Is English as a Lingua Franca Translation’s Defining Moment?
University of Geneva, Switzerland
ByLance Hewson
Pages 22

Key words: English as a Lingua Franca, Translational choices, Translational competence, Accuracy, Translator training.


It was undoubtedly inevitable that the academic debate surrounding English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) should spill over into the field of translation studies and give rise to speculations about how translation theory might accommodate this phenomenon, and whether translator training and translation practice can (or should) adapt to changes in language use in the twenty-first century. In an article published in 2009, I set out to look at the impact of ELF on theory and practice when viewed from the perspective of the commissioner, the translator and the reader of the translation. In the present paper I shall first give an overview of the translation market and discuss how translations into ELF affect that market. I shall then address the question of ELF source texts and the difficulties that may arise when translating them. I also discuss some of the training issues that need to be explored, both in relation to the

ELF source text and, more tentatively, with regard to translating into ELF. Finally, I conclude firstly by briefly looking at how research can be broadened to cover the realities of the current translation market, and secondly by examining the possible consequences of the spread of ELF and its impact on the profession.