PETRA’s Back Office Blog is devoted to the many facets of the empirical research of translation and interpreting processes, products, and environment mainly, but not only, from second-generation cognitive science perspectives. That is what we call cognitive translatology. We know that you may object to this label, but we agree that you may call it as you please, as long as you focus on using the scientific method to build knowledge on (the mental aspects of) translation and interpreting. In fact, we do
not exclude other scientifically-minded frameworks, as long as they can interact with cognitive approaches, even to criticize or disprove them.
So we aim to offer a forum for the exchange of recent ideas that connect with, and advance discussion in fields such as cognitive science, experimental psychology, bilingualism, language development and acquisition, linguistics, communication studies, anthropology, computational linguistics, expertise, you name it, in their relationship withtranslation and interpreting. We just want to be the glue. We want to encourage active discussion. We hope it will help us and it will help readers.
Now, science has its publishing rituals and venues, but we don’t think that blogs belong to this sanctioned apparatus. Articles, books, chapters and lectures are the uppersides of the leaves of the growing bush of translatology. PETRA’s Back Office Blog is devoted to the undersides, to all that intellectual work and chance that precedes, sorrounds and follows printed wisdom, from which it is often dropped. Interspersed below you will find some hyperlinks to illustrate what we mean.
PETRA’s Back Office Blog wants to focus on research around the day in eighty worlds (no mistake!): We want to know what you think when on the bus, because we know you think translation and interpreting there too. We will even appreciate your telling us your dreams of whirling or intertwined snakes. If you were eating an ice cream and something strange happened, let us know. We will eagerly read your sudden insight on irregular volumes and shout with you Eureka! We want to learn about your observation of the acceleration of a falling apple, because scientific observation is nothing but deliberate, controlled and corrected everyday observation.
These examples refer to epiphanies and intuitions, but sure there are other aspects we would also like to cover. In our daily lives we come across research problems for which we cannot easily or quickly find HowTos or good solutions by simple searching in Google, asking a colleague in the next office, or browsing in the library. So we will welcome positions on social and ethical concerns, conceptual clarifications and definitions, methodological recommendations, tool news and reviews, clever tricks, warnings related to the interpretation of results, reporting standards, reflections, and related contributions. We do not want to limit blog posts to documenting research challenges, but also its joys. News on academic life, bestowed prizes, awarded grants and fellowships are welcome, and so is some humor, for we have found nowhere that scientific research must be stiff and boring.
Did we forget something? Just tell us about it. Are you working in this foggy area and would like to contribute to PETRA’s Back Office Blog? It probably is a good idea. Blogging is invaluable for visibility purposes (How many people did or will actually read your PhD dissertation in full?). It does keep you more alert to what's happening in the field. As you know, you often understand a concept deeply or in full when you have to teach it or write it down clearly. We aim to collect a “library” of evergreen posts addressing a vast range of content—posts that will be as useable 5 years from now as they are today. Blogging is also a terrific, reassuring communication vehicle: Having strangers comment (without any prompting on your part) on your work will remind you that you really do know what you’re doing and will also help you to do it even better.