discussion, in spite of its practical value, it %ill not be included as researc! (ad"ittedl#, t!is c!oice could be seen b# so"e as too categorical in vie% of t!e relativel# poor scientific 8ualit# of so"e of t!e researc! literature , but I believe t!e distinction is useful if t!e contribution of researc! is to be co"pared to t!at of t!e practitioner*s e+perience(based &no%ledge and ideas, as %ill be atte"pted later in t!is paper$ 'f course, as is t!e case of virtuall# an# classification, t!is brea&do%n of TS is a conceptual tool superi"posed on a "uc! "ore co"ple+ realit#$ Not all publications %it!in TS can be classified neatl# in one or t!e ot!er of t!e scientific cultures or in non(scientific TS$ In particular, so"e te+tboo&s for translator and interpreter training (for instance Gile, .55- are not researc! reports, but t!e# are largel# based on researc!$ Nevert!eless, t!e classification proposed in t!is section %ill be used for t!e anal#sis of ac!ieve"ents$ 4. Scientific achie!ements in TS 4.1 "S# @or TAI practitioners, t!e ac!ieve"ents of ES> in TS are "ost difficult to assess$ <# definition, ES> researc! is conceptual and does not generate concrete findings$ It does produce t!eories %!ic! in turn "a# be tested e"piricall# and t!us lead to findings, but t!e process is indirect$ T!eories and "ore generall# a%areness(raising t!roug! ES> can also be valuable, but it is difficult to identif# t!eir i"pact, e+cept in didactic environ"ents %!ere t!e# inspire particular didactic actions$ >lso, TAI practitioners %!o !ave no bac&ground in researc! do not !ave t!e tools to assess t!e 8ualit# of ES> researc! in ter"s of t!eoretical dept! and engage"ent in e+isting t!eor#, and "a# find it difficult to see t!e differences bet%een t!eir o%n ideas derived fro" practice and t!ose discussed andHor generated b# ES> researc! t!roug! a researc!(specific process$ @inall#, ES> literature is often %ritten in abstract ter"s, %!ic! "a&es its reading difficult for la# persons$ 4.2 $S# 3S> researc! on interpreting started in t!e ,-I5s %it! e"pirical studies on t!e cognition of si"ultaneous interpreting b# ps#c!ologists and ps#c!olinguists$ Since t!at ti"e, "ore %or& on interpreting cognition !as been done, but ot!er t!e"es !ave also been ta&en up, including interpreting 8ualit# e+pectations and reception and training(related issues as %ell as professional issues$ @indings !ave been nu"erous, but because of space constraints, I %ill onl# "ention a fe% !ere a"ong t!ose t!at !ave been confir"ed ti"e and again in t!e field of conference interpreting, t!e branc! of interpreting %it! %!ic! I a" "ost fa"iliar? one is t!at interpreters "a&e "an# errors and o"issions, %!ic! often affect speec! seg"ents in %!ic! t!ere is no apparent ele"ent of difficult#/ anot!er is !ig! variabilit# in t!e perfor"ance of interpreters/ a t!ird is t!e fact t!at perfor"ance dee"ed unsatisfactor# b# a user of interpreting on one para"eter (suc! as intonation, accent, voice, gra""ar etc$ is li&el# to affect !isH!er )udg"ent of t!e interpreter*s perfor"ance as a %!ole (see t!e series of boo&s b# t!e Granada E3IS tea", and in particular 3ollados >Js et al$, .55K $ E"pirical researc! on translation started a bit later$ @ro" t!e literature, it see"s t!at "ost 4estern aut!ors consider it reall# too& off %it! researc! on t!e translation process in t!e "id(,-25s, %it! t!e introduction of t!e T!in& >loud Protocol paradig" (T>P as a %indo% to translation cognition$ =uc! researc! %as done on translation be!avior using T>P and using soft%are %!ic! records co"puter &e#board activit# (starting %it! Translog , and "ore

advanced tec!ni8ues, li&e ga;e anal#sis, are being increasingl# used (see for instance =ees et al$, .5,5 $ Suc! researc! #ielded infor"ation on t!e stages of translation, including pre( translation preparation, t!e drafting of t!e target te+t, revisions, pauses etc$ 'ne recurrent finding %as t!at student translators see" to process t!e source te+t locall#, at "icro(level, %!ereas e+perienced translators tend to ta&e a %ider vie% %!en "a&ing translation decisions and also consider t!e te+t as a %!ole, t!e co""unication conte+t and t!e function of t!e translation$ 'ne ot!er researc! paradig" %as t!e anal#sis of electronic corpora of te+ts, t!eir translations andHor si"ilar te+ts in t!e target language, inter alia to test 9translation universals* suc! as <lu"(Lul&a*s e+plicitation !#pot!esis (according to %!ic! translations tend to be "ore e+plicit t!an t!e te+t t!e# refor"ulate in t!e target language or to identif# linguistic features %!ic! "ig!t be associated %it! translation, as opposed to t!e drafting of te+ts in t!e original language$ =uc! researc! !as also been done on translator training$ %. #ssessing the contri&ution of research into T'I to its practice %.1 $an one measure the real contri&ution of research into T'I to its practice? So far, a nu"ber of p!eno"ena and tendencies !ave been identified t!roug! researc!$ So"e !ave been confir"ed, and "an# ot!ers are still a%aiting confir"ation t!roug! replications and convergent results$ Suc! confir"ation %ill certainl# ta&e a long ti"e, inter alia because t!e Translation researc!ers* co""unit# is s"all, practitioners are often reluctant to sub"it t!eir %or& to scrutin# and t!ere is a lot of variabilit# in individual perfor"ance$ 'ne i"portant 8uestion is? %!at i"pact !ave t!e ideas and findings of TS !ad on t!e practice of translation and interpretingM In so"e disciplines %!ere i"prove"ents in t!e situation and in t!e be!avior of social groups are soug!t suc! as econo"ics or "edicine, t!ere are convenient 8uantitative indicators to "easure t!e effects of researc! or of particular steps ta&en b# actors in t!e field$ In ot!er disciplines suc! as ps#c!olog# or sociolog#, suc! "easure"ents are "ore difficult to "a&e$ T!e field of Translation belongs to t!e second group$ Surve#s can capture i"pressions and feelings of translators, interpreters and of t!eir clients, but it is difficult to use t!is tool to assess t!e i"pact of particular actions triggered b# researc!$ 4!at does see" t!eoreticall# possible is to test t!e perfor"ance of graduating translator and interpreting students and co"pare t!ose %!o %ere trained %it! t!e benefit of researc! and t!ose %!o %ere trained %it!out it$ <ut even in suc! studies, t!e confounding effects of t!e training progra"s* ad"ission polic#, student "otivation, instructor 8ualification and "otivation, personal student(teac!er interaction and students* personal cognitive st#le %ould "a&e it difficult to ascribe statisticall# significant differences in perfor"ance to t!e absence or presence of t!e input of researc! in t!e progra"$ 4!ic! "eans t!at at t!is point, assess"ents of t!e overall effects of t!e contribution of researc! into TAI to t!eir practice cannot clai" to be ob)ective or reliable, and evidence presented can onl# go part of t!e %a#$ Leeping t!is caveat in "ind, I %ill present "# o%n assess"ent in t!e follo%ing sections$ %.2 (esearch !ersus )(* PGG literature is %ritten evidence of t!e fact t!at practitioners can ac8uire "uc! &no%ledge t!roug! observation of and reflection on t!eir dail# practice$ To %!at e+tent does researc! offer an added or "ore solid contributionM

PGG !as t!e advantage of being based on inti"ate personal &no%ledge of translation andHor interpretation environ"ents$ Translators and interpreters &no% "an# facets of t!eir direct environ"ent, and "an# !ave developed intuitions t!at go deeper t!an %!at %ould result fro" t!e integration of data collected s#ste"aticall# t!roug! researc!$ Inter alia, t!e# !ave intuitions about t!e relative i"portance and fre8uenc# of specific p!eno"ena and !ave a rat!er good idea of %!ic! are relevant and regular and %!ic! are irrelevant or rare$ <ut t!ere are t!ree funda"ental li"itations to t!eir &no%ledge$ 'ne is its 9local* nature$ T!e# !ave &no%ledge about t!eir personal environ"ent and "a# &no% little or not!ing about different geograp!ic, econo"ic, linguistic, or "odalit#( specific environ"ents$ Eence t!e ris& of over(generali;ing on t!e basis of t!eir 9personal t!eori;ing* %!ic! relies on suc! local &no%ledge onl#$ Gesearc!ers are trained to be a%are of t!e ris& and avoid it : t!oug! so"e are "ore successful t!an ot!ers in doing so$ >not!er point is t!at t!e evidence on %!ic! PGG is based depends on t!eir personal e+perience and on t!eir sensitivit# to t!e relevant p!eno"ena$ Gesearc! tends to deliberatel# and s#ste"aticall# see& evidence t!roug! tools %it! en!anced sensitivit# in representative sa"ples fro" populations, as opposed to individual e+perience$ >s a result, it can be e+pected to dig up "ore infor"ation, and per!aps do so in a "ore balanced %a# t!an e+periential &no%ledge ac8uisition$ > t!ird funda"ental li"itation of PGG is t!at it does not s#ste"aticall# c!ec& for sub)ective bias and errors$ Gesearc!ers are trained to be s&eptical and t!erefore c!ec& s#ste"aticall# for %ea&nesses in t!eir approac!, findings and inferences, and are presu"ed to identif# and correct t!e" better t!an non(scientists$ >gain, individuals live up to t!is ideal vie% of science to a variable e+tent, but self(correction is built into researc!, and %!atever biases and errors "a# i"pact one stud# s!ould eventuall# be corrected in later studies$ 'n t!e %!ole, researc! is t!erefore %ea&er t!an PGG %it! respect to local &no%ledge and intuition : and "uc! slo%er in dra%ing conclusions : but "ore reliable (see for e+a"ple t!e ver# s#ste"atic collection of facts and anal#sis of court interpreting in =ala#sia in 1ubaida Ibra!i"*s .55. doctoral dissertation and less prone to leave "ista&es undetected in t!e long run$ Eo%ever, ever# translator and interpreter %or&s in !isH!er o%n environ"ent, so it is legiti"ate to %onder !o% relevant t!e advantage of researc! in generali;ing be#ond local &no%ledge is relevant to dail# practice$ %.3 Wh+ has research not made a spectacular difference in the practice of Translation so far? >ssu"ing t!at researc! does lead to t!e ac8uisition of &no%ledge unavailable t!roug! personal observation and t!eori;ing, it is also legiti"ate to as& %!et!er t!is &no%ledge is trul# useful$ 4ill it i"prove t!e translator*s or interpreter*s environ"entM 4ill it i"prove !isH!er %a# of translating or interpretingM 3!anges in t!e %or&ing environ"ent are probabl# caused "ostl# b# t!e needs of societ#, b# c!anges in tec!nolog#, b# "ar&et forces and b# practical action b# professional bodies (>II3, t!e international association of conference interpreters, is one good e+a"ple , not b# researc!$ Neit!er does Translation researc! see" to !ave c!anged spectacularl# t!e %a# translators and interpreters %or&$ Tec!nolog# !as definitel# produced c!anges$ Not onl# do translators no% use co"puters for t!eir translation %or&, including t!e ac8uisition of ad hoc ter"inological, p!raseological and t!e"atic &no%ledge, but in "an# cases, translation tec!nolog# is i"posed upon t!e" t!roug! re8uire"ents fro" clients t!at t!e# use translation "e"ories$ >s to interpreters, t!e# no% use co"puters and t!e internet for preparation and even in t!e interpreting boot!, and t!ere is "uc! re"ote interpreting$ In signed language interpreting,

video interpreting !as beco"e a "a)or "ar&et in t!e United States$ <ut suc! develop"ents are tec!nological and econo"ic$ T!e# do not result fro" researc! into Translation$ 4!# !as researc! failed to "a&e a big i"pact on t!e %or&ing environ"ent and %or&ing "et!ods of TranslatorsM 'ne i"portant reason is t!at no spectacular, clear(cut findings %it! i""ediate applications !ave e"erged$ Eig! inter(individual variabilit# in perfor"ance is an interesting p!eno"enon and de"onstrating its e+istence is one t!ing, but t!ere is no clear re"ed#$ Neit!er do %e &no% %!at to do about t!e fact t!at si"ultaneous interpreters "a&e "an# errors, o"issions and infelicities (see for e+a"ple Gile, .5,, , %!ic! are presu"abl# due to cognitive overload rat!er t!an to t!e lac& of s&ills or &no%ledge, or about t!e fact t!at beginning student translators tend to focus on single %ords and p!rases rat!er t!an see t!e" as part of a %!ole te+t %it!in a co""unicative conte+t %it! intentions and a function, or about t!e fact t!at translations tend to be "ore e+plicit t!an t!e original te+t (t!oug! !o% general t!is tendenc# is re"ains to be ascertained , or about t!e fact t!at %ea&nesses in single 8ualit# para"eters !ave a strong i"pact on overall 8ualit# evaluations b# users of interpreting services$ >t best, t!is finding %ill raise t!e a%areness of instructors to t!e i"portance of deliver# para"eters, but can one reall# sa# t!at researc! is t!e onl# source of suc! a%arenessM 3an it not be a%a&ened e8uall# %ell b# introspection, observation and co""ents b# clients in t!e fieldM > second e+planation for t!e lac& of a strong i"pact of researc! is indeed t!e fact t!at "an# findings onl# confir" t!e &no%ledge or i"pressions t!at practitioners !ave fro" t!eir dail# e+perience$ If t!ere %as so"et!ing to be done about it and if t!e# could do it, t!e# probabl# !ave %it!out %aiting for researc! to confir" %!at t!e# alread# &ne%$ In ot!er cases, researc! findings tend to contradict strong opinions$ @or instance, t!e Translation co""unit# !as been discussing and investigating for a long ti"e t!e issue of directionalit# (see for instance Lell# et al$, .553 , and !as been tr#ing to deter"ine %!et!er it is better to translateHinterpret into one*s native language or fro" one*s native language$ T!e results are far fro" clear(cut, %!ic! is an i"portant finding per se, because it suggests t!at eit!er direction could be acceptable, and Translators and tas&s !ave to be assessed on a case(b#(case basis$ >nd #et, "ost practitioners* and trainers* initial opinion on directionalit# does not see" to !ave c!anged in t!e %a&e of t!e findings of publis!ed studies on t!is topic$ Geluctance to c!ange one*s attitudes is apparentl# stronger t!an t!e findings of investigations$ 0ast, but not least, so"e findings "a# s!o% statisticall# significant differences bet%een t%o conditions (%or&ing conditions, aptitudes, "et!ods etc$ , but %it! !ig! variabilit#, %!ic! again suggests t!at t!ere could be nu"erous single cases %!ere t!e statistically significant difference is not found$ Translation is not about t!ousands of 8uasi( identical products produced t!roug! t!e sa"e process$ It is about "ore or less uni8ue encounters bet%een a Translator, a Te+t, a "o"ent and particular set of environ"ental conditions/ a ver# s"all regular difference can !ave an i"pact on t!e econo"ics of "ass( produced ob)ects, but not in t!at uni8ue encounter in t!e Translation act, %!ere an# single factor, including t!e Translator*s "ood, "otivation or !ealt! can !ave a "uc! stronger influence over !isH!er perfor"ance t!an t!e condition tested statisticall#$ T!is applies for e+a"ple to researc! on aptitude testing for interpreting, %!ic! !as al%a#s been a central issue in conference interpreter training$ 'vervie%s of researc! on aptitude testing and recent e"pirical studies reported in t!e special issue of Interpreting (.5,, , %!ic! is devoted to t!e topic, suggest t!at it is ver# difficult to co"e up %it! tests %it! strong predictive po%er of an applicant*s successful co"pletion of an interpreter training course$ Interpreter trainers &no% for"er students %!o see"ed to be ver# pro"ising and failed to ac8uire ade8uate s&ills over t!e training period, and ot!ers %!o appeared rat!er %ea& in t!e beginning but "anaged to !oist t!e"selves up to t!e re8uired level$ In suc! s"all populations, eli"inating t!e see"ingl# %ea&er candidates on t!e basis of predictors %!ic! onl# account for less t!an C5N of t!e

variabilit# (a correlation coefficient as !ig! as $K onl# e+plains O-N of t!e variabilit# does not see" to be a ver# good strateg#$ %.4 (esearch and the Translation classroom T!ere is one environ"ent %!ere researc! can be po%erful and !as been po%erful, na"el# t!e translation and interpreting classroo"$ Note t!at t!is is %!ere basic s&ills and &no%ledge are ac8uired, presu"abl# %it! long ter" effects on t!e translators and interpreters professional career as %ell$ Traditional training is essentiall# based on translation and interpreting e+ercises and on t!eir correction b# teac!ers %it!out "uc! input fro" researc! and t!eor#$ Teac!ers sa# %!at is rig!t and %!at is %rong in %!at is basicall# a product(oriented apprentices!ip "odel$ T!e students* progress depends on t!eir abilit# to learn and generali;e fro" %!at t!e# perceive and re"e"ber of t!eir translations and of t!eir teac!ers* co""ents$ Gesearc! offers %a#s to i"prove t!e efficienc# of training in a nu"ber of %a#s? ( <# assessing t!e efficienc# of different t#pes of e+ercises, teac!ing "odes, uses of t!e tec!nolog# and ot!er didactic action ( <# providing students %it! general conceptual fra"e%or&s (t!eories %!ic! guide t!e" in t!eir decisions, bot! in t!e classroo" and be#ond$ S&opos t!eor# is one %ell(&no%n e+a"ple/ Interpretive T!eor#, %it! its po%erful 9deverbali;ation* concept, is anot!er$ ( <# providing t!e" %it! e+planations of p!eno"ena %!ic! t!e# "a# e+perience in t!e classroo" %it! so"e distress, for instance t!e apparent loss of "aster# of t!eir native language or t!e i"pression t!at t!e# are not "a&ing !ead%a# at all over %ee&s and "ont!s$ Gile, .55- is one e+a"ple of a te+tboo& in %!ic! an atte"pt is "ade to use t!e input of researc!, bot! t!eoretical and e"pirical, to !elp students and teac!ers "a&e t!e best out of t!e possibilities of t!e classroo", inter alia t!roug! a set of "odels$ It is a fact t!at concepts and t!eories are used in "an# translator and interpreter training progra"s, t!oug! ad"ittedl# not in all and certainl# not b# all instructors in t!ose progra"s %!ere t!e# are present$ Student assess"ents conducted after se"inars and t!eor# classes generall# s!o% overall student satisfaction, and, in particular %it! respect to interpreting students, a reassuring effect/ G#de Eansen reports satisfaction %it! respect to t!eor# fro" !er o%n translation students (personal co""unication $ Suc! reactions are positive, but t!eir a"plitude and long(ter" effects are difficult to fat!o"$ Note t!at t!e P>3TE group, of t!e Universidad >utPno"a de <arcelona, !as been %or&ing for a nu"ber of #ears on t!e "easure"ent of co"petence ac8uisition in translation (See P>3TE, .5,, $ ,. The social contri&ution of research >not!er contribution of researc! to translation and interpreting practitioners is institutional and social$ >s is %ell &no%n to all, la# people are all too &een to t!in& t!at translation and interpreting are a "atter of &no%ing foreign languages and t!at t!e tas& can be entrusted to 9bilingual* secretaries or ot!er 9bilinguals* %it!out an# specific training or 8ualifications, %!ic! naturall# tends to drag t!e translators* and interpreters* status do%n$ 4!en acade"ic training and acade"ic degrees are re8uired to gain access to t!e profession, t!is can be assu"ed to !ave t!e opposite effect of pus!ing t!e profession*s status up%ards$ T!e "ore so %!en t!e relevant degree is an advanced one, %!ic! %as probabl# t!e "ain reason %!# so"e instructors and leaders of t!e TAI co""unit# are in favor of translator and interpreter training being graduate degrees : t!e ot!er being t!at ad"ission at graduate level secures t!e

recruit"ent of students %!o alread# !ave so"e "aturit# and acade"ic success, and are t!us better e8uipped to beco"e good translators$ >cade"ic training in an institutionali;ed fra"e%or& involves researc!, and researc!, be#ond its 9tec!nical* uses as s&etc!ed above, can also dra% t!e attention of t!e acade"ic co""unit# and of societ# at large to t!e profession and its specificities, and t!us contribute indirectl# to en!ance its status$ T!is is particularl# true for co""unit# interpreting, court interpreting and signed language interpreting, %!ere issues of public !ealt! and associated e+penditure, !u"an rig!ts and political sta&es co"e in$ Gesearc! %!ic! s!o%s t!at poor training and certain %or&ing conditions !ave deleterious effects on t!e perfor"ance of interpreters and !ave a bearing on suc! sta&es is li&el# to be ta&en seriousl#$ 4!et!er t!is actuall# triggers action b# t!e aut!orities is anot!er "atter$ @or instance, PQc!!ac&er (.5,5 reports t!at PQllabauer*s doctoral %or& on first(instance as#lu" see&ers in Gra;, >ustria (PQllabauer, .55C %as ta&en seriousl# enoug! for !er to be able to )oin a group %or&ing on "ini"u" procedural standards to be sub"itted to t!e* Interior =inister and to la%"a&ers preparing to a"end t!e >ustrian >s#lu" >ct, but t!at t!e conservative govern"ent of t!e ti"e did not act on t!e proposals "ade b# t!e group$ >gain, it is difficult to actuall# "easure t!e contribution researc! !as "ade to t!e institutional and social status of Translators and t!e associated gains in training, %or&ing conditions, inco"e etc$ -. $onclusions Su""ing up? 4it! respect to practical infor"ation about one*s local environ"ent, researc! findings cannot replace t!e individual practitioner*s &no%ledge and intuitions gained fro" !isH!er e+perience and fro" contacts and discussions %it! colleagues$ <ut t!e# can broaden !isH!er !ori;ons b# providing infor"ation about ot!er environ"ents and t!us s!o% t!at so"e ideas t!at %ere part of s!ared %isdo" in !isH!er local environ"ent are not in line %it! %!at is believed else%!ere$ T!e# can also provide docu"ented findings %!ic! c!allenge s!ared %isdo"$ T!is provides opportunities to reconsider and correct so"e perceptions$ Gesearc! per se !as not broug!t about spectacular i"prove"ents in eit!er %or&ing "et!ods or %or&ing environ"ents so far$ So"e of its findings could be used in advocac# b# professional bodies to ac!ieve suc! c!anges (t!is is certainl# true of PQllabauer*s and 1ubaida Ibra!i"*s doctoral dissertations , but suc! use of researc! can be ris&#$ @or instance, a stud# b# =oser(=ercer et al$ (,--2 on prolonged ter"s in t!e si"ultaneous interpreting boot! %as supposed to s!o% t!at %!en interpreting be#ond t!e standard t!irt# "inutes turn, interpreters e+perience a loss of 8ualit# and !ig!er stress$ @indings did not support t!is !#pot!esis (loo&ing at t!e data provided, I disagree %it! t!e aut!ors* conclusions $ Presenting t!e" to clients as evidence to bac& up clai"s for better %or&ing conditions could be counter( productive$ T!e one area %!ere researc! !as !ad significant applications is training, but "ore as a source of conceptual fra"e%or&s and guiding principles t!an as a provider of ne% "et!ods or assessor of e+isting "et!ods$ 4!at does t!is overvie% suggest %it! respect to %!at t!e co""unit# of translation and interpreting practitioners can e+pect fro" and do %it! TSM @irst of all, unli&e "edicine or industrial researc!, researc! into Translation s!ould not be e+pected to co"e up %it! solutions to proble"s or even %it! clear(cut ans%ers to funda"ental 8uestions (directionalit#, aptitude testing, translation universals, best practices etc$ $ 'ccasionall#, it "a# find so"e solutions or clear(cut ans%ers, but for "an# 8uestions,

t!ese "a# not e+ist or be be#ond t!e reac! of researc!, at least for t!e foreseeable future$ Gat!er, as a rule, li&e econo"ics, sociolog# or political science, it provides evidence and ideas %!ic! can t!en be fed into t!e practitioners* e+isting &no%ledge and ideas and if possible integrated into t!e" and t!us be used to raise a%areness, to gain better insig!t into relevant issues, to for" opinions andHor to engage in targeted action %!en practical ai"s are pursued$ Secondl#, practitioners can !elp researc! advance faster on relevant practical issues b# accepting to participate in surve#s and e+peri"ents$ T!is re8uires so"e ti"e and %or& as %ell as an effort to overco"e t!e reluctance to e+pose %ea&nesses in one*s perfor"ance$ Per!aps it is %ort!%!ile noting t!at researc!ers are interested in general patterns, not in individual perfor"ance, and t!at t!e# tend not to be )udg"ental$ 'verall, t!ere is so"et!ing to gain and little to lose fro" TS$ Its cost for societ# is s"all$ Not onl# is "ost of t!e researc! on Translation done %it!out e+pensive "aterials and e8uip"ent, but "ost of t!e pro)ects are done b# Translator trainers %!ose acade"ic positions "ade it "andator# for t!e" to produce researc! for %!ic! t!e# get no specific funding$ It %ould be unrealistic to e+pect all practitioners to be ent!usiastic about TS, but on balance, loo&ing at t!e benefitHcost ratio, suc! researc! is not a bad deal for t!e co""unit# of translators and interpreters, is itM

(eferences 3!ester"an, >ndre% A E""a 4agner$ .55.$ Can Theory Help Translators: A Dialogue Between The Ivory Tower And The Wordface (Translation Theories E plained!$ =anc!ester? StRero"e$ 3ollados >Js, Sngela, E$ =acarena Pradas =acJas, Elisabet! Stvau+ A 'lalla GarcJa <ecerra (eds $ .55K$ "a evaluaci#n de la calidad en interpretaci#n si$ult%nea: par%$etros de incidencia$ Granada? Editorial 3o"ares$ Dana!er, P$ ,--.$ 6Deaf and blind : but not du"b? Translation t!eorists$7 "anguage International O?.$ ,C(,I$ Gile, Daniel$ .55-$ Basic Concepts and &odels for Interpreter and Translator Training$ Gevised Edition$ >"sterda"HP!iladelp!ia? Ro!n <en)a"ins$ Gile, Daniel$ .5,,$ 6Errors, o"issions and infelicities in broadcast interpreting$ Preli"inar# findings fro" a case stud#$7 In >lvstad, 3ecilia, >delina Eild A Elisabet Tiselius (eds $ &ethods and 'trategies of (rocess )esearch* Integrative Approaches in Translation 'tudies$ >"sterda"HP!iladelp!ia? Ro!n <en)a"ins$ .5,(.,2$ Interpreting ,3?,$ .5,,$ Special issue on >ptitude for Interpreting$

Lell#, Dorot!#, >nne =artin, =arie(0ouise Nobs, Dolores STnc!e; A 3at!erine 4a# (eds $ .553$ "a direccionalidad en traducci#n e interpretaci#n* (erspectivas te#ricas+ profesionales y did%cticas$ Granada? Editorial >trio$ =ees, Inger, @abio >lves A Su;anne GQpferic! (eds $ .5,5$ &ethodology+ Technology and Innovation in Translation (rocess )esearch* A Tri,ute to Arnt "y--e .a-o,sen$ 3open!agen, 3open!agen Studies in 0anguage 32, Sa"fundslitteratur$ =oser(=ercer, <arbara, >le+ander LUn;li, =arina Lorac$ ,--2$ 6Prolonged turns in interpreting? Effects on 8ualit#, p!#siological and ps#c!ological stress (Pilot stud# $7 Interpreting 3$,? OK(IO$ P>3TE$ .5,,$ VGesults of t!e Walidation of t!e P>3TE Translation 3o"petence =odel? Translation Pro)ect and D#na"ic Translation Inde+$7 In? '*<rien, S!aron (ed$ I>TIS Xearboo& .5,5, 0ondres? 3ontinuu" (aceptada # en prensa $ PQc!!ac&er, @ran;$ .5,5$ 64!# interpreting studies "atter$7 In Gile, Daniel, G#de Eansen A Ni&e L$ Po&orn (eds $ Why Translation 'tudies &atters$ >"sterda"HP!iladelp!ia? Ro!n <en)a"ins$ PQllabauer, Son)a$ .55C$ /I don0t understand your English+ &iss*1 Dol$etschen ,ei Asylanh2rungen$ TUbingen? Gunter Narr$ Sno%, 3!arles Perc#$ .55,B,-C-D$ The Two Cultures$ 0ondon? 3a"bridge Universit# Press$ Wan 0eu%en 1%art, Litt#$ ,-2-$ 6Translation and Translation Studies? Discord or Unit#M7 In Ti&&onen(3ondit, Son)a (ed $ E$pirical )esearch in Translation and Intercultural 'tudies$ TUbingen? Gunter Narr$ 3C(OO$ 1ubaida Ibra!i"$ .55.$ Court Interpreting in &alaysia in )elation to "anguage (lanning and (olicy$ Unpublis!ed doctoral dissertation, facult# of languages and linguistics, Universit# of =ala#sia$