Translating specialised texts: an overview of key factors involved in translator training for specialized translation

Beverly Adab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translators wishing to work on translating specialised texts are traditionally recommended to spend much time and effort acquiring specialist knowledge of the domain involved, and for some areas of specialised activity, this is clearly essential. For other types of translation-based, domain-specific of communication, however, it is possible to develop a systematic approach to the task which will allow for the production of target texts which are adequate for purpose, in a range of specialised domains, without necessarily having formal qualifications in those areas. For Esselink (2000) translation agencies, and individual clients, would tend to prefer a subject expert who also happens to have competence in one or more languages over a trained translator with a high degree of translation competence, including the ability to deal with specialised translation tasks. The problem, for the would-be translator, is persuading prospective clients that he or she is capable of this. This paper will offer an overview of the principles used to design training intended to teach trainee translators how to use a systematic approach to specialised translation, in order to extend the range of areas in which they can tackle translation, without compromising quality or reliability. This approach will be described within the context of the functionalist approach developed in particular by Reiss and Vermeer (1984), Nord (1991, 1997) inter alia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalStudia philologia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • specialised translation
  • functionalist approaches
  • domain specificity
  • adequacy
  • quality
  • corpora


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