Developing language strategies for international companies: the contribution of translation studies

Janssens, Maddy; Lambertet, José; Steyaert, Chris
November 2004
Journal of World Business;Nov2004, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p414
Academic Journal
This article introduces translation studies in order to theorize about the ways in which international companies approach language diversity. Its purpose is to develop different language strategies relying on theoretical insights borrowed from translation studies. Inspired by historical developments in this discipline, we identify three metaphorical perspectives each with a different conception of translation and language. These perspectives are the theoretical basis on which we develop three language strategies: a mechanical, cultural and political language strategy. For each strategy, we discuss the selection of language(s), the role of translators and the validation method, and formulate proposition about the types of texts being produced. These propositions indicate that, through their international communication process, international companies become scripted as a particular type of multilingual organization, be it a uniform, a culturally specific or a hybrid text.


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