A multidisciplinary approach to specialized writing and translation using a genre based multilingual corpus of specialized texts.

  • Isabel García Izquierdo GENTT, Universitat Jaume I
  • Anabel Borja Albi GENTT, Universitat Jaume I


GENTT’s main focus is the multilingual study of genres in professional legal, medical and technical contexts. Its aim is to identify genre conventions by means of a hypothetical deductive approach using corpus technologies. The project has focused on compiling a multilingual (Catalan, English, German, Spanish and French) annotated corpus of specialized discourse texts that could prove useful to translators and writers of professional texts, providing them with text models and patterns to be used as textual, conceptual, linguistic and terminological reference. The corpus design is also intended to create a knowledge management system, similar to terminological knowledge representation systems, structured around the notion of genre, for both translators and writers of professional texts (Borja, 2005). The interdisciplinary approach adopted by the GENTT research group assumes that specialized writers and translators need information of three kinds: conceptual, textual and linguistic (García and Monzó, 2004). When in possession of this information, they can progressively improve their professional competence, both linguistic and extralinguistic, using a self-taught process. This research applies an interdisciplinary approach: functional linguistics (García Izquierdo, 2000), genre analysis theory applied to specialized discourse (Borja, 2000) and sociology of professions (Monzó, 2002). The GENTT group understands the concept of genre as a product, i.e. as a successful achievement of a specific communicative purpose which is characterized by its conventionality, restrictions and typicality (Bazerman, 1999). Following Bekenkotter and Huckin (1994), we also understand genres as devices which we use to package our speech and make it a recognizable response to the demands of a given situation. But we also see genre as a process, a social construct that gradually emerges, evolves and disappears according to communicative needs (Bhatia, 2004).