Chapter published in:Investigating Translation: Selected papers from the 4th International Congress on Translation, Barcelona, 1998
Edited by Allison Beeby, Doris Ensinger and Marisa Presas
[Benjamins Translation Library 32] 2000
► pp. 251–260
Traducción de los nombres vernáculos ingleses de animales en los textos de divulgacion científica
Title: Problems and strategies in the translating English common names for animals in scientific texts for non-specialists. Common, non-scientific, names for animals make up an important part of the terminology used in scientific texts for non-specialists in English. This is due to both the genre’s thematic orientation toward nature as well as to the wide variety of common names available to the English language which is, in turn, partly a consequence of the long-standing English tradition of amateur and specialist study of fauna which has led to the coining of a great number of artificial, non-scientific animal names. After briefly explaining the basics of taxonomic naming and vernacular zoonymy, this paper goes on to discuss the problems which arise when translating such animal names into Spanish. Bearing in mind a series of translation errors detected in the Spanish version of several articles taken from newspapers, Scientific American and National Geographic Magazine, a number of translation strategies are proposed in order to overcome three main following problems: 1. the fact that bilingual English-Spanish dictionaries fail to include many common names for animals; 2. the frequent absence of scientific names to accompany their popular equivalents in English texts for non-specialists; and 3. the frequent lack of a popular Spanish equivalent for the corresponding common name in English.
Published online: 08 December 2000