Le 'document de visite': les mérites d'une sorte de texte pour la didactique de la traduction en langue de spécialité.

  • Cornelia Feyrer Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck


In the age of globalization specialized knowledge has become an integral component of our culture(s) and with the increasing specialization of technical disciplines it has also become a social necessity. The medical field is characterized by a vast interconnection and interdependence, namely internally with regard to the various specializations as well as externally as seen in the availability and marketing of medical knowledge in the public domain. Maintaining the flow of knowledge internally as well as externally is intraculturally and above all interculturally in the basic interest of society and the individual. Making medical knowledge available has thus also become an integrative component of a translator’s professional work as a communications expert. The task with which today’s translators are increasingly faced is evolving from text reproduction to new text production, a fact that today’s translation didactics must reflect. For this reason and precisely for medical translations the academic curriculum of a professional translator should include as an integrative component a didactically sound approach to text analysis and, above all, to the production of special texts if it is to prepare the translator for his role as a communications expert. This is particularly true for the field of medical translations, which as a combination of medical science and health care as a social institution embodies a very complex interaction characterized by a multiplicity of function- and situation-relevant levels of specialization and a great heterogeneity of interactors. The translator, who in this role not infrequently optimizes and localizes text, faces a very particular challenge here. Depending on the pragmatic contingencies of the translation assignment and the specifics of the actors involved therein, various and didactically interesting demands are made of the translator, who must not only transculturally and inter-linguistically effect communication in specialized fields, but must also be able to adapt to the changing conditions of the intended reception of the target text and the target public by producing a skopos-oriented adaptation and often a new version of the source text. Because of their specific text type, their function in the particular context and above all through the characteristics of the interaction partners, pharmaceutical visiting documents are, also didactically, interesting for analysis and processing in a translation-relevant context. The translator plays here a very special role as a language and culture expert who is called upon to adapt his product to the intended purpose and the specifics of the cultural environment in which his translation is intended to function. For this reason the following contribution shall examine the visiting document in its relevance for translation didactics.