A multi-methodological approach to studying time-pressure in written translation: Manipulation and measurement





Time pressure, manipulation and measurement, multi-methodological approach, Cognitive Translation Studies


The effect of time pressure on task performance of written translation has been researched since the 1990s. However, little attention has been paid to the methodological issues of manipulating and measuring time pressure in these empirical studies. To bridge this gap, we propose a methodological framework involving diverse approaches to time-pressure manipulation and measurement. Specifically, in addition to objectively constraining the time frame for a task, we present three subjective time-pressure manipulation strategies: giving pre-task instructions about time, increasing participants’ intrinsic motivation for the task, and visualizing the elapse of time. Meanwhile, a range of feasible methods of time-pressure measurement is structured from the physiological, psychological and behavioural perspectives. This includes physiological measures such as galvanic skin response, heart rate, blood pressure, pupil dilation and salivary cortisol test, psychological measures such as psychometric instruments and retrospective questionnaires, and behavioural measures such as eye movements and keystroke activities. Based on a thorough survey of existing studies and the merits borrowed from neighbouring disciplines, this article aims to strengthen and enrich the methodology of time-pressure studies and benefit future translation research on relevant topics.

Author Biographies

Yu Weng, Durham University

Miss Yu Weng is a PhD candidate in Translation Studies at Durham University. She obtained her MSc. in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology from University College London in 2014, a BA in Linguistics and Sociology (First class) from the University of Manchester and a BA in English (Translation) from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2013. Before undertaking her PhD research at Durham University, she worked as a freelance translator and a business account manager at Microsoft China for three years. Her research interest lies in the psychology of translation, cognitive translation studies and linguistics.

Binghan Zheng, Durham University

Dr Binghan Zheng is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at Durham University, where he serves as the Director of the Centre for Intercultural Mediation. He obtained his PhD in Translation Studies from Nanyang Technological University. His research interests include cognitive translation studies, comparative translation studies, and neuroscience of translation. He has published widely in TS journals, such as Target, Perspectives, Babel, Translation & Interpreting Studies, Across Languages and Cultures. He is a guest editor of journals including Translation and Interpreting Studies, Translation Quarterly, and Foreign Language Teaching & Research.


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How to Cite

Weng, Y., & Zheng, B. (2021). A multi-methodological approach to studying time-pressure in written translation: Manipulation and measurement. Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series – Themes in Translation Studies, 19. https://doi.org/10.52034/lanstts.v19i0.548