NARTI Workshop: ‘Translation in Research: Empirical, Conceptual and Methodological Considerations

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An event sponsored by NARTI (Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative) was hosted by Joanne Garrick of NARTI and Professor Susanne Tietze (Keele Management School) on the 26th of May 2016 at Keele Hall.

The theme of this event was ‘Translation in Research:  Empirical, Conceptual and Methodological Considerations’. The workshop provided plenty of opportunity to explore the challenges of conducting international research, which is frequently informed, designed and executed in several languages – while research accounts are invariably published ‘in English only’.

Delegates, mainly doctoral students, reported from their struggles to incorporate  non-English language data in translated form into their research accounts. The speakers, Professor Nigel Holden (What is being translated in international business and by whom?), Professor Dvora Yanow (On translation)  and Professor Susanne Tietze (Multilingual research – monolingual management publications: management knowledge in English only) provided inputs about theoretical, philosophical  and also practical aspects and approaches to translation, which could be drawn upon to inform the writing up stages of  (doctoral) research, where ‘foreign’ language data usually disappears as it becomes transformed into English data.

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Doctoral researchers struggled in particular with the ‘practicalities’ of translation relating to questions such as whether to use professional translators, how much detail to report about the translation process or whether to leave ‘other language data’ visible in their texts.  In total, translation was seen and explored as a crucial issue in the globalisation of business and management research where ideas, meanings and practices travel across the globe; yet where international management, policy and business research is still to develop a more sophisticated understanding of translating across linguistic, cultural, practice and methods boundaries.

 

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