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Zooming In

Micro-Scale Perspectives on Cognition, Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication


Edited By Wojciech Wachowski, Zoltan Kövecses and Michał Borodo

This book explores the influence of culture and cognition on translation and communication and brings together revised versions of papers delivered at the First International TransLingua Conference, organized in 2015 by the Institute of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics and the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The volume investigates various languages and cultures (including Japanese, Hungarian, English, Czech, Polish, German and Swahili) and examines a range of linguistic and translation issues from a micro-scale perspective. Alongside these case studies, it also includes reflections by two internationally renowned scholars, Elżbieta Tabakowska and Zoltán Kövecses, on the interplay between language, culture and cognition and the influence of collective and individual memory on translation.

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9 Translation of individual lexical items for the purposes of lexicography: Practical considerations (Michał Janowski)


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9 Translation of individual lexical items for the purposes of lexicography: Practical considerations


In the past fifty years, the discipline of translation studies has moved on from looking at the translation of individual lexical items or phrases to the translation of larger chunks of text, and ultimately texts themselves. The discipline’s broad scope of interests covers the cultural and historical contexts of source texts and translations, as well as issues related to dominance, hegemony and ideology. In this regard, the present chapter takes a very different perspective, focusing on the practical aspects of translating individual lexical items of an etymological dictionary. As such, dictionary translation is a very interesting area of contact between translation studies, often concerned with the disorderly nature of transfer between one language to another, and lexicography, concerned with finding neat transfer solutions (John Kearns, personal communication). It is tensions along these two lines of contact that this chapter aims to explore from a practical standpoint, based on my own experiences related to translating dictionary entries. The dictionary in question is professor Wojciech Smoczyński’s Słownik Etymologiczny Języka Litewskiego [Etymological Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language (EDL)] (2007), which was translated from Polish into English on a ministerial grant awarded under the National Program for the Development of the Humanities (project no. 31H 11 0062 80).

The chapter will address the organization of the project, including selection of the translators by means...

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