METM10 presentation     Thread: Promising practices

Raising genre awareness in translation: learning processes, outcomes and the link with employability

Carmen Pérez-Llantada – Zaragoza, Spain

Background: Reportedly, lack of exposure to the particular language forms, functions and rhetorical organisation conventions established by a given disciplinary community may lead to inappropriate, rhetorically ineffective, translated/edited texts in terms of genre conventions. To help postgraduate students of translation studies to avoid this shortcoming in biomedical research articles, I decided to use explicit genre-based instruction as a challenging approach to raise their awareness of two levels of textual analysis-”rhetoric and phraseology.

Purpose: To describe this genre-based approach I will first show examples of the textual models used in the course to raise students' awareness of the rhetorical and phraseological aspects of the source language texts. I will also provide examples of the translation and editing tasks that the students carried out to put into practice genre features. Finally, I will show samples of the translated/edited texts that illustrate the students' ability to bring genre and translation assumptions into play.

Results: Overall, the learning outcomes observed in the translation and editing tasks indicated that the students were able to take effective decisions and find appropriate solutions by drawing on genre-based principles (for instance, those regarding adherence to the rhetorical organisation of the information, the appropriate use of phraseology across rhetorical sections, and cross-cultural variation of hedging and writer's stance).

Recommendations: As a promising practice, raising students' awareness of genre aspects may enhance employability skills in translation. The students learn to understand research article writing in context and they also adapt the target language texts appropriately according to the standard practices of the specialised disciplinary community in which these texts are produced and received.


Carmen Pérez-Llantada has been teaching academic writing to students of Humanities for the past 10 years. At present, she also teaches translation in the Master in Translation of Specialised Texts (University of Zaragoza). Her current interests are genre-based analyses of specialised texts from both intercultural and interlinguistic perspectives.