Psycholinguistic Fundamentals of Non-linearity in Translation

Keywords: non-linearity of translation, translation solution, translation problem, deautomatization, pre-translation analysis, retrospective verbal report.


The article is devoted to the psycholinguistic factors of translation non-linearity, realized in the multiple translation solutions. Multiple solutions are caused by the use of translator’s different translation strategies in the same translation situation.

The aim of the study is to identify mechanisms for making translation solutions and to determine psycholinguistic tools to improve the quality of specialized translation.

The research procedure includes a psycholinguistic experiment with the participation of 36 respondents, divided into three groups: the first group 1 – translators with expert status; groups 2, 3 – novice translators with semi-professional translation status. The experiment participants translated a specialized text from German into Ukrainian, in which the number of 13 units carrying informational entropy in relation to the total number of words was 68,0%. According to the experiment conditions, the participants in group 3 had to additionally perform a pre-translation text analysis (PTA) and a retrospective verbal report (RVR) of their translation solutions.

The results of studying multiple translations of groups 1, 2, 3 and retrospective verbal reports of respondents from group 3 made it possible to establish strategies for translation behavior and ways of making translation solutions according to the procedural scheme. The experimental data showed that translation results of the group 3 in terms of the number of adequate versions (AV) and partially acceptable versions (PAV) were only 6,7% lower than in the group of professional translators 1. In terms of the number of erroneous versions (EV), group 3 showed only 6,8% lower translation quality compared to group 1. In group 2, a significantly lower quality of translation was notified. According to the experiment results, in group 2 33,4% less AV / PAV was registered, and 35,8% more EV than in group 1.

The conclusions of the experiment indicate the importance of the psycholinguistic factor of translation solutions’ deautomatization at the stages of analysis, synthesis and translation product revision. The psycholinguistic tools of PTA and RVR contributed to improving the specialized translation quality due to the awareness of mental processes by translators.


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Dorofeieva, M., & Kotsur, A. (2020). Psycholinguistic Fundamentals of Non-linearity in Translation. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 27(2), 90-112.

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