In Other Words : A Coursebook on Translation book cover
3rd Edition

In Other Words
A Coursebook on Translation

ISBN 9781138666887
Published March 5, 2018 by Routledge
390 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In Other Words has been the definitive coursebook for students studying translation for nearly three decades. Assuming no knowledge of foreign languages, it offers a practical guide based on extensive research in areas as varied as lexis, grammar, pragmatics, semiotics and ethics. It thus provides a solid basis for training a new generation of well-informed, critical students of translation.

Drawing on linguistic theory and social semiotics, the third edition of this best-selling text guides trainee translators through the variety of decisions they will have to make throughout their career. Each chapter offers an explanation of key concepts, identifies potential sources of translation difficulties related to those concepts and illustrates various strategies for resolving these difficulties. Authentic examples of translated texts from a wide variety of languages and genres are examined, and practical exercises and further reading are included at the end of each chapter.

The third edition has been fully revised to reflect recent developments in the field and includes a new chapter that engages with the interplay between verbal and visual elements in genres as varied as children’s literature, comics, film, poetry and advertisements.

This key text remains the essential coursebook for any student of translation studies.

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of tables

Preface to the second edition

Preface to the first edition



1 Introduction

1.1 About the organization of this book

1.2 Examples, back-translations and the languages of illustration

Suggestions for further reading


2 Equivalence at word level

2.1 The word in different languages

2.2 Lexical meaning

2.3 The problem of non-equivalence


Suggestions for further reading


3 Equivalence above word level

3.1 Collocation

3.2 Idioms and fixed expressions


Suggestions for further reading


4 Grammatical equivalence

4.1 Grammatical versus lexical categories

4.2 The diversity of grammatical categories across languages

4.3 A brief note on word order

4.4 Introducing text


Suggestions for further reading


5 Textual equivalence: thematic and information structures

5.1 A Hallidayan overview of information flow

5.2 The Prague School position on information flow: functional
sentence perspective


Suggestions for further reading

Notes 187

6 Textual equivalence: cohesion

6.1 Reference

6.2 Substitution and ellipsis

6.3 Conjunction

6.4 Lexical cohesion


Suggestions for further reading


7 Pragmatic equivalence

7.1 Coherence

7.2 Coherence and processes of interpretation: implicature

7.3 Coherence, implicature and translation strategies


Suggestions for further reading


8 Semiotic equivalence

8.1 Semiotic resources and semiotic regimes

8.2 Creative deployment of semiotic resources

8.3 Translating semiotically complex material


Suggestions for further reading


9 Beyond equivalence: ethics and morality

9.1 Ethics and morality

9.2 Professionalism, codes of ethics and the law

9.3 The ethical implications of linguistic choices

9.4 Concluding remarks


Suggestions for further reading




Name index

Language index

Subject index

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Mona Baker is Professor Emerita of Translation Studies at the University of Manchester, UK, and Director of the Shanghai Jiao Tong Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, China ( She is Founding Vice President of the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS, 2004–2015).


'This is a must-read for anyone who opts for translation and interpreting studies, regardless of their language combinations. It is informative, interesting and inspirational. The author never fails to bring new insight to the readership with each new edition, and this time it is semiotics.'

Wen Ren, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China

'In Other Words is an invaluable resource for linguistic analysis in translation studies. Mona Baker manages to strike the right balance between step-by-step explanation of increasingly complex categories of analysis, from the lexical to the pragmatic, without sacrificing academic rigour. This combination is rare and makes In Other Words the ideal textbook for degree-level study in translation studies.'

Morven Beaton-Thome, Technical University of Cologne, Germany