Combining corpus and experimental studies: Insights into the reception of translated medical texts1

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This experimental study combines corpus-based translation studies (CBTS) and Cognitive TS (CTS) in order to study the reception of translated medical websites from English into Spanish in the USA. It builds upon a previous corpus study (Jiménez-Crespo and Tercedor forthcoming) based on the 40-million word TWCoMS comparable corpus (Jiménez-Crespo 2014) that identified significant differences at the lexical and register levels between translated and non-translated medical websites in the US addressed at laymen. This study concluded that Spanish translations contained significantly less Latin Greek terms (LG) and doublets, a LG term accompanied by a reformulation or explicitation, than similar non-translated medical websites produced in Mexico and Spain. This resulted in what is known as known as “register mismatch” (Pilegaard 1997), when the register of the source and target texts are inadequately different. The question that the present experimental study addresses is whether these translated texts that seem to display lower levels of specialisation and higher percentage of explicitations of medical terms are in fact more understandable and preferred by the target users of the translations in the United States, Spanish speakers. The results of the experimental study demonstrates that despite the preliminary results of the corpus study indicating that translations might be more understandable, subjects preferred by a large margin segments with reformulations of LG terms found in non-translated texts. This brings up the necessity of combining corpus and cognitive empirical studies, both aimed at production and reception, in order to expand the reaches of both subdisciplines following the recent programmatic agenda of leading scholars in CTS (i.e. Alves and Vale 2011; Muñoz 2014; Halverson 2016) already started in previous projects by the author of the paper (Jiménez-Crespo 2013b, 2016).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2-22
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Specialised Translation
Issue number28
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


  • Cognitive TS
  • Corpus-based TS
  • Medical translation
  • Reception studies
  • Web corpora

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