What is interesting and also surprising is the great number of uninformed translators in the world. It is amazing how many translators are stuck in their ways and unwilling to try new techniques, new methods that might improve the way they translate. What is surprising is the number of translators who are completely unaware of the existence of the computerised corpus. A small percentage may have heard of the corpus but a large proportion of these few have no idea how to put it to use.
Put in simple terms, the corpus is a collection of appropriately sampled and annotated texts selected for a specific purpose (most often for linguistic research). It seems that the corpus still functions primarily in the domain of academia and the universities. Linguists and language scholars are sometimes unaware of the fact that corpora still have to break into the world of the nomenclature of everyday language professionals like translators and teachers.
Corpus linguistics is now a subject in its own right with corpus courses and corpus degrees being run at all the major universities. Corpus linguistics has its own textbooks, reference works and premier experts yet it still has not filtered down to the average translator. Part of the reason is the ever-present divide between language practitioners and theorists. As much as corpus linguistics is a practical subject, it is still dominated by researchers who have little to do with the practical side of language work – they are not usually professional teachers or translators. It is no surprise then that there has not been more cross-over between the two.
This means that translators with some knowledge of corpora and corpus linguistics are responsible for bridging the knowledge gap between the world of translation, translatology and translation studies and the world of corpus linguistics.