Personal diversity and diverse personalities in translation: a study of individual differences

Hubscher-Davidson, Séverine Emmanuelle (2009). Personal diversity and diverse personalities in translation: a study of individual differences. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 17(3) pp. 175–192.



Drawing from a recent study highlighting ways in which translators’ personalities could be guiding the process of translation and the creation of patterns of behaviour that positively and negatively affected their target texts, this article presents some findings from that study and their implications for interdisciplinary research in translation studies. This article will demonstrate how the application of a methodology drawn from psychology to a corpus of 20 translators has permitted the suggestion that the presence of traits could influence their performance in translation, and become perceptible to potential target readers. Although context-bound, the study highlights correlations between a number of personality traits and translation quality, a finding which could have important implications for translator training. This article considers the argument that translation studies can benefit from importing concepts and methodologies from the field of personality psychology, but also that novice translators need to become more acutely aware of the different and individual ways in which they impact on target texts, and the resulting target readers’ perceptions of their work.

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