Describing Catalan–Spanish translation
When tackling the issue of translation between Spanish and Catalan, Branchadell and West state that translation into a minority language like Catalan is truly an ill-studied and poorly understood phenomenon (2004:16). This paper aims to start a debate on a language pair that has scarcely been studied and is still poorly known even in the Spanish context: two languages that live together, two close languages, two languages always determined by the socio-political and historical circumstances around them, and, as a result, two languages well understood by all speakers in the crowded Catalan region.We will focus on the contextual factors that take part and determine this translation practice: the linguistic profile of their speakers, the bi-directionality of professional translation, self-translation and the specificity of fields in the professional marketplace. We will also examine the implications that derive from them, especially the implications for teaching.
This paper will reopen some interesting theoretical debates, like directionality, self-translation, market relations and power balances between a major and a minor language. For example, the closeness of these two languages does not guarantee success in translation, the concepts of direct and reverse translation are not very useful and precise in this language combination, and the reasons for commissioning a translation are not just to facilitate understanding among the readers of the target language.