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Technical documentation and (technical) translation: a case study of work practices and concepts

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The paper reports on and discusses the results of a case study carried out at a medium-sized Danish Language Service Provider, which offered both technical documentation and translation on a regular basis, a new practice that lacks theoretical and empirical research. Within the field of technical communication studies (Schubert 2009), the study used contextual inquiry and qualitative organisational research methodology and showed that both managers and employees viewed the activities of technical documentation and translation as distinct activities: techncial documentation was conceptualised as a creative process of writing, while translation was conceptualised as a mainly linguistic task. While the workflows of the two activities were mostly unconnected and independent of each other, their processes became connected and interdependent when technical documentation was to be translated. Then, for instance, the technical writer would make his texts particularly suitable for translation by focusing more on linguistic and terminological consistency, and he would participate in the quality assurance of the translations. This occasional connectedness of the processes of the two activities is interesting because it verifies Schubert's (2003) Integrative Model of Specialised Communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenging Boundaries : New Approaches to Specialized Communication
EditorsHeike Elisabeth Jüngst, Lisa Link, Klaus Schubert, Christiane Zehrer
Place of publicationBerlin
PublisherFrank & Timme
Publication year2019
Pages17-37
ISBN (print)9783732905249
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesTransUeD
Volume101
ISSN1438-2636

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