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Native speakership and its influence on the concept of Competent Translator: Folk Knowledge versus Scientific Knowledge

By Úrsula Wójcik

Abstract

The present study pretends to determine how deeply the concept of nativeness is ingrained in popular belief and how it is influencing the professional market for translators. It examines how the ideas of nativeness, on the one hand, and a competent translator, on the other hand, are reshaping within academic circles, and to what extent, if any, folk knowledge on different aspects of native speakership has been modified by scientific knowledge. Following linguistic tenets regarding the concept of native speakership and competent translator presented by linguists such as Pikeday (1985), Kramsch (1997), Pokorn (1999), Bellos (2011), Watts (2012) and many more, the research focuses on the analysis of folk knowledge data obtained with a help of a brief questionnaire. The findings reveal that folk knowledge has not yet been modified by scientific knowledge. Furthermore, nativeness seems highly linked to two of the strongest language myths, the homogeneity and purity of language. These myths are responsible for some of the following beliefs: one cannot be a perfect speaker of more than one language; the first language is the one speakers are most proficient in, and native speakers are better translators. Moreover, this folk knowledge of nativeness is influencing the professional market for both teachers and translators; therefore, there is a need to counterattack those popular beliefs.\u

Topics: Filología, Traducción e interpretación, Filología inglesa, Lingüística
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:www.ucm.es:23361
Provided by: EPrints Complutense

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