New books at a glance
Isabel García Izquierdo. Análisis textual aplicado a la traducción
Valencia: Tirant lo Blanch, 2000. 277 pp. ISBN 84-8442-053-1 EUR 17,43 (Humanidades,Filología).

Reviewed by Christiane Nord
Table of contents

    In their Licenciaturaprograms, Spanish Faculties of Translation and Interpreting offer a subject called Lingüísticaaplicada a la traducción, which may be translated by “translation-oriented linguistics” and is geared towards laying the groundwork for the translator’s text-analytical or text-producing activities during the translation process. In the first chapter of her book, Isabel García Izquierdo, a young scholar and translation teacher at the UniversitatJaume I, Castellón (Spain), tries to show that Lingüísticaaplicada a la traduccióncan be regarded as a new interdiscipline integrating applied linguistics, contrastive linguistics and (the text-oriented branch of) translation studies. The first chapter of the book is therefore dedicated to the characterization of each of these, on the one hand, and a definition of the relationship holding between them and translation-oriented linguistics, on the other. In each section, the author discusses some basic questions (e.g. the relationship between pure and applied science in general, between applied and contrastive linguistics in particular or between contrastive linguistics and error analysis), quoting a few authors and their texts (mainly in Spanish or English, some German), whose selection seems rather arbitrary at times, and providing two or three references for further reading. Such an introduction cannot but be eclectic, but at least one would expect some kind of guiding principle, be it ideological or chronological. Instead, the author hops around rather irritatingly through time, space and approaches: in the section on translation definitions, for example, she goes from Koller 1995 to Newmark 1981, then on to Wilss 1977 (in the 1982 English version), and from there to Reiss and Vermeer 1984, Snell-Hornby 1988, Neubert and Shreve 1992, and, after discussing more recent texts for a while, back to Roman Jakobson 1959 and Catford 1965. With due respect for the enormous amount of reading she has done and the great effort she is making to put all the little pieces together—student readers trying to extract from all this an idea of what translation is, might be reminded more of chaos theory than of a mosaic. Fortunately, the general bibliography at the end of the book may help reduce their bewilderment at least to a certain extent by indicating the affiliation of each work to either general linguistics, applied linguistics, contrastive linguistics, translation studies, or pragmalinguistics.

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