Issues in Translation as a Multidisciplinary Field

Vincent M. Chanda


The paper argues and shows, like many other scholars, that translation is a branch of linguistics but is multidisciplinary, as a translator must have not only pure linguistic   competence in the source language (SL) and the target language (TL), but also adequate competence in other fields, depending on what is to be translated. While translation is a branch of linguistics, it falls under macrolinguistics as it goes beyond pure linguistics. To capture the multidisciplinary nature of translation, the paper divides a translator’s competence into, what the author calls (a) linguistic competence and (b) non-linguistic competence, which are dealt with in turn in Section 3 and Section 4, respectively. In dealing with former, the paper shows the scope the scope of a translator’s linguistic competence: a translator’s linguistic competence is not only in terms the grammatical and lexical competence in the source language (SL) and the target language (TL) includes the knowledge of other things such conventions adopted by organizations and institutions involved in the SL and the TL. After a detailed discussion of non-linguistic competence, the paper concludes that ‘A comprehensive translation teaching programme should, of necessity offer not only courses in pure linguistics but also in other disciplines.


Interpretation, Linguistic competence, Multidisciplinary, Non-linguistic competence, Source language, Target language, Translation

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