Dealing with Inverse Translation: Word Order in Spanish L1-English L2 Translated Texts




inverse translation, Spanish L1, English L2, word order, discourse


The aim of this article is to focus on the arrangement of words in phrase, clause and sentence structures in English discourse and its importance in achieving successful communication, for example, when doing inverse translation. Positioning syntax is considered as a contributing factor in the construction of expression of meaning in coherent and unified pieces of translated discourse. After several years of teaching inverse translation (Spanish-English) to proficient English L2 students, I have observed that for them mastering word order in Spanish L1-English L2 translated texts is extremely challenging and more complex than is often presumed; bringing awareness of this into the classroom is worthwhile. One of the main obstacles students must overcome when producing discourse in English is that of L1 interference; misapplication of the descriptive rules of word order in their own, or any other, language, will lead to stumbling blocks in the process of communication. By providing carefully selected samples of language for analysis, together with clear explanations, this article attempts to offer a practical approach to dealing with this aspect of grammar. For the purposes of illustration, Spanish, the source language in the examples included in the study, has been used for comparative reference.


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How to Cite

Rodriguez-Murphy, E. (2023). Dealing with Inverse Translation: Word Order in Spanish L1-English L2 Translated Texts. Moderna Språk, 117(1), 1–19.



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