Interesting translation topics to do a PhD on.
论题张贴者: VICTOR RAMIREZ

VICTOR RAMIREZ
墨西哥
Local time: 13:59
Spanish西班牙语译成English英语
+ ...
Jan 11

I want/need to start my Ph.D. this year but I do not know which topic(s) in translation might be so appealing to conduct a four-year extensive research on. I've got just a few ideas but I am still quite unsure whether they are actually of interest to me considering that I will work on this for the next 4 years of my life.

Here are some of the topics I've considered so far:

- The neurology behind the translation and interpretation process.

- Machine transla
... See more
I want/need to start my Ph.D. this year but I do not know which topic(s) in translation might be so appealing to conduct a four-year extensive research on. I've got just a few ideas but I am still quite unsure whether they are actually of interest to me considering that I will work on this for the next 4 years of my life.

Here are some of the topics I've considered so far:

- The neurology behind the translation and interpretation process.

- Machine translated texts, do they really help the translator produce a faster translation or does it make the process more complicated and time-consuming?

- The translation industry, is it a good business? Is this field of study financially and professionally beneficial? (Aim at people who like languages and translation but are not sure whether their professional and economic objectives will be met)

- Translating swearwords, forbidden or offensive words.

I appreciate any additional ideas, comments or positive contributions in this regard!



[Edited at 2021-01-11 14:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-11 14:21 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-11 23:27 GMT]
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:59
French法语译成English英语
research Jan 12

It is indeed important to be interested in what you are going to be working with. At one or more points during your study, you may not like - or even come to hate - the subject area. However, at PhD level, if not before, you certainly need to be working with a theme that will add something to what already exists in the field.

For example, for each of the fields you have mentioned, there are probably a number of questions about which there is an academic debate. In an exploratory re
... See more
It is indeed important to be interested in what you are going to be working with. At one or more points during your study, you may not like - or even come to hate - the subject area. However, at PhD level, if not before, you certainly need to be working with a theme that will add something to what already exists in the field.

For example, for each of the fields you have mentioned, there are probably a number of questions about which there is an academic debate. In an exploratory reading phase, you may find arguments that are worth exploring and developing further. These are potential areas of research. If the flaws are obvious to you, then remember that others will have noted them too. If they have not been studied before, try to understand why. It is not uncommon to start out on one particular theme only to find you need to change direction later on. You may even have to abandon a theme altogether and start afresh.

Another approach could be to look into areas that have not been studied at all. In this type of situation, you will find yourself in a similar situation as above. If no study on a particular point exists, think why. Possible answers are that the subject is in fact of no interest, or it is too expensive to explore. The subject may simply be beyond the scope of currently accessible tools and knowledge. This last point can exclude a particular line. However, what was not possible or interesting 10 years ago may now have become extremely pertinent and quite accessible. Background reading on areas of interest will help.

Last but not least, your thesis director is important. You need to be able to work together, trust one another and be able to work efficiently. Your director may have subjects he's been wanting to research or that he is working on at the moment. A compromise might be necessary to find a "package" that is workable for all concerned and for which you will obtain support, both academic and financial.

With regard to your list, here are one or two spontaneous comments:

1) The neurology behind the translation and interpretation process.
I would expect that you have knowledge of the nervous system, the brain and cognitive neuroscience in order to explore this area. I believe there is a lot of work on language and the brain. What would you be wishing to explore, find out or develop within the field?

2) Machine translated texts, do they really help the translator produce a faster translation or does it make the process more complicated and time-consuming?
How would you go about measuring this? Are you comfortable with statistical tools? Would your analysis be qualitative and/or quantitative? What population would you study? What does the current literature indicate on this point?

3) The translation industry, is it a good business? Is this field of study financially and professionally beneficial? (Aim at people who like languages and translation but are not sure whether their professional and economic objectives will be met)
You would need to define "good business". How would you measure the elements you mention?

4) Translating swearwords, forbidden or offensive words.
For whom? In what contexts?

When considering an area of study, particularly at a high level, unless I am mistaken, you will need to register it in a particular academic discipline. The four areas you mention could cover medicine, biology, physiology, biochemistry, artificial intelligence, commerce, business, economics, media...

My main suggestions would be:
- to look at your academic background and knowledge today and determine what fields you can handle and learn about along the way
- to consider which institution, school or faculty you want to work with, which departments and which professors
- to look carefully at where your interests and the professors' interests are similar

It seems to me that in any initial considerations for a big research project need to take a lot of things into account.

You do not mention financing the PhD. Are you funding this yourself or are you looking for a package that is already financed? You may have to make significant compromises to match what you are interested in and what institution and professor will be able to accompany you through this.



[Edited at 2021-01-12 18:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-13 14:37 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
Brisa Pedroza
VICTOR RAMIREZ
Yaotl Altan
 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Fake profile

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
English英语译成Russian俄语
+ ...
Maybe stealth censorship? Jan 14

I recall some confusion when reading English or French originals of stuff I had "read" in Russian.

I got the distinct sense some content had been intentionally omitted from the official Russian translation.


 

VICTOR RAMIREZ
墨西哥
Local time: 13:59
Spanish西班牙语译成English英语
+ ...
主题发起人
I appreciate your down to earth suggestions. Jan 14

I appreciate your down-to-earth suggestions and detailed reponse. My over-enthusiasm to find a "good" topic and begin working on it could have diverted the focus and the sequence I must follow.

You are absolutely right about everything, thanks a lot again!


 


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