Skopos Theory: Modernizing Translation Pedagogy for Learners - Research Proposal

Paper Type:  Research proposal
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1664 Words
Date:  2023-04-20


Translation pedagogy has been significantly influenced by modernism and the emergence of globalization that has created the need for learners to acquire new skills to confront the underlying challenges, and more importantly, translation (Varela-Salinas 2019). Notably, some translation tools and methodologies that are used in training students have failed to meet the expectations, and this has consequently resulted in ill-preparation in their translation career. The development of the Skopos theory has further illuminated the aspect of translation, where it focuses on keeping the equivalence between the target and source text (Varela-Salinas 2019). More significantly, Skopos theory emphasizes that any translation action should have a purpose, and it provides the translator with an in-depth understanding of what is aimed to be realized in the target text. Also, in Reiss's text-typology, she observes that translation is a communication act where the translator plays the role of a medium and facilitates the passing of a message from the source text to the target text (Varela-Salinas 2019). The study is important in illuminating how the emergence of modern technology has helped in the adoption of new approaches and methodologies that are integral in promoting effective teaching of English and translation.

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Research Questions

  • How is the development of translation pedagogy ignored in the translation field?
  • How have new pedagogical initiatives been incorporated in the field to help translation students develop?
  • What problems are faced by translators in the translation field?

Theoretical Framework

Skopos Theory

Skopos theory has proved to be an instrumental approach that is utilized in translation practice. It helps provide new insight into how the translator should handle a particular activity. Further, the theory focuses on the purpose of the translation and determines how different translation strategies and methods can be used to bring desirable results (Varela-Salinas 2019). The primary aim of the theory is premised on ensuring that equivalence is achieved between the source text and target text. More critically, Skopos theory puts into consideration the embedment of target language and culture into the translation process. Notably, a translation brief that either is in speaking or writing form is instrumental in Skopos theory as it provides the much-needed guide for translators (Varela-Salinas 2019). The existence of a translation brief often aids the translators in deciding an adequate strategy that can be implemented for the effective translation process. Hans J. Vermeer, the proponent of Skopos theory, states that the theory hardly places restrictions on the choice of translation methods that can be adopted (Varela-Salinas 2019). The key problem that underlies translation brief is limited empirical studies that have failed to ensure that adequate procedure for the Skopos theory is outlined to assist in a clear understanding for both students and translators in training.

Concept of Theory of Action

The theory of action is the key concept of Skopos theory, which involves the transition from one state to another. Further, this theory focuses on translation as a form of interaction and communicative action. Also, the theory of action entails various translation instructions that explicitly describe the target situation. Moreover, the theory envisages that the translator should ensure that the translation process is adequately executed (Varela-Salinas 2019). More significantly, the theory emphasizes on broadening of translation studies and infuses contemporary concepts that are intended to achieve desirable results. Additionally, the theory of action creates a distinction between function and intention, where intention leans on the perspective of the sender, who seeks to achieve a particular purpose with the target text. According to this theory, Skopos is guided with the rules of translation, interpretation, speaking, and writing (Varela-Salinas 2019). Equally important, the theory seeks to establish intertextual coherence between the target and source text.

Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT)

The computer-assisted translation tool (CAT) is an integral process that involves the use of software such as SDL Trados Studio that helps in reducing translation time spent by the translator (Varela-Salinas 2019). The key strength of CAT lies in its ability to resolve the text into translatable segments. Moreover, the tool is instrumental in enabling the translator to formulate writing style and terminology that are adequately followed to ensure a smooth translation process. More fundamentally, CAT guarantees prompt searching and alteration of the text's segment (Varela-Salinas 2019). Further, the tool is integral in saving the segments of the text in the translation database that is commonly referred to as the translation memory. A computer-assisted translation tool is useful to the translator as it provides in maintaining consistency, and better still guaranteeing correct terminology.

More imperatively, the tool ensures compatibility that is consistent with contemporary technology. The increased adoption of technology and the need to promote a paperless working environment has made the tool to be instrumental in the translation process (Varela-Salinas 2019). Moreover, the computer-assisted translation tool helps in enhancing the efficiency of the translation process and ensuring the existence of quality translation. Increasing CAT classes for students will undoubtedly their knowledge regarding the translation process. Furthermore, the embedment of the Skopos theory in translation can be important in enhancing the students' vocabulary and encouraging more reading and oral classes to improve their fluency and speaking skills (Varela-Salinas 2019). Additionally, the adoption of contemporary teaching approaches has helped in preparing students to immerse themselves in freelance translation, medical translation, and interpreters.

Challenges Faced by Translators

Notably, translators in the simultaneous and consecutive translation are often confronted with the problem of interpreting English American words. More often than not, translators face the challenge of analyzing the source's words and delivering to the target text into their native language. Also, the multiple processes that often accompany the translation process can be a daunting task to the translator (Varela-Salinas 2019). The process of listening and analyzing the words from the source results in limited memory efforts to reproduce the content into the audience's language. Understandably, a translator may be confronted with the challenge of translating non-native English (Varela-Salinas 2019). For instance, a similar word in both British- English and American-English can have a different meaning. The word such as "pant" in American English refers to the clothing used in covering the legs. However, the same word refers to underwear in British English, and this often results in a negative effect on the translator's performance. Further, translators always face an uphill task in delivering the message in a similar style and tone used by the speaker, and this undeniably leads to distortion of the original meaning of the message (Varela-Salinas 2019).

New Pedagogical Initiatives

New technology has significantly changed the way of communication in the modern world. Many translators have geared towards the adoption of new pedagogical initiatives that will be instrumental in improving the translation process for the students (Varela-Salinas 2019). The use of terminology databases, translation memories, and translation management programs have created a turning point for most translation students across the world. Considering the difficulties that are often faced by translation students, there is a need to ensure that new approaches are incorporated in a pedagogical system to assist in producing competent translators who would be successful in the translation field. Further, the emergence of e-learning has helped in developing a better training curriculum that is integral in expanding opportunities for translation students (Varela-Salinas 2019). Moreover, online collaborative translator training has played an instrumental role in imparting translation skills in students and facilitating interactions with the instructors. Undeniably, most translation students often face the problem of ineffective practices and lack of feedbacks that can help them in making necessary adjustments in their translation learning process. Also, some translators always fail to include vital pedagogical principles that can result in effective translation teaching (Varela-Salinas 2019).


Qualitative research has helped in providing critical data concerning the aspect of translation from university teachers, translation students, and graduates (Varela-Salinas 2019). More often than not, interviews and surveys are utilized to explore the impact of modern initiatives in pedagogical translation and the inherent challenges that have continued to impede their immersion in various fields of translation studies such as interpreters, medical translation, and freelance translation. Interviews conducted in various universities have revealed that most teachers have embraced new pedagogical initiatives that are aimed at providing new insight into the translation process to impart adequate knowledge in translation students. More imperatively, interview answers from most translation students have indicated that they have embraced modern technology, and a large sample demonstrated that they often practice e-learning that is integral in borrowing new skills and knowledge from across the world (Varela-Salinas 2019). More importantly, data from graduates has illuminated the difficulties that are experienced in the translation field and the need to infuse new pedagogical initiatives in BA programs to impart translation students with adequate information that will prepare them to be excellent professionals in the translation field.

Additionally, surveys in different translation institutions have shown a consistent pattern of different problems that have created an environment of better analysis to aid in more research work in the translation field. Further, a random survey among university teachers, translation students, and graduates have illustrated the existence of literary bias in language teaching, and the need to do an overhaul of the traditional curriculum to translation training among the students (Varela-Salinas 2019). More significantly, proper analysis of translation work from students demonstrated that the infusion of modern technology in translation pedagogy would be instrumental in increasing students' engagement.


The methods used in the research would be qualitative, that is, through interviews and surveys. The use of interviews was integral in getting first-hand information regarding issues in the translation field (Varela-Salinas 2019). Moreover, surveys were part of the main data collection methods that gave a better insight into different pedagogical initiatives. Equally important, the confidentiality of participants was protected, and the results obtained were subjected through a thorough analysis to establish their veracity (Varela-Salinas 2019). Additionally, the rigorous process was conducted in selecting participants to ensure that the information received is consistent with the expected results. Furthermore, unstructured interviews guaranteed flexibility of the process, and this created the much-needed environment for making conclusions regarding the responses. To ensure that the objectives of the research are achieved, the involvement of surveys was integral as it ex...

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Skopos Theory: Modernizing Translation Pedagogy for Learners - Research Proposal. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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