Language for Specific Purposes and translation

Authored by: Stefanos Vlachopoulos

The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138911260
eBook ISBN: 9781315692845
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to the historical background and major trends in the interaction of Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) and translation; the second part treats practical issues by examining how translators of specialized discourse perform. The first part begins with two tales: the tale of LSP, and the story of how translation (studies) reacted to LSPs. The Chapter argues that the concept of a language for specific purposes is disturbed by Hoffmann's (1993) postulation of a communicative view of domain-specific language use; more recent research has shown that specialized communication is generated by domain-specific discourse employed to communicate knowledge (Engberg 2010; Eppler 2007). The second tale, of how translation studies has reacted to domain-specific communication is supported by Picht's view (1996) of LSP translation as domain-specific communication across languages. It suggests that translating specialized discourse amounts to communicating intercultural knowledge (Engberg 2010). The second part of the chapter examines critically how translators have handled specialized discourse by analysing samples of translated legal texts, the cultural extremes of domain-specific discourse.

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