During the second decade of the twenty-first century, documentation in electronic format has come to form a normal part of the workplace for all professional translators. The aim of this article is to present the results of the acquisition of the instrumental sub-competence, which is based on the use of electronic resources. These results are part of empirical-experimental research carried out by the PACTE group on Translation Competence Acquisition. In this study, the evolution of the acquisition of this sub-competence for five groups of translation students, from the first year of their degree course to their entry into the labour market, was measured using a methodological design that simulates a longitudinal study. The experiment was carried out in 2011 with 130 students on the Translation and Interpreting degree course. Five indicators related to the direct and inverse translation processes are analysed: number of resources, time taken on searches, time taken on searches at each stage, number and variety of searches. These indicators are then correlated with the quality of the final product of the translation process: translation acceptability. The results produced by the translation students are compared with those obtained in the Translation Competence experiment, carried out by the PACTE group in 2005−2006 with 35 professional translators.1
The aim of this article is to demonstrate how the achievements of the behavioural approach to competences may enhance the study of translation competence. The first section sets out the basic premises of the behavioural approach to studying competences in the workplace from its US origins in the field of work psychology to its present application in human resources management. The second section describes four translation studies which fall within the behavioural approach to studying competences: a competence model proposal for identifying good translators; two surveys carried out with the aim to draw up competence repertoires according to professional profiles of translators and interpreters; and a study of translator competence in a business context. The article concludes with a discussion on the minor impact of behavioural studies in Translation Studies; proposes that behavioural studies should be developed further marking out possible lines of research; underlines the complementary nature of behavioural and cognitive studies applied to research into translation competence; stresses the need to describe professional profiles with an eye to optimising translator training and, finally, draws up development perspectives of behavioural studies in our field.
The PACTE Group is carrying out empirical-experimental research into translation competence and its acquisition in written translation. The aim of this article is to present the results obtained for the translation competence indicator ‘Acceptability’ of translation products and the variable “Decision-making” in an experiment involving 35 expert translators and 24 foreign-language teachers. After a presentation of PACTE’s theoretical model of translation competence, the design of our research project is described (hypothesis, experimental universe and sample, variables, data collection instruments) followed by the results obtained for the indicator ‘Acceptability’ of subjects’ translations and, finally, the results obtained for the variable “Decision-making” are presented. The variable “Decision-making” evidences decisions made during the translation process which involve the use of automatic and non-automatic cognitive resources (internal support) and the use of different sources of documentation (external support). The indicators used to measure this variable are ‘Sequences of Actions’ and ‘Acceptability’. The results obtained shed light on the strategic and instrumental sub-competences of translation competence.