Developing awareness of interference errors in translation. An English-Spanish pilot study in popular science and audiovisual transcripts


The use of astronomy discourse in the form of written and web/audiovisual texts has been gaining ground in undergraduate courses of specialized translation. These materials have been used at the University of León for the last four years during the last semester of the degree Filología Moderna: Inglés, as part of the course Traducción inglés -español II, basically geared towards awareness raising of translation problems and solutions available. The aim of this paper is twofold: a) to show the main differences between the language of astronomy in different genres (Stolze 2009; Byrne 2012; Tessuto, Bait 2017) in English and in audiovisual texts (Díaz Cintas, Remael 2007; Chaume 2012) in English and Spanish and b) to show which linguistic areas are more problematic for undergraduate students, e.g. types of technical dialects, nominalization chains, metaphoric language, among others (Rabadán 1991; Shuttleworth 2014). We will use two small comparable subcorpora of written research articles and popular science, and an audiovisual corpus of popular science in order to identify a) similarities and differences at different levels and b) a hierarchy of relevance. Our taxonomy will include linguistic, cultural, genre-based, and semiotic problems and their linguistic manifestations. We will also use an En-Es parallel corpus (Gutiérrez Lanza 2011) which will include the originals mentioned above and the translations made by undergraduate students during this period. They will be compared with a “standard” target text in order to identify which features are more problematic in English-Spanish transfer. The results will be collated both statistically and qualitatively so as to produce a tagset of errors to be applied to learners’ corpora. The procedure is replicable for other domains, genres, and language pairs. These corpus-based data En-Es will be used to produce language pair focused training materials (López-Rodríguez, Tercedor-Sánchez 2008; Rabadán 2010).

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v40p379

Keywords: interference, translation error, astronomy, popular science, audiovisual transcripts


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