Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1486



This paper examines how translation trainees deal with verb-noun terminological collocations when translating a legal text into their L2. The learner data is juxtaposed with professional translations of the same text and comparable non-translated documents. The results indicate that a large proportion of learner renditions is attested in the reference corpora. There is also a relatively high convergence between learners’ and experts’ choices and symmetrical variability. Unattested and inadequate equivalents demonstrate a large variability and low frequency of individual items, which suggests a lack of systematic patterns in mistranslations. The inadequacy of learner solutions is mainly caused by the choice of a collocate and results in information transfer and naturalness errors, with the former being more idiosyncratic and the latter more recurrent. In conclusion, we argue for viewing L2 collocational competence through the lens of genre requirements and professional practice rather than dichotomous categories of nativelike and non-nativelike collocations.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Altenberg, B.
    (1998) On the phraseology of spoken English: The evidence of recurrent word-combinations. InA. P. Cowie (Ed.), Phraseology: Theory, analysis and applications (pp.101–122). Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, M.
    (1996) Corpus-based translation studies: the challenges that lie ahead. InL. H. Somers (Ed.), Terminology, LSP and translation: Studies in language engineering in honour of Juan C. Sager (pp.175–186). John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.18.17bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.18.17bak [Google Scholar]
  3. Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E.
    (1999) Longman grammar of spoken and written English. Pearson Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Biel, Ł.
    (2010) The textual fit of legal translations: focus on collocations in translator training. InŁ. Bogucki (Ed.), Teaching translation and interpreting: Challenges and practices (pp.25–39). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. (2014a) Lost in the Eurofog. The Textual Fit of Translated Law. Peter Lang. 10.3726/978‑3‑653‑03986‑3
    https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-653-03986-3 [Google Scholar]
  6. (2014b) Phraseology in legal translation: A corpus-based analysis of textual mapping in EU law. InL. Cheng, K. Kui Sin, & A. Wagner (Eds.), The Ashgate Handbook of Legal Translation (pp.177–192). Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2017) Enhancing the communicative dimension of legal translation: comparable corpora in the research-informed classroom. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 11(4), 316–336. 10.1080/1750399X.2017.1359761
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2017.1359761 [Google Scholar]
  8. Biel, Ł., Biernacka, A., & Jopek-Bosiacka, A.
    (2018) Collocations of terms in EU competition law: A corpus analysis of EU English collocations. InS. Marino, Ł. Biel, M. Bajčić, & V. Sosoni (Eds.), Language and law: The role of language and translation in EU competition law (pp.249–274). Springer International. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑90905‑9_14
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90905-9_14 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cabré Castellví, M. T.
    (2003) Theories of terminology: Their description, prescription and explanation. Terminology, 9(2), 163–199. 10.1075/term.9.2.03cab
    https://doi.org/10.1075/term.9.2.03cab [Google Scholar]
  10. Duběda, T., & Obdržálková, V.
    (2021) Stylistic competence in L2 translation: stylometry and error analysis. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 15(2), 172–186. 10.1080/1750399X.2020.1868175
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2020.1868175 [Google Scholar]
  11. Durrant, P., & Schmitt, N.
    (2009) To what extent do native and non-native writers make use of collocations?IRAL – International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 47(2), 157–177. 10.1515/iral.2009.007
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral.2009.007 [Google Scholar]
  12. Ellis, N. C., Simpson-Vlach, R., & Maynard, C.
    (2008) Formulaic language in native and second-language speakers: Psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics and TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 41(3), 375–396. 10.1002/j.1545‑7249.2008.tb00137.x
    https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2008.tb00137.x [Google Scholar]
  13. Erman, B., & Warren, B.
    (2000) The idiom principle and the open choice principle. Text, 201, 29–62.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Giczela-Pastwa, J.
    (2021) Developing phraseological competence in L2 legal translator trainees: a proposal of a data mining technique applied in translation from an LLD into ELF. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 15(2), 187–204. 10.1080/1750399X.2020.1868177
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2020.1868177 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gouadec, D.
    (2007) Translation as a profession. John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.73
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.73 [Google Scholar]
  16. Granger, S.
    (2002) A bird’s-eye view of learner corpus research. InS. Granger, J. Hung, S. Petch-Tyson, & J. Hulstijn (Eds.), Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching (pp.3–33). John Benjamins. 10.1075/lllt.6.04gra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.6.04gra [Google Scholar]
  17. (2019) Formulaic sequences in learner corpora: Collocations and lexical bundles. InA. Siyanova-Chanturia & A. Pellicer-Sanchez (Eds.), Understanding formulaic language: A second language acquisition perspective (pp.228–247). Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Granger, S., & Paquot, M.
    (2008) Disentangling the phraseological web. InS. Granger & F. Meunier (Eds.), Phraseology: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp.27–49). John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.139.07gra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.139.07gra [Google Scholar]
  19. Heid, U.
    (2001) Collocations in sublanguage texts: Extraction from corpora. InS. E. Wright & G. Budin (Eds.), Handbook of terminology management: Application-oriented terminology management (Vol.21, pp.788–808). John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.htm2.31hei
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.htm2.31hei [Google Scholar]
  20. Hoey, M.
    (2005) Lexical priming: A new theory of words and language. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Huertas-Barros, E., & Buendía Castro, M.
    (2018) Analysing phraseological units in legal translation: Evaluation of translation errors for the English-Spanish language pair. InS. Góźdź-Roszkowski & G. Pontrandolfo (Eds.), Phraseology in legal and institutional settings: A corpus-based interdisciplinary perspective (pp.41–60). Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kilgarriff, A., Baisa, V., Bušta, J., Jakubíček, M., Kovář, V., Michelfeit, J., Rychlý, P., & Suchomel, V.
    (2014) The Sketch Engine: ten years on. Lexicography, 11, 7–36. 10.1007/s40607‑014‑0009‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s40607-014-0009-9 [Google Scholar]
  23. Kjær, A. L.
    (2007) Phrasemes in legal texts. InH. Burger, D. Dobrovol’skij, P. Kühn, & N. R. Norrick (Eds.), Phraseology/Phraseologie: An international handbook of contemporary research/Ein internationales Handbuch der zeitgenössischen Forschung (Vol.11, pp.506–516). de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. L’Homme, M.-C.
    (2000) Understanding specialized lexical combinations. Terminology. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Issues in Specialized Communication, 6(1), 89–109. 10.1075/term.6.1.06hom
    https://doi.org/10.1075/term.6.1.06hom [Google Scholar]
  25. Laufer, B., & Waldman, T.
    (2011) Verb-noun collocations in second language writing: A corpus analysis of learners’ English. Language Learning, 61(2), 647–72. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2010.00621.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00621.x [Google Scholar]
  26. Leńko-Szymańska, A.
    (2020) Assessing and defining lexical proficiency. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Lorenz, G. R.
    (1999) Adjective intensification – Learners versus native speakers: A corpus study of argumentative writing. Rodopi.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Mattila, H. E. S.
    (2006) Comparative legal linguistics. Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Mauranen, A.
    (2006) Translation universals. InK. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (2 ed., pp.93–100). Elsevier. 10.1016/B0‑08‑044854‑2/00492‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/00492-2 [Google Scholar]
  30. Meyer, I., & Mackintosh, K.
    (1994) Phraseme analysis and concept analysis: exploring a symbiotic relationship in the specialized lexicon. InW. Martin, W. Meijs, M. Moerland, E. ten Pas, P. van Sterkenburg, & P. Vossen (Eds.), Euralex 1994 Proceedings. Papers submitted to the 6th EURALEX International Congress on Lexicography in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (pp.339–348).
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Monzó Nebot, E.
    (2008) Corpus-based activities in legal translator training. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 2(2), 221–252. 10.1080/1750399X.2008.10798775
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2008.10798775 [Google Scholar]
  32. Nekrasova, T. M.
    (2009) English L1 and L2 speakers’ knowledge of lexical bundles. Language Learning, 59(3), 647–686. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2009.00520.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00520.x [Google Scholar]
  33. Nesselhauf, N.
    (2005) Collocations in a learner corpus. John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.14
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.14 [Google Scholar]
  34. Newmark, P.
    (1988) A textbook of translation. Prentice Hall.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Paquot, M.
    (2019) The phraseological dimension in interlanguage complexity research. Second Language Research, 35(1), 121–45. 10.1177/0267658317694221
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658317694221 [Google Scholar]
  36. Pawley, A., & Syder, F. H.
    (1983) Two puzzles for linguistic theory: Nativelike selection and nativelike fluency. InJ. C. Richards & R. W. Schmidt (Eds.), Language and communication (pp.191–126). Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Peters, E.
    (2016) The learning burden of collocations: The role of interlexical and intralexical factors. Language Teaching Research, 20(1), 113–138. 10.1177/1362168814568131
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814568131 [Google Scholar]
  38. Redelinghuys, K., & Kruger, H.
    (2015) Using the features of translated language to investigate translation expertise: A corpus-based study. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 20(3), 293–325. 10.1075/ijcl.20.3.02red
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.20.3.02red [Google Scholar]
  39. Šarčević, S.
    (1997) New approach to legal translation. Kluwer Law International.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Schmidt, R. W.
    (1990) The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 129–158. 10.1093/applin/11.2.129
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/11.2.129 [Google Scholar]
  41. (2001) Attention. InP. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp.3–32). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139524780.003
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524780.003 [Google Scholar]
  42. Sinclair, J.
    (1991) Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Tirkkonen-Condit, S.
    (2004) Unique items – over- or under-represented in translated language?InA. Mauranen & P. Kujamäki (Eds.), Translation Universals. Do they exist? (pp.177–194). John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.48.14tir
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.48.14tir [Google Scholar]
  44. Toury, G.
    (1995) Descriptive Translation Studies – and beyond. John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.4
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.4 [Google Scholar]
  45. Vigier-Moreno, F. J.
    (2019) Corpus-assisted translation of specialised texts into the L2. From the classroom to professional practice. trans-kom, 12(1), 90–106.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Wang, Y., & Shaw, P.
    (2008) Transfer and universality: Collocation use in advanced Chinese and Swedish learner English. ICAME Journal, 321, 201–232.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Whyatt, B., Witczak, O., & Tomczak, E.
    (2021) Information behaviour in bidirectional translators: focus on online resources. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 15(2), 154–171. 10.1080/1750399X.2020.1856023
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2020.1856023 [Google Scholar]
  48. Wray, A.
    (2002) Formulaic language and the lexicon. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511519772
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511519772 [Google Scholar]
  49. Yamashita, J., & Jiang, N.
    (2010) L1 Influence on the acquisition of L2 collocations: Japanese ESL users and EFL learners acquiring English collocations. TESOL Quarterly, 44(4). 647–68. 10.5054/tq.2010.235998
    https://doi.org/10.5054/tq.2010.235998 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error