Poor Relations and Black Sheep in Translation Studies

Dominic Stewart
School for Translators and Interpreters, Forlì, University of Bologna

Abstract

The opposition of translation into the mother tongue (L1 translation) vs. translation into the foreign language (L2 translation), with its clear relationship of superiority/inferiority in translation circles, is just one of a series of binary oppositions prevalent in the literature with an apparently similar relationship. These include principally (i) target language vs. source language, and (ii) original texts vs. translated texts. This paper examines what implications such oppositions might have for the L1 translation vs. L2 translation issue, particularly within the developing field of corpus linguistics, subsequently taking a look at some L1 and L2 translations and reflecting upon their degree of acceptability or unacceptability in the light of the discussions proposed.

Table of contents

In a recent article (Stewart 1999) I offered a critical analysis of attitudes in translation studies to translation into the foreign language (hereafter L2 translation) as opposed to translation into the mother tongue (L1 translation), [ p. 206 ]reflecting upon the implications of such attitudes on a professional level, for L2 translators, and on a pedagogical level, for translator-training institutions.

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