Call for Papers: Special issue on Probing the Process in Cognitive Translation Studies: Towards More Integrative Research Practices

Cognitive Translation Studies (CTS, henceforth) have given interdisciplinarity and technology a leading role in research. The last twenty years have witnessed, in particular, an unprecedented surge of experimental studies priming lab equipment and multidisciplinary research (Carl & Braun, 2018; Jakobsen & Mesa-Lao, 2017; Mellinger & Hanson, 2016).

However, what started as a timid attempt has resulted in a technological boom nowadays viewed by many as a threat to the reliability and the ecological validity of research. The increased sophistication of experimental design has moved participants from computer screens and keyboards to settings bearing no resemblance whatsoever with a likely translation workplace. Thus, in more recent years there has been a renewed call for increasing human intervention and a more qualitative approach to data analysis. While technology has proven successful to measure efficacy of cognitive processes in terms of cognitive load or effort, it has at times fallen short of expectations when accounting for the more social and situated aspects of cognition and translation. As a result, methodological triangulation has taken the lead in experimental research, highlighting the need for combining several research methods and tools: lab and contextual research, quantitative and qualitative methods, technological tools and human observation (Rojo López & Muñoz Martín, in press;Risku, 2017).

Similarly, the search for interdisciplinarity in CTS has resulted in a more “extended” or “situated” notion of cognition, which has taken the process of meaning construction in translation beyond the processes within the translator’s mind, merging them with the situational context (e.g., Ehrensberger-Dow, 2017; Muñoz Martín & Rojo López, 2018; Risku, 2017) and including the minds of those receiving the translations (e.g., Kruger & Kruger, 2017). A direct consequence of this turn has been the shift towards “middle” grounds used as meeting points for different paradigms. At the theoretical level, this shift has been reflected in the claim for converging paradigms and models; cognitive approaches have melted with sociological ones, linguistic models have been combined with psychological ones, the logical paradigm of the mind as a computer has merged with that of the emotional brain (Hubscher-Davidson, 2018; Rojo López, 2018). However, this shift has not fully lived up to initial expectations, being mostly confined to multidisciplinary approaches that have drawn on knowledge from different disciplines but remained within their boundaries (Muñoz Martín, 2017). As a consequence, a newly revised quest for truly interdisciplinary research has driven scholars towards greater interaction with the aim to integrate links between different disciplines into a coherently organized whole.

Therefore, this special issue of Translation & Interpreting on Probing the Process in Cognitive Translation Studies: Towards More Integrative Research Practices focuses on contributions addressing relevant topics for Cognitive Translation Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective that calls for both more integrative approaches and research practices.


a. Integrative research methods

The unprecedented surge of interest in technology has certainly advanced our knowledge of what goes on in the translator’s mind and body while translating. However, many concerns have also been raised about replacing the more human aspects of translation with the uncontrolled use of technology gadgets. The debate is served and both sides could have a case. The time is now ripe for a critical evaluation of experimental methods and technology advantages. Possible topics for the issue (list not exhaustive) include:

- Integrative and mixed-method research approaches

- Critical appraisal of research methods in translation and interpreting studies

- Critical review of research methods in CTS

- Hands-on introduction to research tools and methods

- New lines of research and future developments on research methods in CTS


b. Integrative theoretical approaches

The focus of Cognitive Translation Studies on the translator’s mind has benefited from the scholars’ engagement with the theoretical developments of other disciplines, such as psychology, psycholinguistics, bilingualism studies, artificial intelligence or any other area related to cognitive science. Possible topics for the issue (list not exhaustive) include interdisciplinary approaches on:

- The theoretical underpinnings of translation as cognition

- Critical review of theoretical approaches

- The cognitive process of translation or interpreting

- Translator training and the acquisition and development of competence

- Socio-cognitive aspects of translation


Practical information and deadlines

Proposals: Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words, including relevant references (not included in the word count), to both Dr. Ana María Rojo López and Dr. Marina Ramos Caro (|

-     Abstract submission:31 December 2019

-     Acceptance of proposals:1 March 2020

-     Submission of papers:1 October 2020

-     Acceptance of papers: 30 June 2021

-     Submission of final versions of papers:1 October 2021

-     Publication: July 2022


About the guest editors:

Ana María Rojo López is Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Murcia (Spain), where she is currently Deputy Director of the International Doctoral School. She is the coordinator of the TRADICO research group (Translator Training and Cognition in Translation) and a member of the PETRA research group (Expertise and Environment in Translation)and the Translation Research Empiricism Cognition (TREC) network. She has published over 100 books, chapters and articles on cognitive aspects of translation, with special emphasis on research methods and the role of emotions, creativity and other personality and individual differences.


Marina Ramos Caro is Lecturer in Translation at the University of Murcia, Spain. Her PhD, 2013, investigates the emotional reception of Audio Description. She is particularly interested in the influence of emotions and personality in the process and reception of translation. Dr Ramos has been awarded several international grants, presented her work in international conferences and published in journals such as Journal of Pragmatics,MonTiTranslation SpacesThe Translatorand Perspectives. As a professional translator, Marina Ramos has mainly worked within the fields of subtitling, dubbing and transcreation.



Carl, Michael and Sabine Braun. 2018. “Translation, Interpretation and New Technologies”. In The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics, edited by Kirsten Malmkjær (pp. 374–390). New York: Routledge.

Ehrensberger‐Dow, Maureen. 2017. “An Ergonomic Perspective of Translation”. In The Handbook of Translation and Cognition, edited by J. W. Schwieter and A. Ferreira.(pp. 332–49). Hoboken NJ: Wiley.

Hubscher-Davidson, Séverine. 2018. Translation and Emotion: A Psychological Perspective. New York: Routledge.

Jakobsen, Arnt Lykke and Bartolomé Mesa-Lao. (Eds.). 2017. Translation in Transition: Between Cognition, Computing and Technology.Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Kruger, Haidee, and Jan-Louis Kruger. 2017. “Cognition and Reception”. In The Handbook of Translation and Cognition, edited by J. W. Schwieter and A. Ferreira. (pp. 71–89).Hoboken NJ: Wiley.

Mellinger, Christopher D. and Thomas A. Hanson. 2016. Quantitative Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies. New York: Routledge.

Muñoz Martín, Ricardo. 2017. “Looking Toward the Future of Cognitive Translation Studies”. In The Handbook of Translation and Cognition, edited by J. W. Schwieter and A. Ferreira. (pp. 552–72).Hoboken NJ: Wiley.

Muñoz Martín, Ricardo and Ana Mª Rojo López. 2018. “Meaning”. In The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture, edited by Sue–Ann Harding and Ovidi Carbonell–Cortés (pp. 61–78). New York: Routledge.

Risku, Hanna. 2017. “Ethnographies of Translation and Situated Cognition”. In The Handbook of Translation and Cognition, edited by J. W. Schwieter and A. Ferreira (pp. 290–310).Hoboken NJ: Wiley.

Rojo López, Ana María. 2018. Translation as an Emotional Phenomenon. Special Issue of Translation, Cognition and Behaviour, 1.Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Rojo López, Ana María and Ricardo Muñoz Martín. In press. “Translation Process Research Methodology”. In The Routledge Handbook of Translation Methodology, edited by Federico Zanettin and Chris Rundle. New York: Routledge.