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  • 1 University of Joensuu, Savonlinna School of Translation Studies P.O.Box 48, FIN-57101 Savonlinna, Finland Phone: +358 15 511 7720, Fax: +358 15 515 096 Savonlinna
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The hypothesis being tested in the research reported here is the cognitive translation hypothesis, according to which metaphoric expressions take more time to translate if they exploit a different cognitive domain than the 'equivalent' expressions that are available in the target language. According to the hypothesis, it is the search for another cognitive domain (a different conceptual mapping) that causes delay, uncertainty and difficulty in the translation of metaphors that exploit a different domain. If translation took place entirely through word association, a difference in conceptual mapping – also to be referred to as domain conflict – should not make any difference to the ease or difficulty of translation. Increased difficulty can thus be interpreted as evidence for concept mediation. In my article I report on two think-aloud experiments designed to test the cognitive translation hypothesis in authentic-like translation. The results show evidence of translators getting stagnated to the cognitive domain suggested by the source language. Thus translation difficulty can partly be explained, as expected, by domain conflict at a local level. Translators' choices, however, are further complicated by a concern for the compatibility of the potential equivalents with the global domain manifest in the text as a whole.

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