Translation and linguistics: what does the future hold?

Malmkjaer, Kirsten (2002) Translation and linguistics: what does the future hold? In: Translation studies: perspectives on an emerging discipline. Riccardi, Alessandra, ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 111-119. ISBN 0521817315. [Book Section]


The article addresses the relationship between linguistics and translation studies and the place within translation studies of the notion of equivalence. It argues that a notion of equivalence underlies other notions central to translation studies and that cross-linguistic understanding underlies the reading and writing skills necessary for translation, translation description and translation criticism. It is important, therefore, to be clear about the relationship between the branch of linguistics which studies relationships between language systems (contrastive linguistics) and the discipline in which understanding of these systems in use is applied (translation studies). Traditionally, this relationship has been uneasy, particularly as conceived of from within translation studies. For example, Snell-Hornby (1988/1995: 95) identifies “an unbridgeable gap between the convictions of lexicologists (as theoretical linguists) and bilingual lexicographers on the one hand, and the actual needs of the translator as dictionary user, on the other”. The paper argues that it is possible to conceive of the relationship as mutually beneficial provided that we accept that examples provided in the contrastive linguistics literature should be understood, not as straightforward, surface level translation equivalents, but, rather, as the nearest lexical realisations in one language of the semantic essentials of expressions in another language.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
Item ID: 384
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2008 15:17
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11

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