A case study of the translation processes of five experienced translators in Malaysia


  • Kulwindr Kaur a/p Gurdial Singh University of Malaya
  • Kais Amir Khadim University of Malaya




experienced translators, meaning, message, text types, translation process, skopos theory


This qualitative study examines the translation processes involved in translating five kinds of documents – informative-cum-operative, political, legal, literary, and technical – by interviewing five experienced translators in Malaysia. The five interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed, and then matched against the translation processes proposed by Dolet (1997 [1540]), Nord (1991, 2002), Vinay and Darbelnet (2004 [1958]), Nida (1964), Newmark (1988), Vermeer (2004 [1989]), Bell (1991), and Darwish (2003). The findings show that the translators generally followed Darwish’s (2003) translation process and Nida’s formal and dynamic equivalence orientations, and that one of them used all of the five principles first identified by Dolet in the sixteenth century. All the interviewees agreed that they must be knowledgeable in the content that they are translating, be proficient in both languages they are working with, and know the cultures of both the source language (SL) speakers and the target language (TL) speakers in order to translate competently and naturally in the given context. They all agreed with Venuti’s ‘domestication’ approach (Venuti 1998, 2008; both discussed in Munday 2012: 218–225) and agreed with applying the skopos theory to ensure that their target readers are satisfied with their translation.

Author Biographies

Kulwindr Kaur a/p Gurdial Singh, University of Malaya

Kulwindr Kaur has a PhD in Translation, a Master’s in English as a Second Language (MESL), and a BA (Hons) in TESL. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malaya. She has published nine books, several articles in refereed journals, and five chapters in edited books. Her areas of expertise are translation studies, error analysis, and TESL. She has taught at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.

Kais Amir Khadim, University of Malaya

Kais Amir Kadhim holds an MA in Translation and a PhD in Linguistics and Translation from the University of Science Malaysia. He has published a number of articles on various translation issues, both on theory and practice in international journals, and has presented several conference papers. His latest book Style and Translation in Action is under review by the Edwin Mellen Press, of Lewiston, New York State. Besides his interest in the theoretical issues of translation, he also has special interests in fields such as political discourse of news texts, style, pragmatics, and discourse analysis.


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How to Cite

Gurdial Singh, K. K. a/p, & Khadim, K. A. (2016). A case study of the translation processes of five experienced translators in Malaysia. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 10(1), 69-85. https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.20306