An Empirical Investigation into the Effects of Personality on the Performance of French to English Student Translators

  • Severine Emmanuelle Hubscher-Davidson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis seeks to establish the extent to which personality characteristics impact on postgraduate students' translation work from French to English. The investigation is carried out by comparing and analysing parallel translations of French source texts into English target texts, using a number of methods. The main focus is on how translator behaviour influences the translation process, how this is reflected in the resulting target text and what the consequences are in terms of translation quality. The study aims to demonstrate the influence of personalities in translation, and better understand how they affect the loss or gain of certain elements during the translation task. Chapter 1 focuses on the review of different theories and models in TS which shed light on the translator’s context and on the different factors that can potentially affect the way in which he behaves. It also reviews the few studies that have been carried out on translator behaviour, and more specifically on personality-related behaviour. Chapter 2 is dedicated to the three experiments carried out, which highlight patterns of behaviour in student translations through textual analysis, verbalisations, questionnaires and a personality test. These various methods used to investigate the process aim to emphasize and substantiate the claim that translators’ personalities play an active part in the decision-making process of translator behaviour. The final chapter summarises the implications of the findings, and concludes that each translator’s personality is apparent in their attitudinal behaviours when translating, influences their performance in varied ways, and shapes their target text. In addition, appropriate recommendations for further research and training are also made.
Date of Award1 Jan 2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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