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تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي The Influence of Directionality on Interlingual Translation Processes

The Influence of Directionality on Interlingual Translation Processes

By Iman Poostdoozan,
Islamic Azad University,
Fars Science and Research Branch, Shiraz, Iran

Iman_motarjem@yahoo.com
==========
Abstract

“Directionality” refers to whether translation is done into or out of one’s first language (L1). In traditional, prescriptive approaches, work into one’s second language (L2) is regarded as inferior to work into L1, as evidenced by terms such as “inverse” translation. A study was designed to question prescriptive statements against L2 translation by describing the actual, real-world translation practice. The study was aimed to compare L1 and L2 translation processes by translation students, in order to investigate the features that differ according to direction of translation. The method of [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]data [COLOR=blue! important]collection[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] used in the experiments was the “think-aloud protocol”. 36 subjects were asked to translate two texts, one into their L1 and the other into their L2. The translation sessions were then tape-recorded and transcribed. The results showed that even though there are several features in translation processes that differ when translation students work in the two directions, including the frequency and type of problems they are encountered, the external resources they consult and actions/interactions they take, they create products of the same quality in L1 and L2 translation.
Key words
Directionality, translation processes, L1 and L2 translation, mother tongue, other tongue, language of limited diffusion, think-aloud protocol.

1. Introduction
In settings in which a language of limited diffusion is used, people mostly invest a lot of effort in learning languages. In minority-language settings, translation is not only practiced, but also being taught commonly at university level. Translation courses doubtlessly have to deal with the learning of second-language skills as well as translation skills, in order to improve the level of the students’ L2 competence as much as possible.
Most translators and translation teachers in the majority of language settings believe that a translator is mostly supposed to work into his/her first language (mother tongue), and that the direction of translation rather than this ordinary one usually turns out to be “inverse”, wrong and forbidden.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2002), “direction” refers to “a channel or direct course of thought or action”. “Directionality”, in Translation Studies, then refers to whether translation or interpreting is done into one’s “mother tongue” (L1 translation) or out of it – into one’s “other tongue” (L2 translation). Although L2 translation is practiced and taught at university level as well as L1 translation, some prescriptive approaches to translation denounced the practice of the former as a problematic or even unprofessional task.
According to Peter Newmark (1988, p. 3), “Translat[ing] into your language of habitual use [ ... ] is the only way you can translate naturally, accurately and with maximum effectiveness”. Although Newmark states that in practice translators “do translate out of their own language,” he, in fact, dismisses the practice by calling it “service” translation. He also declares that those translators who engage in this “contribute to many people’s hilarity in the process” (ibid.).
Marmaridou (1996, p. 60) makes the similar point by saying that “translating into one’s mother tongue generally yields better texts than translating out of it”. She (1996, p. 59) further claims that “a professional translator is usually asked to, and prefers to translate into his or her mother tongue”.
But over the past decade, a number of authors have taken a critical stance toward this traditional view. For instance, Campbell (1998, p. 4) describes L2 translation as “an activity as normal and possibly as widespread as translation into the first language”. Snell-Hornby (1997; cited in Kelly et al., 2003b, p. 26) likewise points out that “translation into non-mother tongue is a fact of modern life”.
Pokorn (2005, p. 37) also agrees that translation into L2 is “especially common in languages with restricted distribution” but also “in larger linguistic communities which are pushed into a peripheral position because of the global distribution of power and in major-language societies when communicating with ethnic minorities”.
These perceptions were thought-provoking for the researcher, spurring his initial interest in directionality as the research topic.
The main objective of this study is to examine and compare L1 and L2 translation processes in order to investigate the features that differ significantly according to direction of translation, with a view to improving translation teaching. The research questions that thus arise are these:
  • Are translation processes in the two directions different?
  • What kind of problems do translation students mostly encounter while translating in the two directions?
  • Is there any difference between the resources they consult while translating in the two directions?
  • Do translated texts differ in the two directions in terms of their quality?
Based on the questions outlined above, it is hypothesized that there is no significant difference between L1 and L2 translation processes.
The researcher believes that the result of this study can be used to a large extent in translation training. Making students familiar with different aspects of translation processes, translation teachers could improve students’ competence in working into other tongue as well as mother tongue, particularly in countries that use a language of limited diffusion and in which translation into other tongue is a regular practice.

2. Methodology
2.1 The subjects participating in the study
Based on the objective of the study, the idea emerged to study translation students from the last academic year, those who were engaged in passing their final-year translation exams at the University and were about to embark on their professional translation careers.
Taking these considerations into account, 105 female translation students from three different Islamic Azad Universities in Tehran (Iran) i.e. North, South and Central Branches (35 in each) were chosen at the first step. The subjects’ previous contact with translation in the educational setting had been a four-year program in English-Persian Translation Studies, during which, the students had taken the same courses in translation theory. They also had passed different translation courses such as literature, scientific texts, political texts, etc.
As it was important for the study to select students who were consistent in their language ability, a pre-test was administered in order to gain information about the students’ proficiency in English language. After that, 50 students whose scores were at intermediate level were chosen.
Since in TAP studies, subjects should take the experimental situation seriously enough, it was also important for the researcher to give the students the freedom to decide whether they want to participate in the study or not. The use of volunteers also could help to reduce the bias that might have been involved if the researcher had chosen the subjects for the study. Finally, 36 students who were interested in the study came forward when volunteers for the experiment were sought among the selected subjects. The information about the subjects’ background, reading habits, language and translation competence, experience in translation, attitudes regarding directionality, and so on, were elicited by means of a pre-translation questionnaire (Appendix A).
2.2 The source texts
The subjects were asked to translate two texts, one from English into Persian (“Text 1”) and one from Persian into English (“Text 2”). The texts were non-technical, general-language texts belonging to the same type and genre. Both are around 470-word long excerpts from popular travel guides – a guide to Iran and a guide to UEA. The texts can be found in Appendix B. The main challenge was to find two texts that would be comparable and at the same time not similar enough to cause the “learning” or “retest” effect. Thus, the readability of the two source texts was compared with the help of SMOG readability formula, developed by McLaughlin (1969). Applying this formula to the two source texts used in the study, the results revealed the same level of difficulty in both texts. The English text got a grade of 14.67 and the Persian text got 14.44, both in the same educational level. We then concluded that the two texts were comparable with regard to readability as expressed in the SMOG formula.
2.3. Data collection procedures
2.3.1. Pre and post-translation questionnaires
All the subjects were asked to fill out two questionnaires (Appendix A). The pre-translation questionnaire comprised questions about the subjects’ background and attitudes. The post-translation questionnaire, which the subjects were asked to fill out immediately after each task, aimed at eliciting introspective data regarding the translation processes and their final products.
2.3.2. Think-aloud translation sessions

Think-aloud protocols as a method of data collection was used in the study. At first, general instructions for the research method and the experiment were provided orally to the subjects. The subjects, two groups of eighteen, were then asked to translate individually two texts, one into English and one into Persian. The subjects worked in their own classes, in the environment they were used to work. The idea was to provide a positive working environment in which the subjects were more likely to relax and verbalize freely. The expectation was that in such an environment their verbalizations would be governed more by the translation task at hand and less by the experimental situation.
“Group A” translated into English in their first task and into Persian in their second task. “Group B” worked in the opposite order. Furthermore, the two tasks took place on a different day with a week interval. The purpose of this arrangement was to control the “retest” effect.
The translation sessions were recorded with a tape-recorder one by one. To minimize the anxiety-inducing effect, the researcher was not present in the class, and the experiments took place at the most convenient time for the subjects.
The subjects were not allowed to bring their own resources to the experiment, but rather the same resources were made available by the researcher for all subjects. The resources used in the study consist of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, i.e. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Aryanpur Progressive English Persian Dictionary and Aryanpur Progressive Persian English Dictionary. The subjects’ time for each task was one hour, which had been estimated by the researcher before.
2.4. Data analysis procedures

While research on translation processes does yield data that are countable and measurable and therefore quantitatively analyzable, using only those procedures would severely limit the achievements of studies involving such a complex phenomenon as translation.
Grounded Theory, an approach to qualitative research developed by two sociologists, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, defines qualitative analysis as “a nonmathematical process of interpretation, carried out for the purpose of discovering concepts and relationships in raw data and then organizing these into a theoretical explanatory scheme” (Strauss and Corbin, 1998, p. 11). Qualitative procedures of description and coding were used in this study to develop, relate and classify the main concepts, to make sense of the subjects’ verbalizations, to find patterns in their actions/interactions during translation tasks as well as to relate and interpret quantifiable data.
2.4.1. Transcription of think-aloud translation sessions

Probably the most difficult phase in any research on translation processes which uses audio-recordings is the transcribing of the translation sessions. This task involves writing down everything the subjects have done and verbalized in audio-recordings. It could be argued that it is also possible to analyze the data without transcribing, by using notes and going through the recorded material as often as necessary. This, however, depends on the researcher: some people are more auditory, and others more visual. It is generally easier for the latter group to make sense of speech if they see it in the written form.
2.4.2. Evaluation of target texts

In order to have a less biased evaluation of the target texts produced during the experiments, it was decided to have three different evaluators, providing a multiple-perspectives overall picture of the products, to reduce subjectivity and increase reliability. To this end, three external evaluators were chosen to do the evaluation of the target texts. The evaluators were translation teachers at university level with more than ten years of practical experience in both translation and teaching.
The translations were coded, so that the evaluators did not know who the authors were. The translations were also arranged in a different order for each evaluator to prevent the effect well known to translation teachers whereby one tends to be stricter with the first few translations and less strict towards the end as one “gets used” to the students’ mistakes.
The evaluators were instructed to evaluate the translations on the basis of a numerical marking system (Table 1) taken from Hatim and Mason (1990) and Hurtado (1994).
Table 1 – Numerical marking system
Problem
Marks (Total: 100)
Source Message:
Not transmitted
Incomplete without hindering message

1 error = Minus 1
1 error = Minus 0.5
Source Text Comprehension:
register, coherence, cohesion, syntax, vocabulary, etc.

1 error = Minus 1
Transfer Skills:
Application of translation strategies – if required

Unsuitable solution = Minus 1
Target Text Legibility:
register, coherence, cohesion, syntax, vocabulary, etc.

1 error = Minus 1
The three evaluators returned the translations that they had evaluated on their own in the manner described above. When the scores were collected, the average number for each subject was obtained and made her “translation score”.
3. Results and Discussions
3.1. Results of the think-aloud protocols
The results obtained from the think-aloud protocols concern different features of translation processes, involving the frequency and type of problems the subjects encountered, the external resources they consulted and actions/interactions they took in the two directions of translation.
3.1.1. Translation problems
Table 2 presents the frequency and type of problems the subjects encountered in the translation sessions in each group and direction of translation. In this table, the first column shows the total frequency of problems and the next columns present the frequency of orthographical, morphological, lexical, syntactical and textual problems respectively for each group in the given translation task. The numbers in brackets show the percentage of a given type of problem relative to the total frequency of problems for each group and direction.
Table 2 – Frequency of different types of problems in each group and direction
Subjects
Direction
P
O
M
L
S
T
Group A
L1
1722
7
(0.41%)
29
(1.68%)
725
(42.10%)
588
(34.15%)
373
(21.66%)
L2
2019
235
(11.64%)
57
(2.82%)
786
(38.93%)
652
(32.29%)
289
(14.32%)
Group B
L1
1747
8
(0.46%)
39
(2.23%)
730
(41.79%)
590
(33.77%)
380
(21.75%)
L2
2026
227
(11.20%)
64
(3.16%)
773
(38.15%)
628
(31%)
334
(16.49%)
To enable comparison in terms of frequency and type of problems between L1 and L2 translation, the means for the two groups in each direction have been calculated.
Table 3 – Translation problems – group means
Group mean
P
O
M
L
S
T
L1
1734.5
0.43%
1.96%
41.94%
33.96%
21.71%
L2
2022.5
11.42%
2.99%
38.54%
31.64%
15.41%
As Table 3 shows, the mean of problems in L2 translation is larger than L1 translation (2022.5 compared to 1734.5). This shows that the subjects encountered more problems in L2 translation than in L1 translation. As far as the types of problems are concerned, the percentages in both directions are highest in the category of lexical problems (41.94% and 38.54% in L1 and L2 translation respectively), followed by syntactical problems (33.96% and 31.64% respectively) and textual problems (21.71% and 15.41% respectively). While in L1 translation, the percentage of morphological problems (1.96%) is higher than the percentage of orthographical problems (0.43%), in L2 translation, orthographical problems (11.42%) precede morphological problems (2.99%). The percentage of orthographical problems is where the values in the two directions vary the most. For L1 translation orthographical problems accounted for 0.43%, compared to 11.42% in L2 translation.
While L1 translation displays a slightly higher value in the category of lexical (a difference of 3%), syntactical (2%) and textual problems (6%), L2 translation had 11% more orthographical problems than L1 translation, and a slightly higher value in the category of morphological problems (1%). Higher values in each direction have been highlighted in Table 3, while Figure 1 shows comparison of problem types in the two directions on a chart.
Figure 1 – Problem types: L1 and L2 translation compared
3.1.1.1. Discussion

The results show that lexical problems account for most of the problems encountered in both directions. The subjects’ preoccupation with lexis is on average slightly more prominent in L1 translation. The results further show a higher proportion of syntactical problems in L1 translation compared to L2 translation. A possible reason why the subjects seemed to be more preoccupied with syntax in L1 translation than in L2 translation could be the difference between the two languages in question. English has a rather fixed order of sentence elements, which does not present the user with too many options. Indeed, the subjects in this study were rarely insecure about the correct English word order. Persian, on the other hand, has a more flexible syntactical structure. The subjects, therefore, seemed to be more occupied with choosing between different orders of sentence elements in the text. Textual problems were on average more numerous in L1 translation. It could be due to the fact that the sentences in English are usually more complex than the sentences in Persian, each sentence consisting of different clauses and phrases. The subjects in L1 translation thus were more concerned with the division of text into different sentences. Morphological problems were slightly more prominent in L2 translation. A possible reason for this could be that English has a more complex inflection system, regarding suffixes and prefixes, than Persian. Orthographical problems were verbalized, perhaps unsurprisingly, more often in L2 translation. This shows that orthography in general, and capitalization in particular, is not a concern in Persian.
3.1.2. External resources
Table 4 presents the frequency of external resources use in each group and direction as well as the percentage of a given type of external resource relative to the total frequency of consultations for each group and direction. In this table, the first column gives the total frequency of problems encountered in the given translation task. The second column presents the figures related to the frequency of problems in connection with which external resources were consulted and the third column gives the total frequency of consultations. The two different figures in the second and third columns reflect the fact that the subjects sometimes made several consultations in connection with the same problem, particularly when a problem proved difficult to solve, or when the resource consulted was unhelpful. The two columns that follow give the breakup in the frequency of consultations according to the type of resource, monolingual or bilingual dictionary.
Table 4 – Frequency of external resources use in each group and direction
Subjects
Direction
P
P, C
C
Mo
Bi
Group A
L1
1722
867
(50.35%)
974
22
(2.26%)
952
(97.74%)
L2
2019
1192
(59.04%)
2012
554
(27.53%)
1458
(72.47%)
Group B
L1
1747
879
(50.31%)
986
21
(2.13%)
965
(97.87%)
L2
2026
1218
(60.12%)
2031
580
(28.56%)
1451
(71.44%)
Comparing the use of external resources in the two directions (Table 5), the results show that the subjects consulted external resources in connection with more problems in L2 translation than they did in L1 translation (59.58% compared to 50.33%).
As far as the total frequency of consultations is concerned, the subjects consulted eternal resources almost twice as often in L2 translation (2021.5 compared to 980).
When it comes to the type of external resources used, the findings show that the subjects rely more on bilingual dictionary than monolingual dictionary in both directions (97.81% and 71.96% in L1 and L2 translation respectively). There is, however, a significant difference between L1 and L2 translation in terms of monolingual dictionary consultations. While in L2 translation, the use of monolingual dictionary accounted for 28.04% of all consultations, in L1 translation this value decreased to just 2.19%. This shows that in L1 translation, the subjects rely very little on monolingual dictionary.
Table 5 – External resources use – group means
Group mean
P
P, C
C
Mo
Bi
L1
1734.5
873
(50.33%)
980
21.5
(2.19%)
958.5
(97.81%)
L2
2022.5
1205
(59.58%)
2021.5
567
(28.04%)
1454.5
(71.96%)
3.1.2.1. Discussion
The results show that external resources are used more frequently in L2 translation than the other direction. A possible reason could be that the subjects are encountered with more problems in L2 translation, so they consult external resources more frequently in their translation tasks. They also consult external resources in connection with more problems in L2 translation than they do in L1 translation. It could be due to the fact that they usually want to confirm the solutions that they have arrived at spontaneously. The results further show that the subjects tend to rely more on bilingual dictionaries than monolingual dictionaries in both directions. Monolingual dictionaries, indeed, play a very little role in translation tasks, especially in L1 translation. A possible reason could be the fact that monolingual dictionaries usually require more time and energy to use.
3.1.3. Actions/interactions
Based on the think-aloud protocols of the two groups participated in the study, the researcher singled out these actions/interactions most relevant for comparing the two directions: reading the source text, reading the target text, consulting external resources, postponing the final decision.
Table 6 – Actions/interactions
Subjects
Direction
Read ST
Read TT
Consult R.
Postpone
Group A
L1
+ +
+ +
+
+
L2
+
+ +
+ +
+ +
Group B
L1
+ +
+ +
+
+
L2
+
+ +
+ +
+ +
Table 6 thus shows a matrix of actions/interactions performed by the two groups in each direction. Since it was impossible to count the actions/interactions with any degree of exactness, a rough count gave us an idea of what kinds were predominant. A double checkmark thus shows that an action/interaction was dominant in the protocol of the given direction.
Table 7 – Actions/interactions – group averages
Group average
Read ST
Read TT
Consult R.
Postpone
L1
+ +
+ +
+
+
L2
+
+ +
+ +
+ +
Comparing the actions/interactions in the two directions (Table 7), the results show that In L1 translation, the subjects spent more time reading the source text than the other direction. In both directions, however, the reading of the target text was a frequent action/interaction during the task. The subjects also used external resources more frequently in L2 translation than they did in the other direction. While the subjects postponed the final decision frequently in L2 translation, it happened very sparsely in their L1 translation task.
3.1.3.1. Discussion
The results show that the reading of the source text take more time in L1 translation compared to L2 translation. In L1 translation, the subjects, reading a text in their mother tongue, are familiar with almost all the words and structures within the text and could easily get the real meaning of the whole text. In L2 translation, however, the subjects are encountered with a text sometimes full of unfamiliar words and structures. Therefore, it usually takes more time for them to comprehend the text completely. When it comes to the reading of the target text, the results show that there is no significant difference between the two directions. The subjects in both directions read their target texts several times until they are satisfied with the result. As far as the use of external resources is concerned, the results show that external resources are used more often in L2 translation. The results further show that the subjects postpone the final decision more frequently in L2 translation. It could be due to the fact that they are most of the time insecure about the correct solutions in the target language.
3.2. Results of the evaluation of target texts
Table 8 presents the means of subjects’ translation scores for each group and direction of translation.
Table 8 – Translation scores – group means
Subjects
Direction
Mean
Subjects
Direction
Mean
Group A
L1
78.06
Group B
L1
77.89
L2
78.17
L2
78
A T-test was used in order to compare the translation scores in L1 and L2 translation. The obtained t-value (0.1295) shows that there is no statistically significant difference between the subjects’ translation scores in the two directions.
3.2.1. Discussion
The results regarding translation scores in the two directions seem interesting. Even though the subjects in this study were encountered with different frequency and type of problems in L1 and L2 translation, their translation products did not vary significantly in the two directions. It shows that the subjects have the same level of translation competence in both directions and there is no significant difference between L1 and L2 translation products.
3.3. Results of the questionnaires
3.3.1. Results of the pre-translation questionnaire
In the pre-translation questionnaire, the subjects were asked about their background and attitudes regarding translation and the direction of translation. Here are the main results:
3.3.1.1. The subjects’ background
At the time of experiments, all the 36 subjects had been studying English for at least 10 years. As far as the subjects’ previous experience in translation outside the educational setting is concerned, 18 of them reported having some experience in both directions of translation, 14 of them mostly in L1 translation, and two mostly in L2 translation. In most of these cases, the translations were done as a favor to friends or relatives. Only two subjects reported having had no experience in translation outside the university.
3.3.1.2. Reading habits
Regarding the subjects’ reading habits in the two languages, the questionnaire asked them to state how often they had read various types of texts in the past year, ranging from “never” (1) to “very often” (5). The mean values are given in Table 9.
Table 9 – Means of subjects’ reading habits
Type of text
Persian (L1)
English (L2)
Novels
3.06
3.25
Short stories
1.94
3.25
Poetry
2.97
2.44
News reports in print
4.61
3.25
News reports on TV
4.83
3.14
Longer newspaper / magazine articles
3.67
1.42
Academic texts
3.19
4.25
Technical / specialized texts
2.89
2.92
Travel guides and brochures
2.53
2.42
Other texts on the web
2.81
3.70
Films with subtitles
1.67
3.83
Films without subtitles
4.72
3.92
Mean
3.24
3.15
As Table 9 shows, the means for L1 and L2 (3.24 and 3.15 respectively) are only slightly in favor of L1. Certain types of texts are actually read more in L2, most notably novels, short stories, academic texts and texts on the web. Poetry, news reports in print and on TV as well as longer newspapers and magazine articles are reported to be read more frequently in L1. The values for technical / specialized texts and travel guides and brochures are very close in both languages.
3.3.1.3. Satisfaction with L1 and L2 competence
The subjects were asked to state their satisfaction with the level of their L1 and L2 competence on the scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The means for both directions were calculated and the subjects’ satisfaction with their L1 proved to be higher than their satisfaction with L2 (4.22 and 3.72 respectively).
3.3.1.4. Attitudes regarding directionality

When asked which direction of translation they prefer, 10 of the subjects expressed no difference, 22 said they proffered to translate into L1, and only four expressed their preference for L2 translation. The subjects were further asked which direction they found easier. The replies to this question was also predictable, with 10 subjects again choosing no difference, 24 choosing L1 translation and the remaining two opting for L2 translation.
3.3.1.5. Career plans
The subjects were asked if they wanted to work as translators in their future professional careers, and to what extent. 20 of them said they would like to be full-time translators, and the remaining 16 would prefer to translate part time.
3.3.2. Results of the post-translation questionnaire
At the end of each translation task, the subjects were asked to fill out the post-translation questionnaire, which asked them to assess their translation products and processes.
3.3.2.1. Results regarding translation from English into Persian (L1 translation)

When asked how difficult they find the task, 21 of the subjects expressed that it was normal, 11 of them said that it was easy, and four expressed that it was difficult.
The subjects were also asked to state their satisfaction with their final products. 22 of the subjects expressed that they were satisfied with their final products. Nine of them were not fully satisfied, and the remaining five were dissatisfied with their final products. The subjects were further asked if they enjoyed working on this translation, and to what extent. 15 of them expressed that they enjoyed the task, 18 said that they enjoyed it partly, and the remaining three expressed that they did not enjoy it at all.
3.3.2.2. Results regarding translation from Persian into English (L2 translation)

As far as the difficulty of L2 translation was concerned, 19 of the subjects expressed that it was normal for them. 10 of them said that it was easy for them, and the remaining seven expressed that it was difficult.
When asked to state their satisfaction with their final products in this direction, 20 of the subjects expressed that they were satisfied with their final products, 12 of them were partly satisfied, and the remaining four were dissatisfied with their final products. The subjects were also asked if they enjoyed working on this translation task. 18 of the subjects expressed that they enjoyed the task, 12 of them enjoyed it partly, and the remaining six enjoyed it at the least.
3.3.2.3. Satisfaction, Difficulty and Task enjoyment – L1 and L2 translation compared
The subjects were further asked to directly compare the two tasks in terms of their satisfaction with the final product, the difficulty of the tasks and their enjoyment of them. The results are presented in Table 10.
Table 10 – Satisfaction, difficulty and task enjoyment – group means
Group average
Satisfaction
Difficulty
Enjoyment
L1
13 (36.11%)
7 (19.44%)
16 (44.44%)
L2
12 (33.33%)
18 (50%)
6 (16.67%)
Same
11 (30.56%)
11 (30.56%)
14 (38.89%)

Comparing the two tasks in terms of the subjects’ satisfaction with the final product, the results show that 13 subjects (36.11%) were more satisfied with their L1 translation product, 12 (33.33%) with their L2 product, and 11 (30.56%) were equally satisfied with both.
As far as the difficulty of the tasks is concerned, seven of the 36 subjects (19.44%) found the L1 translation task more difficult than the task in the other direction, 18 of them (50%) found the L2 translation task more difficult, and the remaining 11 (30.56%) expressed that both tasks had the same level of difficulty. When it comes to the subjects’ enjoyment of the tasks, 16 of them (44.44%) enjoyed the L1 translation more than the other direction, while six (16.67%) enjoyed the L2 translation task more, and 14 (38.89%) were equally happy working in both directions.
3.3.2.4. Discussion
There seems to be a correlation between the task difficulty and the subjects’ enjoyment of the task: the more difficult the task, the less enjoyment. While 50% of the subjects found the L2 translation task more difficult than the L1 translation task, 44.44% of them enjoyed the L1 translation more than the other direction. On the other hand, there does not seem to be a clear correlation between the difficulty and enjoyment on the one hand, and the subjects’ satisfaction with their final product on the other. The subjects seem to be satisfied with their final product equally in the two directions.

4. Conclusion and implications for translation training
Based on the results mentioned above, it can be concluded that translation students working on general-language source texts tend to encounter more problems in L2 translation than in L1 translation. A possible reason could be that translation students are mostly supposed to work into their mother tongue and are, thus, less familiar with the problems that translators usually encounter when translating into their other tongue. Translation teachers, therefore, should pay more attention to L2 translation, increasing the students’ level of competence in L2 as well as L1.
When it comes to the type of problems, it can be said that translation students encounter almost similar types of problems in L1 and L2 translation. In both directions, lexical problems account for most of the problems encountered, followed by syntactical and textual problems. The issue of orthography, however, is where the values in the two directions vary the most. Translation students are found to encounter more orthographical problems in L2 translation than in L1 translation. By reading lots of texts in different types, translation students will be able to increase their level of orthography competence in L2.
In terms of external resources, it can be concluded that translation students consult external resources more frequently (almost twice as often) in L2 translation than in L1 translation. A possible reason could be that they feel less confidence in L2 than they do in L1. They usually consult external resources for confirming the solutions that they have arrived at spontaneously. By giving more L2 translation tasks to students, translation teachers could increase students’ level of L2 competence and, hence, their confidence in translating into other tongue. Regarding the type of external resources, translation students rely more on bilingual dictionaries than monolingual dictionaries in both directions. It is especially the case when they work into their mother tongue. Since monolingual dictionaries usually produce more confirmed information than bilingual dictionaries, translation students should get used to consult them more frequently. By giving some translation tasks to students and obliging them to work only with monolingual dictionaries, translation teachers could train students to use monolingual dictionaries more.
As far as actions/interactions in translation processes are concerned, it can be concluded that there are some differences in terms of directionality. Since translation students are supposed to translate two different texts, one into their mother tongue and the other into their other tongue, it is unsurprisingly expected that they take their actions/interactions differently in the two directions. While translation students spend more time reading the source text in L1 translation than in L2 translation, the reading of the target text is a frequent action/interaction during the translation task in both directions. Translation students use external resources more frequently in L2 translation than they do in L1 translation. They also postpone the final decision more frequently in L2 translation than the other direction.
Based on the results, it can also be said that although translation students are encountered with different frequency and type of problems in L1 and L2 translation, they create products of the same quality in L1 and L2 translation. It shows that if translation students are trained properly in L2 translation as well as L1 translation, there would be no significant difference between their L1 and L2 translation products in terms of quality.
At the end, it can be concluded that although there are several features in translation processes that differ when translation students work in the two directions, including the frequency and type of problems they are encountered, their use of external resources and actions/interactions they take, L2 translation should be considered as normal and necessary as L1 translation, especially in settings that use a language of limited diffusion. References
Campbell, S. (2001). Choice network analysis in translation research. In M. Olohan (Ed.), Intercultural Faultlines. Research Models in translation Studies Ι: Textual and Cognitive Aspects (pp. 29-42). Manchester: St. Jerome publishing.
Hatim, B., & Mason, I. (1990). Discourse and the Translator. London and New York: Longman.
Hurtado, A. (1994). Didáctica de la Traducción, In E. Le Bel (ed), Traducción: reflexiones, experiencias y prácticas. Sevilla: PublicacionesUniversidad de Sevilla.
Kelly, D., Nobs, M., Sánchez, D., & Way, C. (2003b). La traducción ‘inversa’ en la bibliografía de la Traductología. In D. Kelly, A. Martin, M. L. Nobs, D. Sánchez & C. Way (eds.), Ladireccionalidad en traducción e interpretación. Perspectivas teóricas, profesionales y didácticas (pp. 21-32). Granada: Editorial Atrio.
Marmaridou, A. S. S. (1996). Directionality in translation. Processes and practices. Target, 8(1), 49-73.
Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). (2002). Springfield, MA: Merriam- Webster.
McLaughlin, G. H. (1969). SMOG grading – a new readability formula. Journal of Reading. Retrieved January 22, 2009, from http://www.harrymclaughlin.com/.
McLaughlin, G. H. Visited 2009. Homepage. http://www.harrymclaughlin.com/SMOG.htm.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. New York, London and Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Pokorn, N. K. (2005). Challenging the traditional axioms. Translation into a nonmother tongue. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Snell-Hornby, M. (2000). ‘McLanguage’: The identity of English as an issue in translation today. In M. Grosman, M. Kadric, I. Kovacic & M. Snell-Hornby (eds.), Translation into non-mother tongues. In professional practice and training (pp. 35-44). Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Second Edition. London: Sage.

Appendix A: Questionnaires

Pre-translation questionnaire
Please answer truthfully the following questions (you can add whatever comments you might have, either next to the questions or at the end of the Questionnaire).
1. Your name:
2. Your age:
3. Your e-mail address:
4. Have you taken any courses in Translation Theory?
_____ yes _____ no
5. If yes, in which department(s)?
_____ English Dept _____ another Dept (which? _______________ )
6. Have you taken any translation courses?
_____ yes _____ no
7. If yes, in which department(s)?
_____ English Dept _____ another Dept (which? _______________ )
8. Have you ever done any translation outside the university courses?
_____ yes _____ no
9. In which direction have you translated?
____ mostly into my mother tongue
____ mostly into a foreign language
____ in both directions equally
10. Who did you translate for? (e.g. a friend, a firm...)
11. Were they paid translations or a favor?
_____ paid _____ unpaid
12. What type of texts in English have you been reading or listening to in the past year? Write 1 for never, 2 for rarely, 3 for sometimes, 4 for often and 5 for very often next to each type (you can add other types and rate them in the same way):
Novels .................................................. ............................... _________
Short stories .................................................. ...................... _________
Poetry ............ .................................................. ..................._________
News reports in print .................................................. ........... _________
News reports on TV .................................................. ............ _________
Longer newspaper/magazine articles ........................................ _________
Academic texts ............ .................................................. .... _________
Technical / specialized texts .................................................. _________
Travel brochures or guides .................................................. .. _________
Other texts on the web .................................................. ....... _________
Films, series or other programs on TV, video or DVD (with subtitles) ........ ______
Films, series or other programs on TV, video or DVD (without subtitles).... ______
13. What type of texts in Persian have you been reading or listening to in the past year? Write 1 for never, 2 for rarely, 3 for sometimes, 4 for often and 5 for very often next to each type (you can add other types and rate them in the same way):
Novels .................................................. ............................... _________
Short stories .................................................. ...................... _________
Poetry ............ .................................................. ..................._________
News reports in print .................................................. ........... _________
News reports on TV .................................................. ............ _________
Longer newspaper/magazine articles ........................................ _________
Academic texts ............ .................................................. .... _________
Technical / specialized texts .................................................. _________
Travel brochures or guides .................................................. .. _________
Other texts on the web .................................................. ....... _________
Films, series or other programs on TV, video or DVD (with subtitles) ........ ______
Films, series or other programs on TV, video or DVD (without subtitles).... ______
14. How do you feel about your knowledge of English at this moment?
____ very dissatisfied (1) ____ dissatisfied (2) ____ normal (3)
____ satisfied (4) ____ very satisfied (5)
15. How do you feel about your knowledge of Persian at this moment?
____ very dissatisfied (1) ____ dissatisfied (2) ____ normal (3)
____ satisfied (4) ____ very satisfied (5)
16. In which direction do you prefer translating?
____ into my mother tongue
____ into a foreign language
____ no preference
17. In which direction do you find it easier to translate?
____ into my mother tongue
____ into a foreign language
____ no preference
18. When you graduate, would you like to be involved in translation in any way?
____ yes, as a professional translator/interpreter
____ yes, part-time, in combination with another, “main” job
____ only occasionally, as a favor for a friend or relative
____ not at all
19. Do you agree to take part in this study?
_____ yes _____ no
20. Do you agree for the findings of the study gathered from your answers to this questionnaire as well as (parts of) your individual translation, to be published anonymously (i.e. without your real name)?
_____ yes _____ no
Thank you for your time!
Date: ______ your signature: ________________________


Pre-translation questionnaire
Please answer truthfully the following questions:
I. About the translation from English into Persian:
1. How difficult did you find the task?
_____ easy _____ normal _____ difficult
2. Are you satisfied with your final product?
_____ no _____ somewhat _____ yes
3. Did you enjoy working on this translation?
_____ no _____ somewhat _____ yes
4. Here you can write whatever additional comments you have about this translation task:
II. About the translation from Persian into English:
1. How difficult did you find the task?
2. Are you satisfied with your final product?
3. Did you enjoy working on this translation?
4. Here you can write whatever additional comments you have about this translation task:
III. Overall:
1. Which of the two translations did you find more difficult?
_____ English into Persian
_____ Persian into English
_____ more or less the same
2. Which of the two translations did you like doing more? 
_____ English into Persian
_____ Persian into English
_____ more or less the same
3. Which of the two translations do you think you did better?
_____ English into Persian
_____ Persian into English
_____ more or less the same
4. Here you can write whatever additional comments you have:

Thank you for your time!
Date: ______ your signature: ________________________



Appendix B: Source texts
Text 1
Iran is situated in south-western Asia and borders the three CIS states, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south and Pakistan and Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Turkmenistan. This country also borders the Caspian Sea to the north, Turkey and Iraq to the west, the Persian Afghanistan to the east. Iran has a diverse climate. In the northwest, winters are cold with heavy snowfall and subfreezing temperatures during December and January. Spring and fall are relatively mild, while summers are dry and hot. In the south, winters are mild and the summers are very hot, having average daily temperatures in July exceeding 38° C (100° F).
Persian (called fārsi in Persian, فارسي), an Indo-European language, is Iran's national and official language. Although written with a modified Arabic alphabet, the two languages are not related but Persian does have many loan words from Arabic.
The rial is the official currency of Iran, however to save time in a high-inflation economy prices are sometimes quoted in tomans (تومان). One toman is equal to ten rials.
All provinces of Iran have their own dishes and specialties. However, the national dish is rice prepared in several special ways and served in vast helpings with almost every main dish, and very few of the main dishes would be considered complete without it. Chelo is rice prepared in several stages over 24 hours, boiled and steamed and served separately, while polo is rice cooked with the other ingredients. Often the cook will steam chelo rice with yogurt or an egg yolk (or a thin layer of lavish bread) to make a crunchy golden crust (tah dig) at the bottom of the pan, which is broken up and served on to of the rest of the rice.
Soft drinks are sold in bottles. Tea served in see-through glasses (never with milk) is an integral part of hospitality in Iran. Coffee is not widely available and is usually expensive.
Perhaps the most visible mark of Iran's Islamic leanings is the conservative dress expected of its citizens. Although normal, Western style clothing is acceptable in private homes, when in public women are required to cover everything but their face, hands and feet. The most common uniform consists of a head scarf (roo-sari, روسري) to conceal the head and neck, a formless, knee-length coat known as a roo-poosh (روپوش) and a long dress or pair of pants. In and around holy sites, you will be expected to dress even more modestly in a chādor, a full-length swathe of black cloth designed to cloak everything but your face from view.
Men have a slightly easier time of things. Short-sleeved shirts and t-shirts are acceptable for daily wear. Shorts and three-quarter length pants are only acceptable on the beach.
Text 2
امارات متحده عربی در شمال شرقی شبه جزيره عربستان واقع شده است. اين کشور از شمال به خليج فارس، از غرب به قطر و عربستان سعودی، از جنوب به عمان و عربستان سعودی و از شرق به دريای عمان و كشور عمان منتهی می شود. امارات متحده عربی آب و هوايی گرمسيری دارد. تابستان های اين کشور داغ و مرطوب و زمستان های آن ملايم است. بارندگی در اين كشور نادر بوده و اغلب در ماه های زمستان اتفاق می افتد. در پايان زمستان و نيز در طول زمستان وقوع طوفان شن معمول است. متوسط درجه حرارت در ماه ژانويه 33 درجه سانتی گراد (F 91) و در ماه ژوئيه 17 درجه سانتی گراد (F 62) است.
زبان رسمی کشور امارات، عربی می باشد. با اين حال، انگليسی نيز بسيار رايج است. بسياری از علائم رانندگی و تابلوهای فروشگاه ها به زبان انگليسی می باشند. منو رستوران ها نيز به هر دو زبان عربی و انگليسی می باشد. چنانچه سعی کنيد چند کلمه ای از محاورات روزمره را به زبان عربی بيان کنيد، برخورد گرمتری از طرف مقابل خود مشاهده خواهيد نمود. واحد پول امارات متحده عربي درهم است. شايان ذکر است هر 65/3 درهم معادل يك دلار آمريكا مي‌باشد.
غذاهای عربی در اصل از غذاهای مراکشی، تونسی، ايرانی، مصری يا افغانی تشکيل شده است. اما امروزه بيشتر، غذاهای لبنانی به عنوان غذاهای عربی شناخته می شوند. در کنار اکثر خيابانهای دبی، "شاوارمه" (تکه هايي از گوشت بره يا مرغ که بصورت ورقه ورقه به سيخ کشيده شده اند) و "فلافل" (گلوله کوچک خوشمزه ای که از سرخ کردن نخودلپه، تخم مرغ و چند ماده ديگر درست می شود) فروخته می شود.
بطور کلی ساکنين بومی اين کشور هنوز ترجيح می دهند از لباس های سنتی خود استفاده نمايند. پوششی که در جنوب ايران نيز مورد استفاده قرار می گيرد. مردها برای پوشش از لباسی بنام "دِشداشه" استفاده می کنند، که يک لباس سفيد تمام قد است. اين لباس به همراه يک حمايل سفيد يا قرمز بنام "قَترا" پوشيده می شود. قترا توسط يک حلقه طناب مانند بر روی آن بنام "اگل" محکم می شود. شيخ ها و اشخاص مهم ممکن است در مراسم های مهم يک اَبای نازک مشکی يا طلايی بر روی دشداشه خود بپوشند.
زن ها نيز از لباسی بنام "اَبا" استفاده می کنند. اين لباس در واقع نوعی ردای آزاد است که به همراه يک روسری بنام "شِيلا" بر روی لباس های معمولی پوشيده مي شود. برخی از زنان نيز صورت و دست های خود را با يک پارچه نازک مشکی رنگ می پوشانند. زنان مسن تر نيز بعضی مواقع از يک نقاب چرمي بنام "برقع" که بينی، ابروها و گونه ها را می پوشاند، استفاده مي کنند. به هرحال بيشتر اين پوشش ها توسط نسل قديمتر مورد استفاده قرار می گيرد و نسل جديد مانند ساير نقاط جهان، از پوشش های روز استفاده می کنند.
__________________
د. أحـمـد اللَّيثـي
رئيس الجمعية الدولية لمترجمي العربية
تلك الدَّارُ الآخرةُ نجعلُها للذين لا يُريدون عُلُوًّا فى الأَرضِ ولا فَسادا والعاقبةُ للمتقين.

فَعِشْ لِلْخَيْرِ، إِنَّ الْخَيْرَ أَبْقَى ... وَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَدْعَى بِانْشِغَالِـي

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