Publication details [#14089]

Mayoral Asensio, Roberto. 2007. Specialised translation: a concept in need of revision. Babel 53 (1) : 48–55.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Journal DOI


Translation activity - and associations, and fees, and courses, and events - has traditionally been classified through a horizontal (extensive) criteria in general and specialised translation, and the latter has been likewise subdivided into new modalities of translation, according to different criteria. These criteria have been horizontal (extensive) subject matter of the texts: scientific, technical, legal, economic… translation). A third approach to classifying translation is through the concept of text genre. A thorough examination of these categories in the light of what is known about translation today shows that all of them have been borrowed form other fields (knowledge science, LSP, text studies…) and applied to linguistic mediation regardless of the communicative and non-descriptive nature of the field. This mechanical borrowing produces strong discrepancies between what we learn about translation in theory and what we learn about translation in practice. General translation is a concept without correspondence in professional reality; the perception of the grade of specialization of a message has a powerful subjective component; also being strongly subjective the prescription of the belonging of a text to a particular gender. As to assigning an only and clear-cut category to the translation of a text according to its subject matter, it is an excessive simplification. Clear-cut frontiers between subject mattes of the text or between general and specialized communication simply do not exist. An effort should be made in order to prevent theoretical work form detaching from reality trough excessive oversimplification. Classification of translation should be made according to the different problems, solutions and ways of translating attached to them.
Source : Based on abstract in journal