What is the use of translation studies?

What is the use of translation studies?


For those, who wish to explore different structural components of various languages across the world, it is best for them to shift their attention into translation studies. As a tool for connecting two or more worlds and removing language barriers among people from different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, translation is considered to be one of the best ways to bring a large number of individuals closer together.  Therefore, for a better understanding of this process, it is suggested that those, who wish to become experts in the field should pursue translation studies.

How do translation studies help linguists?

As an academic field of study, translation studies allow scholars to access a comprehensible definition of translation by diving into the theoretical, descriptive, and applicable aspects of this process. Since translation is not confined to a mere exchanging of one word for another and it goes beyond replacing words with their counterparts from other languages, it is important for linguists to pay a great care to this field. With the help of translation studies linguists will be able to explore syntax, pragmatics, and semantics of the language as they become aware of the process of translation.

Syntax (grammar)

All the languages around the world are composed of specific rules, which allow different instructors to simplify the process of language learning for their students. These rules are known as the syntax or in some cases as the grammar of the language, which explain how a sentence is structured and built within a specific text. In translation studies, syntax helps linguists in exploring not only the structure of their language but also the grammar of the target language. With the aid of syntax, scholars will have a better understanding of parts of speech and the way they are sequenced in a sentence.


Another important aspect of translation studies is pragmatics. This subfield of linguistics clarifies how the meaning of a word is defined by its surroundings and how a text affects the translation of different entities as a whole. A simple example of pragmatics’ effect on words can be seen in homonyms, which are words that share the same spelling and pronunciation. In the case of homonyms the meaning of the word could only be verified when they are used within the text. Pragmatics can also act as one aspect of language that requires the translator to know more about the cultural background of the written piece before translating the text.


Similar to pragmatics, semantics also deals with the meaning of the language, but what distinguishes these two aspects of linguistics is that semantics is more concerned with the meaning of a word and its synonyms. Semantics explains how each equivalent of a word is used within different contexts. One example of semantics is the word “child” and its synonym “kid”. As it can be seen in mentioned examples though both words share the same meaning, their use is bound to the extent which the text is formal. In translation studies, investigating semantics helps the translators identify the type of text at their hands.

Despite the belief that some texts are easy to translate, it is best to gain some knowledge about different dimensions of a language before diving into the world translation. Similar to other skills, mastering translation requires great practice, but prior to acquiring this skill, one needs to educate himself/herself about this field. The most common way to know about this process is the use of translation studies, which aids translators and interpreters from across the globe put syntax, pragmatics, and semantics into use as they learn more and more about both their source and target language.


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