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Insights into Specialized Translation


Edited By Maurizio Gotti and Susan Sarcevic

This volume focuses on specialist translation – one of the areas of translation in greatest demand in our age of globalization. The 16 chapters deal not only with the classical domains of science and technology, law, socio-politics and medicine but also with lesser researched areas such as archeology, geography, nutrigenomics and others. As a whole, the book achieves a blend of theory and practice. It addresses a variety of issues such as translation strategy based on text type and purpose, intercultural transfer and quality assessment, as well as textual and terminological issues in bilingual and multilingual settings, including international organizations and the European Union. Today translation competence presupposes multidisciplinary skills. Whereas some chapters analyze the linguistic features of special-purpose texts and their function in specialized communication, others show how specialized translation has changed as a result of globalization and how advances in technology have altered terminology research and translation processing.


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MAURIZIO GOTTI / SUSAN ŠARýEVIû Introduction 1. Specialized translation It is a paradox of the age of globalization that the demand for translation has grown despite the spread and dominance of English. This is especially true of specialized translation. Broadly speaking, specialized translation (Fachübersetzen, traduction spécialisée, traduzione specializzata) covers the specialist subject fields falling under non-literary translation, the best known of which include science and technology, economics, marketing, law, politics, medicine and mass media, most of which are dealt with in this volume as well as lesser researched areas such as maritime navigation, archaeology, geography and nutrigenomics. When Translation Studies emerged as a discipline back in the early seventies (Holmes 1972), scholars were concerned mainly with literary translation, whereas the ‘other’ areas of ‘technical’ translation were regarded as part of Applied Linguistics and snubbed as an ‘inferior’ form of mechanical translation (Snell-Hornby 1996). With the emergence of LSP theory, the broader term ‘LSP translation’ (Somers 1996; Schäffner 2004) became popular and is still widely used today. In particular, the advent of the computer and the age of globalization have had a significant impact on the development of technical (Hann 1992; Wright / Wright 1993), scientific (Wright / Wright 1993), legal (Gémar 1995a, 1995b; Sandrini 1999, Šarþeviü 2000) and industrial (Sager 1994) translation. Today ‘LSP translation’ has matured into specialized translation (Thelen 2004; Desblache 2001; Stolze 1999), thus shifting the emphasis to the transfer of specialist knowledge (Hoffmann 1993; Mayer 2003) by a translator...

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