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Title: Eye-tracking the reader experience in translation : a proof-of-concept study on cognitive equivalence in the rendering of Queneau's Zazie dans le métro
Author: Walker, Callum Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 6683
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Translation studies scholars have often remarked that language varieties (for example, dialects) are typically ‘neutralised’ in translation. When this occurs, the carefully chosen style of the author, and therefore the experience of the reader, will inevitably change after translation. Such comparisons between source text (ST) and target text (TT) are situated in a long-standing debate surrounding the notion of ‘equivalence’ in translation, in particular that of ‘equivalent effect’ – namely, is the effect on the TT reader the same as that on the ST reader? Eye-tracking methods have been used extensively in process-oriented research and audiovisual translation over the last decade, but during this time, only one notable reception study employing eye tracking has emerged in TS. The mixed-methods design presented in this thesis draws on a wealth of natural reading research using eye tracking to propose an innovative, experimental method to measure and quantify this elusive ‘equivalent effect’ at points where the language varieties used are especially salient. By proposing a theoretical concept of ‘cognitive equivalence’, this proof-of-concept study explores whether eye tracking can be used to yield fruitful, coherent and congruent data for analysis using a set of rigorous statistical tools with a view to determining whether ‘cognitive equivalence’ has been achieved. To test this concept, Raymond Queneau’s Zazie dans le métro – renowned for its unique interplay of standard French and Queneau’s spoken néo-français – is used in conjunction with Barbara Wright’s acclaimed English translation, together with a third, purposely standardised translation in order to compare how French readers experience the ST and English readers experience the two versions of the TT in an eye-tracking experiment. The results suggest that the experimental method is an effective means to compare the reading experience of multiple groups of readers at specific points in a text.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available