Fall Lecture (October 20): “From the translator’s fingers to the reader’s eyes: Empirical research into how readers process translated texts” by Olha Lehka-Paul

This lecture is co-organised by CETRA and CERES – Centre for Reception Studies (KU Leuven).

Thursday, 20 October, 12:30pm to 2pm

Follow the lecture online (Microsoft Teams) or on-site (KU Leuven, Campus Antwerp – Sint-Jacob)

Entrance is free, but you are kindly asked to register by Tuesday, 18 October via email to jack.mcmartin@kuleuven.be. Note that on-site seating is limited to members of CETRA and CERES, and preference will be given to doctoral researchers.

Professor Lehka-Paul’s talk will concentrate on how the effort invested by the translator to produce the translation affects the way in which a potential reader processes the output. Translation scholars unanimously agree that the translator’s decisions influence the sense-making process on the reader’s end (Alves & Jakobsen 2020, Kotze et al. 2021), but there is little empirical research into the extent to which the translator’s effort eventually pays off. This talk will present preliminary findings of an empirical study conducted within the framework of the research project on “The Reading and Reception of Mediated (Translated) Text: The Read Me Project”. The project, which belongs to the field of cognitive translatology, offers an innovative approach to analysing the relationship between translators’ and readers’ effort by means of looking at the key-logging data received from the translation process and readers’ eye movements recorded with an eye-tracker. Some of the questions addressed in the talk include: (1) Does the translator’s effort pay off and the reader does not display difficulty when reading the final text as indicated by long fixations and re-fixations? (2) Do the easy stretches of text production correlate with the ease of reading? (3) How do translation and language errors affect the reading and reception of translated texts? (Rayner and Liversedge 2011). The talk should be of value to both translation studies scholars and reception studies scholars.

Olha Lehka-Paul is a senior lecturer at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, and previously an assistant lecturer at Ivan Franko University in Lviv, Ukraine. She is also a freelance translator and interpreter with English, Polish and Ukrainian as working languages. Her research is concerned with establishing connections between translator’s personality characteristics and translation performance, translator’s self-efficacy, translator’s decisions and revision tactics, translation training and translation process research in general. She is a strong advocate of translation psychology as both a line of research and a new course to set in translator training curricula.

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