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Translation and Meaning

New Series, Vol. 1

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Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Marcel Thelen, Gys-Walt van Egdom, Dirk Verbeeck and Łukasz Bogucki

This book contains a selection of articles on new developments in translation and interpreting studies. It offers a wealth of new and innovative approaches to the didactics of translation and interpreting that may well change the way in which translators and interpreters are trained. They include such issues of current debate as assessment methods and criteria, assessment of competences, graduate employability, placements, skills labs, the perceived skills gap between training and profession, the teaching of terminology, and curriculum design. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in Europe, Africa and North-America. The book will be an indispensable help for trainers and researchers, but may also be of interest to translators and interpreters.
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On “General” and Specialised Texts in the Translation Training Programme: Conjectures, Assumptions, Refutations and Implications

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Abstract: Some painstaking attempts have been made to redirect the linguistic currents in Translation Studies. In one of his studies, Jean Delisle prevents linguistic theory from passing over into silence. In L’Analyse du discours comme méthode de traduction (1980/1984), he spins a thread for the inquiry into the usefulness of Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA) in translation training. In his study, he tears down the strongholds of the linguistic turn and introduces the inevitable notion of “context”. Considering that, without exception, source texts as well as target texts are inextricably enmeshed in the cobweb of socio-cultural contexts, Delisle advises teachers and institutes to critically assess the texts that are (to be) subjected to interpretation or/and translation in the context of translation training. According to him, teachers should stick to “general pragmatic texts” in the initial phases of formation; they can be readily interpreted by students and allow the problems most proper to translation to take centre of stage. Thirty years later, this view is still widely shared: in most translation programmes, not only of vocational schools but also of academic institutions, specialised texts are introduced only in the final year of the BA-programme or even in the MA-year.

In this contribution, we will return to the assumptions that lie at the basis of a shared belief in the purposefulness of using general texts and we will try to cast new light on text selection procedures in translation training. We will do so in the company...

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