Translations by Marcelo González

Translating Social Sciences / Traducir Ciencias Sociales

1.5 Translating texts in the social sciences

Though the challenges posed by texts in the social sciences may not be entirely different from those posed by texts in other non-literary areas, issues that are unique to this type of prose may exist. In discussing text types, Peter Newmark (1916-2011) states:


Between literary and non-literary texts, there is a middle stream of topics, headed by the Essay, the prime example of a genre with a non-literary subject and a literary form, which is perhaps to (sic) followed by autobiography, arts criticism, philosophy, religion, history, psychology, sociology, cultural studies—whether the words are as important as the content or how closely they should be translated will depend on how well written and serious they are.  (2004: 10)


Similarly, in referring to “scholarly translation,” Marcia Nita Doron states: “On a creative scale, it lies between the literary and the technical” (81). Consistent with the definitory parameters of Newmark and Doron would be the prose of Parenti and Crandall, as the form of their words (sometimes in quotation) is often as important as the meanings they convey, e.g., “Without the working poor, how could the leisurely rich make do?” Parenti 2007: 241; emphasis mine) and “You could no more make an agreement with them than you could nail currant jelly to a wall” (Roosevelt qtd. in Crandall 177).

Excerpted from: González, J. Marcelino. "Metaphor and Agency in the English-Spanish Translation of Texts in the Social Sciences." Melbourne: Monash University 2015.