Linguistic Approaches to Translation

Kirsten Malmkjær

in The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199239306
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Linguistic Approaches to Translation

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  • Linguistics
  • Translation and Interpretation



This article covers a comprehensive range of translational phenomena that are described and explained in terms of linguistic concepts and categories. The Saussurean approach identifies three levels of language: lexis, syntax, and message. This approach draws a distinction between direct and oblique translation. The systemic functional approach establishes and explains the relationship between translation theory and linguistic theory. The Dynamic approach apart from the linguistics of translational phenomena, also honors anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, philology, and biblical hermeneutics. The Psycholinguistic approach models the translation process in a way that translators have formulated the results of their investigations using linguistic concepts and notions. The cognitive linguistic approach to translation applies to specific translational phenomena such as translation universals and translation shifts. The relevance theoretic approach reflects that translation involves communicating in two different languages, and since languages differ, the two texts involved cannot share all of their properties.

Keywords: translational phenomena; Saussurean approach; systemic functional approach; dynamic approach; psycholinguistic approach; cognitive linguistic approach; relevance theoretic approach

Article.  5760 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Translation and Interpretation

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