Directionality in translation: Investigating prototypical patterns in editing procedures

Norma Barbosa de Lima Fonseca


This article aims at investigating the impact that directionality—Brazilian Portuguese into English and English into Brazilian Portuguese—may have on editing procedures performed by translators when processing translation units (TUs) during the drafting and revision phases. Eight professional translators participated in the study. The data consist of keystroke log files, eye-tracking data, questionnaires, and verbal protocols and are triangulated (Jakobsen, 1999b, 2006; Alves, 2001, 2003) during analysis to provide a more comprehensive view of the observed phenomenon and to allow for possible generalizations to be made. The analysis in particular focuses on the identification of macro TU categories as well as translators’ profiles and subprofiles. The results indicate that directionality did not affect the number of macro TU categories; however, directionality appears to have an impact on the identification of profiles and subprofiles. Moreover, the results suggest a different translator profile or subprofile during inverse translation. These results may be applicable to translator pedagogy and highlight the importance of deliberate practice in direct and inverse translation and its relationship to the translators’ monitoring of the translation process.



directionality in translation; prototypical patterns; editing procedures; micro/macro translation units, translators’ profiles and subprofiles

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