The relevance of scientific and technical translation to the applied branches of translation studies, i.e. professional translation, translation quality assessment and translation teaching, and the pivotal part it has played in the dissemination of knowledge throughout the centuries, has also brought about a more in-depth consideration of this translation mode in the theoretical/descriptive branches of the discipline. Though this has led to some new and valuable insights (e.g. Olohan/Salama-Carr 2011), scientific and technical translation still remains a largely under-researched field from both a synchronic and a diachronic point of view.
From a synchronic point of view, there is a dearth of studies dealing with specific aspects of STT on a text-in-context basis that could provide new insights into translational phenomena, and patterns or regularities. The findings of such studies could feed directly into the applied branches of STT and help meet the expectations of the scientific and technical discourse communities and the increasingly stringent national and international quality requirements of the translation product. In this context, the use of high-quality scientific and technical translation corpora as empirical tools both in research and in the training of translators may help us meet these quality demands.
From a diachronic point of view, further research into the history of translation will contribute to shedding light on the epistemological, narrative and ideological shifts encountered in the dissemination of scientific knowledge and their consequences, such as the reconceptualization of a particular discipline via translation. In addition, sociological approaches to STT have emphasized aspects of rhetoric, ideology, ethics and translator’s agency in the analysis of translated scientific discourse, pointing to the potential long-term consequences of linguistic dominance for the mental representation of knowledge and translation. The panel invites contributions which encompass, but are not limited to, the following:
- Theoretical and methodological approaches to STT
- Contrastive and corpus-based studies related to specific aspects of STT, such as research into:
- Terminology, syntax, lexis, register, text type and genre conventions, etc. and into
- Translational phenomena, such as explicitation and implicitation
- The relevance of domain knowledge in STT
- The interplay between linguistic and extra-linguistic factors in STT
- The didactics of STT
- STT quality assessement
- Cognitive aspects of STT, such as:
- The influence of translation tools on the translator and the ST translation process
- Language contact and STT, e.g. the influence of English as a lingua franca in the discourse of science and its impact on STT
- Ideological aspects of STT relating to the interaction between power and the construction of scientific knowledge
- Investigations into historical and sociological perspectives on scientific ideas and the transmission of knowledge through translation