Rethinking Translationese and Translation Universals: Insights from Corpus-based Translation Studies

Xiaoli Yang, Dechao Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


In recent decades, with the advent of corpus-based translation studies, increasing attention has been paid to the concepts of “translationese” and “translation universals”, whose definitions often overlap and cause controversy especially among translation scholars in China. By reviewing the recent developments in research concerning these two concepts as well as outlining the possible corpus-based approaches to study them, this chapter discusses the continuum features of “translationese” and their relationship with “translation universals” to highlight their significance for the study of peculiar features of translation language. It is further suggested that the term “translationese” could be translated as “特征译语 (tèzhēng yìyǔ)” (translation-specific language) rather than “翻译腔 (fanyiqiang)” in Chinese to highlight its descriptive and neutral nature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTerminology Translation in Chinese Contexts: Theory and Practice
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

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