The PACTE group has been carrying out empirical- experimental research into translation competence and its acquisition in written translation since 1997. Research is being carried out from two complementary perspectives:
- the translation process, through the collection and analysis of data obtained from experimental studies of the mental processes at work in translation, and the competences and abilities required
- the translation product, through the collection and analysis of data obtained from the results of the translation process (translated texts) using discourse analysis and corpus methodology (electronic corpora).
The research project on translation competence comprises two phases:
- the first phase, completed in 2010, consisting of an empirical study of translation competence carried out using an experimental group of professional translators and another of foreign language teachers with no experience in translation. The aim of this study was to obtain data concerning the mental processes at work in translation as well as subjects’ knowledge of, and skills in, translation.
- a second phase, started in 2010, consisting of a longitudinal study of the acquisition of translation competence in trainee translators, carried out using an experimental group of translation students and a repeated measurements design. In both cases, exploratory and pilot tests are carried out before the final experiments.
Six language pairs are involved in the project: English-Catalan; English-Spanish; French-Catalan; French-Spanish; German-Catalan; German- Spanish.