Capturing translation processes to access metalinguistic awareness
Despite the economic importance of translation work, research can hardly keep pace with current developments, especially the use of electronic resources. A growing body of literature on writing processes in various languages and domains (e.g. journalism, education) has provided insight into how professionals and students use language and language resources. However, the questions of how translators use electronic, non-electronic, and internal linguistic resources and of how novices and experts differ in this regard remain to be investigated in detail. A multi-method approach called progression analysis, which combines ethnographic observation, interviews, computer logging, screenshot recordings, and cue-based retrospective verbalizations, has been used to explore differences between novice and expert journalists and lends itself ideally to the domain of translation. Progression analysis captures diverse aspects of translation processes as students and professionals translate and revise their texts and allows us to access their metalinguistic awareness in order to gain insight into their translation competence. The realization of this awareness in different strategies for translating to and from the translator’s dominant language is highlighted for the language combination German and English, and differences between novices’ and experts’ awareness of their revision processes and resource use are identified.