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Translation Studies and Translation Practice: Proceedings of the 2nd International TRANSLATA Conference, 2014

Part 1


Edited By Lew N. Zybatow, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski

TRANSLATA II was the second in a series of triennial conferences on Translation and Interpreting Studies, held at the University of Innsbruck. The series is conceptualized as a forum for Translation Studies research. The contributions to this volume focus on humo(u)r translation, legal translation, and human-machine interaction in translation. The contributors also regard computer-aided translation, specialised translation, terminology as well as audiovisual translation and professional aspects in translation and interpreting.

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Synonymy in Medical Terminology – a Challenge in Translation (Renáta Panocová)


Renáta Panocová, Košice

Synonymy in Medical Terminology – a Challenge in Translation

Abstract: In terminology, there is a tendency to avoid parallel forms designating the same concept. In practice, however, synonymy is quite common in medical terminology. It can lead to translation problems, especially in cases where one source language term corresponds to two terms in the target language.

Saussure’s dichotomy of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations is naturally reflected in studying relations between words in the lexicon. According to Wanner (1996, 3) “most of the research activities on lexical semantic relations have a long time been almost exclusively paradigmatic”. The most central paradigmatic sense relations include synonymy, antonymy, and hyponymy. Given the nature of Saussure’s sign these sense relations are based on two signifiés. In this paper, my intention is to explore the paradigmatic sense relation of synonymy in the translation of medical terminology. The paper is organized in three sections. Section 1 deals with synonymy in terminology, more precisely, medical terminology, Section 2 discusses some cases when synonymy sense relations among English medical terms differ from their Slovak counterparts. Section 3 summarizes the conclusions.

1. Synonymy in English medical terminology

In terminology, there is a tendency to avoid the existence of parallel forms designating the same concept. The main reason is the risk of ambiguity of terms affecting communication among specialists and experts in a particular field. In general, semantic clarity is preferred in terminology. Contrary to...

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