Presentation on theme: "Researching multilingually: Methodological complexities and possibilities (AHRC-funded Network Project) Prue Holmes (Durham University) Richard Fay (The."— Presentation transcript:
Researching multilingually: Methodological complexities and possibilities (AHRC-funded Network Project) Prue Holmes (Durham University) Richard Fay (The University of Manchester) Jane Andrews (The University of the West of England) Jyvaskyla, Finland 4-7 June, 2012
Researching multilingually: A network project Preview: AHRC translating cultures theme Project aims Research gap—an under-discussed field Website Research questions RQ1: Complexities and possibilities? RQ2: Operational possibilities? RQ3: Conceptual possibilities? Implications
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Theme: Translating Cultures “… ‘translation’ is an essential tool in ensuring that languages, values, beliefs, histories and narratives can be mutually shared and comprehended. We need to consider not only the complex mechanisms of translating one language into another, but also more broadly how cultural exchange and transmission functions in a variety of circumstances and periods, including communication and miscommunication, multiculturalism, toleration and migration.” http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/FundingOpportunities/Pages/translatingcultures. aspx
Aim of the project To investigate and clarify the epistemological and methodological processes of researching in more than one language—whether dialogic, observational, textual, or mediated—and their implications for research design, instruments, data collection and generation, translation and interpretation, and reporting. => the understanding, reporting, and representation of people of other languages
Research gap We need approaches that involve the multilingual co- production of data and the inclusion of everyone involved in the analysis and reporting of the language, whatever their language (Collier, Hegde, Lee, Nakayama & Yep, 2002) The multilingual nature of such complex and ambiguous processes of meaning construction largely occur in the minds of researchers, or translators/interpreters What level of engagement is required (of R/ppts/lang mediators)? What resources are available?
Emergent research questions RQ1: What are the complexities and possibilities of translating cultures when researching multilingually? RQ2: How do researchers operationalise their research design to address these issues: RQ3: What (possible) conceptual frameworks enable researchers to make sense of these complexities?
RQ1: Complexities and possibilities Researchers: Trajectories in engaging in multilingual research R/ppt relationships; power; ethical practices Instruments: Inter/View (intersubjectivity) Consent forms (multimodality), recording, observing Market research (“quick & dirty”) Language choices: Impacts & opportunities of not knowing a language Including local languages
Interpretation/translation: Mediators—how do they influence interpretation of findings? What about children? Working with translators—need to share purposes & approaches of R Translator = co-researcher Interpreter = ppt’s advocate, cultural mediator for monolingual researcher)
Representation: Who is involved? When? At what level? Preparing translated data for the supervisor/examiner – when is enough enough? Faithfulness? The correct way? Interlingual (pragmatic/contextual) glossing Policy: Which languages & where? Expertise of supervisors/examiners? Institutional policies? Editorial/publishing practices?
RQ2: Operationalisation? Methodological concerns: Double processing of meaning of R’s & pps’ insights/Double distillation of data Analytical complexities (reflexive, textual, linguistic) Good practice—ethics, consistency, explicitness (training for next generation of researchers)
RQ 3: Conceptualisation? 1)Fashion/Convention/Intentionality Fashion—what is usually done Convention—what you should do (Convention and fashion ignore awareness) Intentionality What you think is right Researcher reflexivity & sensitivity, identity 2) Relationality Researcher, supervisor, ppts, transltrs/intprtrs/transcribers Trust, ethics, power 3) Researching Multilingually spaces Research; researched; researcher; re/presentation Interdisciplinary insights
Implications For researching multilingually and developing researcher competence: Researchers, supervisors, examiners, editors, publishers, intrprters/translators/transcribers English as a global language? Ethical procedures and practices Policy (e.g., educational institutions - examiners, thesis requirements) Globalisation has brought new insights into these processes We need to avoid being “essentialist” about language and languages => A work in progress