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Translation and Meaning

New Series, Vol. 1


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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Variation in the Translation of Terms: Corpus-Driven Terminology Research


Abstract: In this article, we will argue that terminology resources are not able to fully cover the different ‘linguistic options’ found in texts referring to specialised knowledge. We will illustrate this point on the basis of a comparative study between a parallel corpus comprised of English EU source texts and their translations into French and Dutch, and a selection of terminological records from the EU’s terminological database IATE. We will report on how the research was carried out, present the major qualitative and quantitative findings and reflect on how the research methodology – i.e. a corpus-driven approach applied to terminology research – is now taught in a terminology course which is part of the master programmes of translation and interpreting at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Keywords: corpus-driven approach, environmental domain, EU, IATE, parallel corpus, terminography workflow, terminology, terminology course, terminological variation, translation-oriented terminography.

1. Introduction

Terminology refers to the collection of lexical expressions that constitute a given subject field. Practical terminology research – also known as terminography – involves amongst others collecting, creating, organising and managing domain-specific vocabulary in one or several languages.

For translators working in any field of specialised translation (e.g. translations in technical, scientific, financial, legal or medical domains) it is important to acquire the necessary knowledge and practical skills to be able to carry out terminological research that leads to the creation of translation-oriented terminological products. Examples of such structured terminological ‘products’ are terminological glossaries, dictionaries, thesauri or databases for translators...

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