Edited by Bassey E. Antia
[Terminology and Lexicography Research and Practice 8] 2007
► pp. 15–35
Lexical chains in technical translation
A case study in indeterminacy
This contribution examines the role of terms in establishing cohesive ties in a German technical text–a safety-critical text (instructions for use) in the medical field–and its translations into English and French. It expands the notion of terms as multifunctional elements contributing to the “texture” of written communication on the one hand, and performing a referential function with respect to a highly-constrained specialist domain on the other hand. Both intralingual and interlingual aspects of variation are explored, revealing tensions and complex lexical interrelations which suggest a degree of indeterminacy in lexical relations, understood here as lexical choice exercised by the translator but against a background of considerable stability.
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