Conventions in localisation: A corpus study of original vs. Translated web texts.

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The crucial role of conventions in translation has been extensively recognised in Translation Studies. The localisation of digital texts entails mainly instrumental texts that need to be received as original productions in the target context of reception, and therefore, source-text conventions should in principle be replaced by those in the same target genre (Nord 1997; Gamero 2001). After a theoretical review of the notion of convention, this paper will consider whether target text conventions are actually incorporated in localised texts. For this purpose, web navigation menus were selected, as they represent the most conventional textual segments in websites (Nielsen & Tahir 2002). For the purpose of this study, a comparable corpus of navigation menus was extracted from the Spanish Comparable Web Corpus (Jiménez-Crespo 2008a). Following a descriptive study on conventional features of original Spanish corporate websites (Jiménez-Crespo 2008b), these findings were contrasted with translated texts in order to shed some light onto the role of convention in the translation products. The results of the contrastive study show that conventional terminology in Spanish websites is significantly less present in translated texts. This is explained in terms of interference from source texts conventions and the specific constraints that operate during the translation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-102
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Specialised Translation
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


  • Comparable corpus
  • Convention
  • Hypertexts
  • Localisation
  • Technical translation
  • Terminology


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