L2 translation practice in Spain: Report on a survey of professional translators

Sara Horcas-Rufián


Recent research has shown that L2 translation —translation from the first language (L1) into the second language (L2)— is a regular practice in many countries where languages of limited diffusion are used. But is L2 translation an unusual task in major-language cultures? Is there an L2 translation market for these languages? This paper aims to report on a survey-based study that explores current L2 translation practice in Spain: a survey of over 200 L1-Spanish translators was conducted to gather information about their professional practice and their attitudes regarding directionality. Data collection method used consisted of a web-based questionnaire partially based on Roiss (2001) and administered directly on an Internet site. Multi-modal methods of survey advertising and recruitment of respondents were used. Preliminary findings show that over 75% of translators, to a greater or lesser extent, engage in L2 translation, and that almost 20% do it more than half of their time, with English being by far the most widely translated L2. Additionally, responses suggest that more than half of the translators support L2 translation education in university settings.



Directionality, translation into the second language, L2 translation, translation into non-mother tongues, inverse translation.

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