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In one-year or two-year graduate programs, the situation is different, because this is a short time to acquire the required cognitive skills, to enhance the mastery of their working languages and to extend their extralinguistic knowledge in areas where it is weak. The absence of theory and research components in such programs is therefore not unreasonable.

And yet, in many universities, research theses are mandatory, and compete with professional training for the student s limited time. One mitigating solution to the tension between the academic requirement on one hand, and the lack of time for training in interpreting skills on the other, is to encourage students to conduct replications of existing empirical studies. For such replication work, they will have to become familiar with some of the relevant literature and to understand the procedure followed in the original study.

However, they will not have to spend months attempting to find a topic, suitable research questions and methods. In addition, since IR is still small and lacks One convenient avenue for research theses is citation analysis, which offers several advantages as an introductory exercise in empirical research: - It is focused on a form of data which is easy to access and relatively easy to process.

Examples of research questions which can be suggested to students engaged in citation analysis are: - How do researchers in your topic area use citations? Where in their papers do citations come in? What purposes do they seem to serve? Can they be categorized in a meaningful way which helps understand their use? Who is cited? For what type of contribution?

Handbook of Translation Studies

From what disciplines? In the types of citations found, in the authors and works cited, in the disciplines from which citations are taken. Hypotheses can be tested and tentative explanations of regularities can be formulated as theories. I have been experimenting with citation analysis in research training over a number of years and find the exercise useful for students. Generally, they are rather uninterested initially but many find it increasingly attractive as they go along.

Note that the mandatory research exercise of preparing a thesis can be turned into a relatively useful professional skills acquisition exercise as well: students working on a thesis can make presentations on the literature they have read and on their own method and findings. These presentations can be interpreted in the classroom by other students, thus giving them some experience in scientific interpreting. The same can be done for students of translation, who can use their thesis requirements as an opportunity to translate Translation Studies texts or extracts of such texts.

A final point: suggesting to students replications and empirical research with simple methodology should not result in lower research standards as has been claimed by some. In my view, the opposite is true: in projects with simple methods which can be fully understood by beginners, students can be made to comply with the rigorous rationale and discipline which are the pillars upon which science rests; they are thus likely to learn more about it than in projects with more advanced methods in which they apply and often mis-apply recipes which they do not understand fully.

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Highly motivated students with the right background and proper supervision can be encouraged to engage in more sophisticated studies, but even students with little motivation can be made to learn about research and enjoy it to at least some extent when guided into rigorous work with simple designs. In particular, in many countries, IR researchers find themselves isolated in local environments where they have few colleagues or students interested in research into interpreting 7 ; in others, there is a plethora of students who must meet graduation thesis requirements and there are few supervisors 8.

The data shown earlier suggest that in terms of research production, countries with institutional research requirements and many students to advise are better off. Nevertheless, the situation is problematic in both cases at thesis level, and even more so at doctoral and post-doctoral level. One major constraint is that institutional rules and budgetary restrictions often prevent the participation of a sufficient number of experienced IR researchers from other parts of the country or from other countries in the assessment of dissertations.

No easy solution can be offered to the problem at doctoral level, except perhaps the use of modern communication technology to allow remote participation in vivas, which would solve the financial issue. If at all possible, inter-university agreements which would make it possible for students from one university in one country to have supervisors from a university located in another country could help. Experience shows that remote supervision by is possible see an illustrative account in Mead Yet another idea, based on the assumption that working in teams is more motivating than working alone, is to promote more actively a strategy of international inter-university research projects, possibly with multiple languages for instance the analysis of interpretations of a single source speech into several 7 As is the case at ESIT, Paris.

Again, this could facilitate the work for students, make their interaction more interesting, and provide the IR community with valuable multilingual data. One example is an ongoing project in which interpretations of president Obama s inaugural speech into French, German and Japanese are being studied and compared. Preliminary results have been published in Gile In this case, the comparison was done by a single author, which carries obvious limitations.

If German and Japanese students or colleagues had participated, the analysis could have gone much further. In order for this strategy to unfold its full potential, the relevant universities would have to recognize their students reports and participation in such team projects as equivalent to thesis work in respect of academic requirements for graduation subject to quantitative and qualitative conditions which would have to be determined jointly.

Pointing out the existence of serious or even fundamental flaws in a colleague s published work is altogether different, especially in a small research community such as ours, and many assessors from within IR are reluctant to do that, in spite of the importance of criticism for the improvement of research. One partial solution to the problem would be to ask colleagues from cognate disciplines to be active assessors of CIR research, as they have the skills and the social and psychological distance.

Unfortunately, they tend to refrain from One reason for their reluctance is that the research questions in IR-internal work are often remote from their own concerns. In terms of relevance, the investment involved in reading research reports carefully and commenting on them is too high. Another possible explanation is more social in nature: giving criticism is not pleasant, especially for an outsider who is invited into a research community, especially if the receiver is a respected member of that community.

It is understandable that outsiders should be reluctant to criticize their hosts. And yet, such criticism and advice are necessary, and will probably remain necessary for some time. One could object that because the respective research environments and traditions of researchers from cognate disciplines are often different from those of CIR, their opinions might not always have perfect relevance. Their input is nevertheless valuable as food for thought, especially as regards fundamental points. How can we secure such input? Institutional arrangements between IR centres and the relevant academic departments could be one way: researchers from a psychology department, a sociology department, an education science department, etc.

Wherever this is too difficult, IR centres could at least suggest strongly to their members, in the form of a permanent recommendation, to seek advice from experts in cognate disciplines when starting research projects. In particular, the scientific basis of IR is not as solid as could be desired.


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The situation is improving: the community is growing, more research is It makes sense to try to accelerate the process. A number of suggestions are made in this paper. In addition to those outlined earlier, the following steps could be useful: 1. Provide more research training with actual empirical research exercises and detailed discussions about concrete aspects of research such as sampling, classification problems, measurement problems, inferences, etc.

Promote the publication of good MA and graduation theses as papers in the tradition of Trieste Gran and Taylor , Alonso Bacigalupe and Sendebar to give just a few examples. Beyond existing cooperation between training programs with visits and exchanges of students and instructors, establish dedicated institutional inter-university links in order to pool research resources together.

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This applies to students doing research, to supervisors of research and to assessors of research. Institutional action could thus become a powerful driver of improvement. Methods and strategies of process research. Integrative approaches in Translation Studies. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company. L Doing social research. Singapore: McGraw-Hill. ET AL. Granada: Comares.

Handbook of Translation Studies. GAO, B. In Gran, L. Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille. In Gile, D. Preliminary findings from a case study. In Alvstad, C. EDS Getting started in interpreting research.


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GRAN, L. Aspects of applied and experimental research on conference interpretation. Udine: Campanotto. In Tirkkonen-Condit, S. Bridging the gap: Empirical research in simultaneous interpretation. In Gambier, Y. H Experimental psychology. A supervisee s perspective. In Lambert, S. In Pym, A. Translation research projects 2. Tarragona: Intercultural studies group. Empirical research in Translation and Intercultural Studies. Tapping and mapping the processes of translation and interpreting. WANG, B. Recent developments. Interpreting, ,. Whereas a comprehensive view on quality in interpreting would also include such issues as interpreters individual qualifications and skills, their collective professional ethics and the conditions under which they carry out their work, the focus is often on the performance as such, that is, the discourse produced in real time as a rendering of a source-language utterance for the benefit of a target-language audience.

But even this narrow focus on quality reveals the multiple dimensions of interpreting quality as an object of study, and it will be the aim of this paper to highlight this conceptual complexity and show how it might best be approached in research. Following a review of the various dualities inherent in the construct of quality, I will acknowledge the major milestones in the development of empirical research on quality in interpreting, with special emphasis on what I would like to call the Granada paradigm.

Against this backdrop I will present the rationale and methodology as well as selected findings of a research project conducted at the University of Vienna with the aim of building on key insights from previous studies and taking quality research to new levels of conceptual and methodological development. This contribution will therefore not do justice to the topic of quality in dialogic, community-based settings, where significant advances in research have also been made e.

Hale, Ozolins and Stern While some of my theoretical and methodological considerations may well be relevant to other domains, the focus here is squarely on simultaneous conference interpreting. Viezzi With entire conferences devoted to the topic, and numerous papers published, this view seems overly pessimistic.

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It is true that when the phrase about quality as that elusive something that no one can successfully define surfaced in a brochure published by the International Association of Conference Interpreters AIIC 1 , the profession still relied on holistic judgments with little, if any, reference to explicit criteria. This may still be the case, but quality criteria have indeed been proposed and investigated, as discussed in more detail below. Rather than elusive as such, it therefore seems more appropriate to acknowledge that quality, by its very nature, has more than one dimension and thus permits more than a single, fixed view.