Volume 46, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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In this study, we wish to examine official translation (termed sworn translation in Spain) from the point of view of the function and the communicative intent of documents which are the subject of this type of translation. The theoretical basis for an unusual approach to official translation is discussed;its aim is to render communication more effective. The theoretical foundations of this study lie in the functional theory of translation as formulated by Christiane Nord as well as a number of concepts from pragmatics deemed compatible with the above model. Judicial and administrative practices are also drawn upon in the discussion.Considering the process of official translation as a sequence of speech acts, as outlined by Alesandro Ferrara, this study describes the various functions within the sequence which are performed by the examples of documents examined (a British birth certificate, a U.S. birth certificate and an academic transcript from the U.S.).In applying the above approach the components of the document are analysed in relation to the addressee. Official translation fulfils a function and adapts itself to a number of conditions all different from those of the original text. The end result is that a considerable part of the information contained in the original document goes unnoticed in the translated document and even makes its understanding difficult, but the application of a strategy of omission of those elements runs counter to the perspective of the addressee (and quite often also that of the customer) and may affect its acceptability and validity.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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