Individual Differences and Quality Of Translation: A Personality-Based Perspective

Open access

The current study was targeted at investigating the relationship between translation students’ personality types and the quality of their English-to-Persian translations with respect to different text types. To this aim, 35 undergraduate senior students of translation were randomly sampled. To obtain some demographic information about the participants, the researchers used a background questionnaire. The participants were given three different text types for the translation task. An advertisement, a scientific text and a narrative text were chosen to serve Reiss’ text typology (1971) including operative, informative and expressive texts, respectively. The students were also provided with retrospective questionnaires to shed light on their performance in the act of translating. Subsequently, once the participants’ personality types were determined via the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) anchored in Jung’s psychological theory, their dominant mental functions involving intuition, sensation, feeling and thinking were identified. To analyze the data, the One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) procedure and post-hoc analysis were employed. The results of the study indicated that the only dichotomy showing a significant difference was that of intuition versus sensation. Simply put, the intuitors outperformed their sensor counterparts in the translation of the expressive text. Taking into account the findings of the current study, the researchers suggest some pedagogical guidelines too.

Ahmed, F. & Capretz, L.F. (2010). Why do we need personality diversity in software engineering. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, 32 (2), 1-11.

Al-Samandi, H.A. (2009). The relationship between Saudi EFL college level students’use of reading strategies and their EFL reading comprehension. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Ohio, U.S.A. Retrieved 26.11.2012 from

Bickhard, M., Blunter, R., & Hochnadel, E. (2010). Two qubits for C.G. Jung’s theory of personality. Cognitive Systems Research, 11, 243-259.

Boeree, G. (2006). Personality theories. Retrieved 19.04.2012 from

Boyle, G.J. (1995). Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI): Some psychometric limitations. Retrieved 20.04.2012 from

Brown, P.C. & Mullen, N.D. (2002). English for computer science. Tehran: Azarang.

Bush, P. (1998). Literary translation: Practices. In N. Baker & K. Malmkjaer (Eds.), Routledge encyclopedia of translation studies (pp. 127-130). London: Routledge.

Butt, J. (2009). Functional analysis. Retrieved 9.04.2012 from

Chapman, A. (2010). Personality theories, types and tests. Retrieved 7.04.2012 from

Chui, Y.P. (2007). Learning styles and language learning outcomes. Unpublished master’s dissertation. University of Hong Kong, China.

Coba, N.C. (2007). The latina value scales: Translation and cultural adaptation. Doctoral dissertation. University of New Jersey, New Brunswick.

Coelo, P. (2003). The alchemist. Tehran: Karavan.

Collahan, S. (2000). Responding to the invisible student. Assessing Writing, 7, 57-77.

Cuellar, S.B. (2008). Towards an integrated translation approach: Proposal of adynamic translation model (DTM). Unpublished doctoral’s dissertation. Hamburg: Germany.

Daisy, L. (2009). A comparative study of translated children’s literature by Lu Xun Zhou Zueren: From the perspective of personality. Journal of MacaopolytechnicInstitute, 3, 69-79.

Darwish, A. (1999). Towards a theory of constraints in translation. Retrieved 9.11.2012 from

El-Haddad, M. (1999). An analytical study of some aspects of literary translation:Two Arabic translations of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Glasgow: Scotland.

Felder, R.M., Felder, G.N., & Dietz, F.J. (2002). The effects of personality type on Engineering student performance and attitudes. Journal of Engineering Education, 91, 3-17

Fraser, J. (1996). Mapping the process of translation. Meta, 41, 84-96.

Fudjack, J. & Dinkelaker, P. (1995).The five levels of the four Jungian functions. Retrieved 1.12.2012, from

Hai, T.M. (2009). How psycholinguistic elements affect the translation of fairy talesfor children of Vietnam. Retrieved 30.04.2012, from

Hansen, G. (2005). Experience and emotion on empirical translation research with think aloud and retrospection. Meta, 50, 511-521.

Harrington, R. & Loffredo, D.A. (2009). MBTI personality type and other factors that relate to preference for online versus face-to-face instruction. The InternetHigher Education, 13, 9-95.

Hatzidaki, A. (2007). The process of comprehension from a psycholinguistic approach: Implications for translation. Meta, 25, 13-21.

Hubscher-Davidson, S.E. (2007). An empirical investigation into the effects of personality on the performance of French to English student translators. TheInterpreter and Translator trainer, 2, 277-279.

Hubscher-Davidson, S.E. (2009). Personal diversity and diverse personalities in translation: A study of individual differences. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 17, 175-192.

Iida, A. (2008). Individual differences in the translation process: Differences in the act of translation between two groups of EFL Japanese students. Translation Journal,12 (3). Retrieved 6.04.2012 from

Jaasskelainen, R. (1998). Think aloud protocols. In N. Baker & K. Malmkjaer (Eds.), Rutledge encyclopedia of translation studies (pp. 127-130). London: Routledge.

Knittlova, D. (2000). On the degree of translators’ creativity. Retrieved 30.04.2012 from

Kolesina, K.Y. & Nikolaev, S.G. (2008). Personality-oriented principles in teaching languages in today’s Russia. Translation Journal, 12 (2). Retrieved April 19, 2012, from

Lorscher, W. (1996). A psycholinguistic analysis of translation processes. Meta, 41, 26-79.

Mackey, A. & Gass, S.M. (2005). Second language research: Methodology and design. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Maier, R.M. (2009). Structural interference from the source language: A psycholinguistic analysis of translation processes. Meta, 41, 26-32.

Malakoff, M. & Haukuta, K. (1999). Translation skill and metalinguistic awareness awareness in bilinguals. In E. Bialystock (Ed.), Language processing in bilingualchildren (pp. 141-166). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marefat, F. (2006). Student writing, personality type of the student and the rater: Any interrelationship? The Reading Matrix, 6, 116-124.

Marrapodi, J. (2004). Myers-Briggs type indicator in education: Implications foradult literacy learners. Retrieved 26.11.2012 from

Munday, J. (2008). Introducing translation studies. Theories and applications. New York: Routledge.

Niska, H. (1998). Explorations in translational creativity: Strategies for interpretingneologisms. Retrieved 1.12.2012 from

Orozco, J.M. & Albir, H.A. (2002). TQA measuring translation competence acquisition. Meta, 47, 375-402.

Reiss, K. (1971).Type, kind and individuality of text: Decision making in translation. In L. Venuti (Ed.), The translation studies readers (pp. 180-192). London: Rutledge.

Schimdt, M.A. (2005). How do you do it anyway? A longitudinal study of 3 translatorstudents translating from Russian into Swedish. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. ACTA Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Stockholm.

Sharp, A. (2004). Language learning and awareness of personality type in Chinesesettings. Retrieved 7.04.2012 from

Venuti, L. (2008). The translation studies reader. New York: Rutledge.

Wallace, D. & Wallace, L.A. (1994). Reader’s digest. USA: Coleman.

Wankat, P.C. & Oreovicz, F.S. (1993). Psychological type and learning. Retrieved 30.09.2012 from

Wicklein, R.C. & Rojewski, J.W. (1995). The relationship between psychological type and professional orientation among technology education teachers. Journal ofTechnology Education, 7 (1), 57-74. Retrieved 13.05.2012 from

Wilss, W. (1998). Decision making in translation. In N. Baker & K. Malmkjaer (Eds.), Rutledge encyclopedia of translation studies (pp. 57-60). London: Rutledge.

Wilz, B. (2000). Relationship between personality type and grade point average oftechnical college students. Unpublished master’s thesis. Stout: University of Wisconsin. Retrieved 27.07.2012 from

Yamini, M. & Rahimi, M. (2007). A guide to Statistics and SPSS for research in TEFL,linguistics and related disciplines. Shiraz: Kooshamehr.

Zasyekin, S. (2009). Translation as a psycholinguistic phenomenon. Retrieved 1.12.2012 from

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.144
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.359


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 512 512 29
PDF Downloads 224 224 10