What’s in a word
Marisa Presas and Inna Kozlova Instrumental competence: Lexical searches in written text production 1 Introduction Written text production can be studied as a problem-solving process regardless of the communicative situation in which it occurs. In the field of Translation Studies (TS), most cognitive-oriented research focuses on the problems that translators identify during target text (TT) production and on the knowledge and strategies they use to solve them. The strategies used to find solutions to these problems can be divided into two major groups: (a) recourse to solutions already existing in the translator’s memory; or (b) the use of external resources, both lexical and thematic, to find the most appropriate solution to a problem. In contemporary translator train- ing, the skills required for the ef fective use of documentary resources, i.e. instrumental competence, have acquired increasing importance with the development of powerful new resources. It is for this reason that researchers are interested in studying the search processes of both trainee and profes- sional translators. From the insights obtained into translators’ expert knowledge, trans- lation competence models have been proposed in which the ability to solve problems using documentary sources plays a key role (Presas 2004). This ability is conceptualized in dif ferent ways, but generally comprises information retrieval skills and the use of electronic resources. Both form part of what is commonly referred to as ‘instrumental’ or ‘informational’ competence. Instrumental competence is considered to be an essential component in the development of overall translation competence and, as such, now forms...
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