World knowledge in the process of translation

Schäffner, Christina (1991). World knowledge in the process of translation. Target, 3 (1), pp. 1-16.


The paper illustrates the role of world knowledge in comprehending and translating texts. A short news item, which displays world knowledge fairly implicitly in condensed lexical forms, was translated by students from English into German. It is shown that their translation strategies changed from a first draft which was rather close to the surface structure of the source text to a final version which took situational aspects, texttypological conventions and the different background knowledge of the respective addressees into account. Decisions on how much world knowledge has to be made explicit in the target text, however, must be based on the relevance principle. Consequences for teaching and for the notions of semantic knowledge and world knowledge are discussed.

Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > German
Languages & Social Sciences > Translation Studies research group
Languages & Social Sciences > Languages and translation studies research group
Uncontrolled Keywords: world knowledge,comprehension,translation,texts,condensed lexical forms,English,German,translation strategies,surface structure,source text,situational aspects,texttypological conventions,background knowledge
Published Date: 1991
Authors: Schäffner, Christina


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