Veranstaltungen SS 2014
OPERATIONALIZING TRANSLATION CONCEPTS
We will discuss the problems inherent in ‘operationalizing’ Translation Concepts (TC) for the purposes of Translation research training as exemplified in the writing of a dissertation. By ‘operationalizing’ we mean the formulation of concepts in such a way that they become measurable and processible (‘fassbar’ and ‘verarbeitbar’), e.g. for empirical, but also for qualitative research purposes.
In Translation research training, empirical research training is often preferred over teaching qualitative designs because it generally “requires researchers to be explicit on the design of their studies, the underlying rationale…, methods used for data collection, data collected, their processing and inferences made …” which imply rigorous thinking and working standards that “can then be implemented in whatever type of research is conducted later, be it empirical or not.” (Daniel Gile 2013).
As valuable as this point may be, the limits of quantitative analyses are often overlooked, as C.G. Jung so aptly formulates them even back in 1958: „Any theory based on experience is necessarily statistical, that is to say, it formulates an ideal average which abolishes all exceptions at either end of the scale and replaces them by an abstract mean. This mean is quite valid, though it need not necessarily occur in reality. Despite this, it figures in the theory as an unassailable fundamental fact. The exceptions at either extreme, though equally factual, do not appear in the final result at all, since they cancel each other out…”.
These conceptual deficits in empirical studies have so far not been adequately discussed in the literature but may appear in scientific writing as ‘fallacies’ which compromise research results or even make them invalid (as shown and explained in the IKS-Model, Mudersbach 1998).
Against this background we will discuss some of the problems inherent in operationalizing concepts with the help of the IKS, Hexagon and Sense-giving models as accessable at:
Sunwoo, June (2012): Zur Operationalisierung des Übersetzungszwecks. Modell und Methode. Münster: LIT (mitSprache. Translatorische Forschungsbeiträge. 2/2012)