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(Not) Lost in Translation: Psychological Adaptation Occurs During Speech Translation


Meier, Tabea; Boyd, Ryan L; Mehl, Matthias R; Milek, Anne; Pennebaker, James W; Martin, Mike; Wolf, Markus; Horn, Andrea B (2020). (Not) Lost in Translation: Psychological Adaptation Occurs During Speech Translation. Social Psychological and Personality Science:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

While language style is considered to be automatic and relatively stable, its plasticity has not yet been studied in translations that require the translator to “step into the shoes of another person.” In the present study, we propose a psychological model of language adaptation in translations. Focusing on an established interindividual difference marker of language style, that is, gender, we examined whether translators assimilate to the original gendered style or implicitly project their own gendered language style. In a preregistered study, we investigated gender differences in language use in TED Talks ( N = 1,647) and their translations ( N = 544) in same- versus opposite-gender speaker/translator dyads. The results showed that translators assimilated to gendered language styles even when in mismatch to their own gender. This challenges predominating views on language style as fixed and fosters a more dynamic view of language style as also being shaped by social context.

Abstract

While language style is considered to be automatic and relatively stable, its plasticity has not yet been studied in translations that require the translator to “step into the shoes of another person.” In the present study, we propose a psychological model of language adaptation in translations. Focusing on an established interindividual difference marker of language style, that is, gender, we examined whether translators assimilate to the original gendered style or implicitly project their own gendered language style. In a preregistered study, we investigated gender differences in language use in TED Talks ( N = 1,647) and their translations ( N = 544) in same- versus opposite-gender speaker/translator dyads. The results showed that translators assimilated to gendered language styles even when in mismatch to their own gender. This challenges predominating views on language style as fixed and fosters a more dynamic view of language style as also being shaped by social context.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Clinical Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:12 March 2020
Deposited On:19 Mar 2020 11:12
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 14:55
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1948-5506
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619899258

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