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Panel 6. Moving boundaries in translation & interpreting research methods

With the increasing amount of empirical research being conducted in translation and interpreting studies through interdisciplinary, social science and humanities focused lenses, more interest is being paid to the nature of the research methods being used, as is evidenced by the timely and coincidental publication of two relevant research methods books in the same year: Hale & Napier (2013) and Saldanha & O’Brien (2013).

This panel will involve a series of presenters whose work specifically discusses innovations in translation and interpreting research methods, inspired by an upcoming special issue of The International Journal of Translation & Interpreting Research.

Therefore, the focus will be to promote a critical discussion of a) how research methods which have been traditionally used in translation and interpreting studies can be adapted to analyse the reality of professional practice in the 21st century, and b) how the utilisation of tools more commonly associated with other disciplines (e.g. vignettes, multimodal analysis) can further insights into linguistically and/or culturally mediated encounters. The impact that studies conducted on the basis of such innovative, cross-disciplinary methods can have on promoting best practice and influencing policy, thus yielding benefits for communities and society at large, is an integral part of the envisaged contribution of this panel.

The aim will be to present a range of papers that specifically discuss which research methods or methodological approaches are currently used in translation and interpreting research and why. A variety of papers presenting results from empirical research will be included, which will provide an overview of the  the discipline. Recommendations for researchers as to the benefits of adopting a particular approach will be drawn from the discussion.

The goal of the panel will be to showcase innovative applications of well-established methods (qualitative, quantitative or mixed) and to demonstrate how innovation in the application of such methods can move boundaries in promoting a better understanding of the work of translators and interpreters.

  • Name(s) of convener(s): Jemina Napier & Raquel de Pedro Ricoy
  • Affiliation: Heriot-Watt University
  • Email address: j.napier@hw.ac.uk & R.De_Pedro@hw.ac.uk