Applied translation studies and beyond. A socio-historical perspective on a changing discipline

Margherita Ulrych, Simona Anselmi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


According to James Holmes’ tripartite map of the discipline of translation studies, theoretical translation studies (ThTS), descriptive translation studies (DTS) and applied translation studies (ATS) are highly interdependent and complementary branches. However, since the 1970s the main innovations in translation research have emerged from the descriptive strand, with comparatively few advances being made in applied studies. The aim of this paper is to redress the balance between the pure and applied branches and to explore the potential of ATS in synergy with DTS. First the methodology and the socio-historical approach of DTS are illustrated to demonstrate how it might contribute, or is already contributing to ATS, as in the area of computerised corpus-based studies. Then the state-of-the-art of ATS is examined to study the repercussions of functionalist and corpus-based linguistic approaches to translations on the main domains of ATS, namely translation criticism and the teaching of translation. In the final part of the article the methodology and the initial findings of our corpus-based research on mediated discourse are reported to show how the empirical studies of texts through translationally-designed corpora can be used to bring the applied and descriptive perspective of translation studies even closer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThou Sittest at Another Boke. English Studies in Honour of Domenico Pezzini
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Corpora traduttivi computerizzati
  • Didattica della traduzione
  • Traduzione
  • Translation
  • Translation pedagogy
  • Translation studies
  • Translational computerised corpora


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