A Multiple Case Study of Chinese-English Translation Strategies

Yanmei LIU, Mingmei DU


The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences of strategy patterns in Chinese-English translation by three translators with different expertise: the novice, the advanced student and the professional translator, as well as the effects of text types on translators’ strategies and cognitive performance. Cross-examining the TAPs, the Translog data and the interview shows that translators’ immediate reaction to the problem falls into three patterns: intuitional scheme, analytical scheme and instrumental scheme; Advanced student uses the largest number as well as the widest range of strategies; The novice turns most to the external tool—online dictionary for help. The higher the translator’s expertise and the more experiences s/he has, the more s/he uses the internal knowledge; Text types affect three translators’ strategies in different degree, and generally analytical scheme is more often used in poem than in the other two text types—the operating instruction and the advertisement. Translog data about average pause duration per word and the average pause ratio further validate that poem is the most cognitively demanding text.


C-E translation strategy; Text types; Think-aloud protocol; Translog; Cognitive effort

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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