Corpus-based Translation Studies and the Teaching of Translation


Maciej Machniewski

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań


The aim of this paper is to present some potential applications of corpus-based studies for the teaching of translation. While in the opinion of some scholars the only legitimate objects of study are translations performed by professionals, it is believed that the inspection of the differences between the performance of trainees and professionals may on the one hand provide some useful insights into the nature of the activity of translation, and on the other some potential guidelines for translation teaching.

Another issue is the opinion that translation should ideally be performed only into the translators native language. In reality, however, the reverse also frequently takes place, mostly due to a shortage of qualified translators who are native speakers of the most popular languages and having a less popular language, such as Polish, as a working passive language. It seems that adding the realistic into-non-native translation into the research spectrum reflects what at present is the reality of translation in Poland and many other countries.

The study described in the present paper was based on corpora of translations (Polish-English and English-Polish) performed by two groups of translators (professional and trainee), all native speakers of Polish, and larger reference corpora made up of texts parallel with respect to the translations. The inspected problems included lexical convention, lexical use, cohesion- and readability-related phenomena, and (standardised) type/token ratio analysed in a cross-linguistic, translational perspective.


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