Translatology is the discipline that defines translation and interpreting studies. The “translation and interpretation” dichotomy refers to the two basic modes of transfer: via written modes (translation) and oral modes (interpretation). There is also talk of written translation and oral translation to differentiate the type of translation. The difference in the materiality of one and the other modality, as well as the greater incidence in the professional world, explains the preponderant presence of the first in the study plans and the disproportion in the number of research works dedicated to one over the other. The term “translation” has several meanings:
- It can designate the process of transferring a text —the original or source text— to a different language and cultural context, giving rise to the target or target text.
- It can also refer to the product of the transfer process.
- It also serves to refer to discipline.
The need to carry out interlinguistic (intercultural) transfer processes is explained by the anisomorphism of different languages and cultures, and the desire for communication of people who lack the corresponding linguistic-cultural knowledge. Through the intervention of translators (interpreters) communication obstacles are overcome.
The complexity and heterogeneity of the translation act is manifested, among other things, in the numerous existing translation modalities, of which the following should be highlighted:
Written translation. A written text is re-expressed in written form in another language. It is the modality that has been most investigated throughout history. It is marked by its historical character and the
Sociocultural conditioning of the original text (OT) and the translation, which explains the fact that both age and that an already translated text is translated again after a while.
Simultaneous interpretation. An oral text is immediately re-expressed orally in another language. It is the classic modality of international conferences.
Consecutive interpreting. An oral text, after being pronounced by the sender, is re-expressed orally in another language. There are submodalities: only the main ideas or the entire text can be expressed. The reproduction can be done after each sentence, after certain pauses of the speaker or after the presentation of the complete text. If the modality is bidirectional, we speak of liaison interpreting (or bilateral), that is, it translates into both the mother tongue and the foreign language. Consecutive is the characteristic modality of court interpreting.
Audiovisual translation. The two main modalities are translation for dubbing and for subtitling. In the first case, an oral text (from a written script) is translated and a written version is made in another language that will later be adapted to the oral environment. In the second case, it is the written translation, often abbreviated, of an oral text (based on a written script) that is incorporated into the audiovisual material. The appearance of new technical means (programs, some of which are freely accessible) has greatly facilitated the work of audiovisual translators (and has led to the phenomenon of fansubs, that is, the creation of subtitles by amateurs without authorization from the owners of audiovisual materials) and is contributing to the increasing implementation of this modality in the study plans of the degree (it is also one of the most popular among students).