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By M. Martin O'Shea

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A similar point is made by Olohan, suggesting that the research imbalance continues to the present day: In spite of its centrality within the profession, the activity of translating in scientific and technical fields has been rather neglected by translation scholars, if one compares it with the insights which have been gained from theorizing and analysing the translation of canonical literary and religious texts. (Olohan 2013: 425) The delineation of what is understood as ‘technical’ or ‘specialised’ translation – and indeed the scope of ‘translation’ itself – is, of course, open to interpretation.

The importance of linguistic decisions for the translator at the microlinguistic level can be illustrated by the use of certain phrases in French court judgments. The phrase attendu que (‘given that’) signals the arguments of the parties in the case and of the decisions of the higher courts, whereas a parallel set phrase, considérant que (also ‘given that’), signals the arguments from a lower court (de Leo 2011). Authors of such texts – that is, judges – are, as expert professionals in their discourse community, clearly aware of such requirements.

Secondly, terminology, whilst being in many ways the most salient marker of LSP texts, is by no means the only one (see, for instance, Scarpa 2010: 24, 25, 57)24: as Scarpa points out, if the only difference between LSPs and LGP (Language for General Purposes) were lexical, we could not account for all the other contextual and situational variations which are manifest in scitech LSP texts (2010: 13). The same can also be said to apply to other LSP texts. Let us briefly consider some ways in which LSP texts differ from general-language texts beyond the lexical (see, for instance, Stolze 1999: 21–4; Scarpa 2010: 35–59), before returning in more detail to the issue of terminology.

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