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Corpus-based Approaches to Translation and Interpreting

From Theory to Applications

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Gloria Corpas Pastor and Miriam Seghiri

Corpus-based translation studies have come a long way since they were introduced in the last decade of the 20th century. This volume offers a balanced collection of theoretical and application-orientated contributions which establish novel trends in the area of corpus-based translation and interpreting studies. Most of the theoretical contributions report on studies related to translation universals such as simplification, explicitation, normalisation, convergence or transfer. The application-orientated contributions cover areas as diverse as corpus-based applied research, training, practice and the use of computer-assisted translation tools.

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Developing trainee translators’ instrumental subcompetence using query tools and corpora

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Abstract Translation competence can be broken down into different subcompetences. One of them is instrumental subcompetence, which is related, among other things, to the knowledge and skills involved in using all the kinds of documentary resources and new technologies translators require (PACTE). To develop instrumental subcompetence in the classroom, translator trainers can use several types of activities that emphasise some of its aspects, such as the use of dictionaries and terminology databases, parallel texts, translation memories, search engines, etc. The aim of this paper is to share our experience of developing trainee translators’ instrumental subcompetence through training activities involving corpus use. First, we briefly review the concept of translation competence and mention some previous works whose authors, in one way or another, deal with aspects of instrumental subcompetence. Next, we review the concept of corpora and look at some of the different types of such resources available to translators. We then present a series of activities involving a variety of software and corpora, specifically Google (web as corpus), MS Word (lexical corpora), Sketch Engine (ad hoc corpora), Context (parallel corpora) and AntConc (comparable corpora). To successfully complete the exercises proposed, trainee translators must use different query languages to achieve different goals, including retrieving parallel texts, editing glossaries, finding translation equivalents and identifying specialised phraseology. In our experience, students seem to feel comfortable with such exercises and find them useful for acquiring not only a deep knowledge of how to use a range of query tools effectively but also...

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