JORGE STEIN QUEZADA
MARÍA DEL PILAR LÓPEZ
Pedagogical uses of
Translation has been proposed as a means for
learning and teaching a foreign language. This
seems a reasonable proposal. It is natural for
people encountering a foreign language to relate
it to the language they already know. (People are
bound to learn a language via their own, so
translation is bound to come into it.)
Arguments against translation
• Opponents claimed that translation into the foreign language
interfered with the natural process of learning a foreign
language and corrupted its use through what was thought to
be an unnatural co-presence of the mother tongue.
• The use of translation from the foreign language as a means of
explaining the meaning of the foreign words or phrases was
also rejected because it was thought to promote mostly
passive knowledge about the foreign language, which, it was
assumed, would negatively influence any active use of it.
• Translation was also a hindrance to the desired development
of the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
• The view persisted that translation of any kind was harmful in
that the intrusion of the mother tongue necessarily interfered
with the engagement with the foreign language.
• A further opposition to translation was based on the belief
that it produced the ‘wrong’ kind of bilingualism: compound
rather than coordinate bilingualism. (compound
bilingualism, the lexicons of the two languages are said to be
stored jointly in the mind, and in coordinate bilingualism, they
are said to be kept separate.
Arguments for translation
• Employed as a teaching technique in foreign language
departments in secondary school, and particularly in tertiary
• Used widely to test students’ overall proficiency in a foreign
• Translation is the key feature in the so-called grammartranslation method.
• Translation helps in the development of proficiency by
economically and ambiguously explaining the meaning of
foreign language items.
• Translation promotes explicit knowledge about the foreign
language and helps develop awareness of differences and
similarities between the native and the foreign language
• Translation activities can be used to developed communicative
competence in a foreign language.
• Borders of translation can promote learners’ cognitivecommunicative competence and improve their awareness of
linguistic and cultural similarities and differences in L1 and
foreign language texts.
• In a covert translation, a ‘cultural filter’ is applied in order to
adapt the source text to the communicative norms of the
• The recipients may consequently fail to recognize that what
they are reading is in fact a translation.
• In recent decades, there has been a shift in translation studies
from a lisguistic to a cultural orientation.
• The ‘received view’ (a process of intercurtural change) is
epitomized in statements such as ‘one does not translate
languagesbut cultures’ or ‘translation is cultural translation’.
The nature of the translation
• The term translation is ambiguous. As a countable noun, it is
used to denote a product; as an uncountable noun, it denotes
• (Thinking aloud or introspection) used in this internal
approach is to ask translators what they are thinking while
• (Retrospection) ask translators immediately after finish
translating about difficulties, reasons for hesitations and
delay, and so on.
• Using the term process of translation, we must bear in mind
that we are dealing with a complex series of problem solving
Corpus studies in translation
• A corpus is a collection of texts, selected and compiled
according to specific criteria.
• The use of corpus methods allows us to focus on language as
it is actually used in translations and so enables us to
determine what is probable and typical in translation as a text
• Corpus methods are yseful for analysing translations as paralel
corpora (consist of a set of texts in one language and a set of
their translations into another language)
• Corpora unidirectional (they hold only originals in language A
and translations in language B)
• Corpora bidirectional (where they hold originals and
translations in both languages).
Translation and Globalization
• Globalization processes have dramatically altered the role of
translation in the modern world.
• Localization is arguably the field in which the translation needs
generated by modern information technology in global
markets are the most visible and most influenced. It lies in
• Translation is not simply a by-product of globalization, it is an
integral part of it, and without it the global capitalist
consumer-oriented economy would not have been possible.
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