Dictionnaires de traduction pour traducteurs: état actuel et perspectives futures

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Dictionaries for translation should be conceptualised as lexicographic information tools that are specifically designed to satisfy the information needs of translators in different translation situations throughout the translation process. Leaving out for now the discussion on how translation should really be understood and defined, as scholars in modern translation studies have recently broadened its conceptual features, translation can be seen as a complex communicative and cognitive process involving different sub-processes and tasks, including research prior to translation, reception, transfer, (re)production, revision and post-editing. What are the information needs involved in these processes, and particularly, what are the communicative needs and cognitive needs? Also, translators make up a heterogeneous user-group including translation students, professional translators, and non-professional translators. Finally several variables should be taken into consideration, such as distinctions between translators working on non-specialised texts as opposed to translators working on specialised texts, translation direction, native language, choice of information technology. All these questions and variables raise a major lexicographic challenge: should an ideal dictionary for translation be designed as an autonomous, polyfunctional, standing-alone lexicographic resource, or should it be designed as a collection of interrelated, specific information resources such as collocation dictionaries, thesauruses, corpora of parallel texts, knowledge bases etc. Is it possible to tailor the lexicographic tool to the needs of the individual translator in a given, specific translation situation?
This high conceptual complexity explains why dictionaries for translation have been the subject of a great number of lexicographic studies both in theory and practice, including studies of access types, data selection and structuring, data compilation and presentation, user-profiling, dictionary typology etc., as well as studies of effectiveness of different types of translation dictionaries in various usage situations (Fuertes-Olivera 2012 and 2013; Fuertes-Olivera/Tarp 2014, Leroyer 2010 and 2011; Nielsen 2010; Pastor and Alcina 2010; Tarp 2013, just to name a few). The focus of this paper will lie in a critical discussion of the concepts of Dictionaries for Translation and Information needs of translators. After a brief overview of the most influential theoretical positions in lexicography and their consequences for dictionary making in the field of translation at present, the paper will discuss last-generation translation dictionaries and perspectives for the future.

Fuertes-Olivera, P. (2012) Online Dictionaries for Assisting Translators of Lsp Texts: The Accounting Dictionaries. International Journal of Lexicography 25 (2), 191-215.
Fuertes-Olivera, P. and S. Tarp (2014) The theory and Practice of Specialised Online Dictionaries. Lexicographica Series Maior. De Gruyter.
Leroyer, P., M.-C. L'Homme and B. Robichaud (2010) Advanced Encoding for Multilingual Access in a Terminological Data Base: A Matter of Balance. In Ú Bhreathnach and F. De Barra Cusack (eds.) Presenting Terminology and Knowledge Engineering Resources Online: Models and Challenges, pp. 33-54. Dublin: Dublin City University.
Leroyer, P. (2011) Change of Paradigm in Lexicography: From Linguistics to Information Science and from Dictionaries to Lexicographic Information Tools. In P. Fuertes-Olivera, and H. Bergenholtz (eds.) e-Lexicography: The Internet, Digital Initiatives and Lexicography, pp. 121-40. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Nielsen, S. (2010) Specialised Translation Dictionaries for Learners.In P. Fuertes-Olivera (ed.) Specialised Dictionaries for Learners, pp. 69-82. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Pastor, V, and A. Alcina, A. (2010) Search Techniques in Electronic Dictionaries: A classification for translators. International Journal of Lexicography, 8-2010, 307-354.
Tarp, S. (2013) How Can Dictionaries Assist Translators? In C. Sin-wai (ed.) Translation and Bilingual Dictionaries. Lexicographica Series Maior. De Gruyter.

Keywords: Function Theory, Specialised Translation, Bilingual Dictionaires, Specialised Dictionaries, Online Dictionnaires, Translator Profiles, Needs for Information, Translation Phases, Translation Processes, Equivalence, Real Estate Dictionary
Original languageEnglish
Publication date8 Apr 2016
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016
EventVIth Latin American Translation and Interpretation Congress - Palais Rouge, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 21 Apr 201624 Apr 2016


ConferenceVIth Latin American Translation and Interpretation Congress
LocationPalais Rouge
CityBuenos Aires


  • Lexicography for translators
  • Translation studies
  • Dictdionaries of translation


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