Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Making the implicit explicit for successful communication: pragmatic differences between English and Spanish observable in the translation of verbs of movement

Marion Edwards



This article considers the translation of verbs of movement within texts between English and Spanish in general and includes a closer study of the English motion and manner verbs in The Fencing Master, the English translation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novel El maestro de esgrima. This study was originally sparked off by the following observation: "Spanish translators omit manner information about half of the time, whereas English translators actually add manner to the Spanish original in almost a quarter of their translations". (Slobin, 1996/99: 212). After considering relevant theoretical issues related to observations in early Translation Studies, studies within Pragmatics and finally within Cognitive Linguistics, I turn to the novel itself and focus on the differing methods employed for dealing with the verbs of movement in the translation of this novel and classify them. This article argues that Slobin's observation above can be modified as we conclude that it is for pragmatic reasons that the English translation explicitly states what is in fact implicit in the Spanish original.


Verbos de movimiento; Traducción; Pragmática; Lingüística cognitiva; Lengua inglesa; Lengua española; Pérez-Reverte, Arturo; El maestro de esgrima; The fencing master


Copyright (c) 2001 Marion Edwards

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