Brave New Globalized World? Translation Studies and English as a Lingua Franca
2009, Vol. XIV-1, pp. 109-120
While “global” English is today a reality that translators have to face in their everyday work, little research has yet been done into the implications of English as a lingua franca (ELF) for translation studies. After briefly looking at academic writings on ELF per se, I propose to introduce a distinction between different levels of competence of ELF-users and to examine the role that they may play firstly as initiators, then as translators (whether translating out of or into English), and finally as readers of texts. I then turn my attention to the way in which “ordinary” translators have necessarily to develop strategies in order to deal with ELF texts. In the final part of the paper, I look at the ways in which ELF should encourage translation theorists both to question the way in which they conceive of the translation operation, and to reconsider some of the key concepts that are commonly used, in particular the relationship pertaining between a source text and its translation.