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cita SPA Escopo


origen  origins

The term Skopos was introduced by Vermeer (1979: 100) to refer to the purpose of a translation as the main factor guiding the translation process. It comes from the Greek σκοπός, which means, among other things, “aim”, “purpose”.

origen  other names

The terms “functionalism” and “functionalist theories” are sometimes used as synonyms for “skopos theory”, although the former encompass several approaches, including, above all, skopos theory and the theory of translational action of Holz-Mänttäri (1984).


resumen  abstract

Skopos theory was developed in Germany in the late 1970s by Hans J. Vermeer. It is a deductive approach to translation and interpreting based mainly on action theory and cultural anthropology.

In 1989, Vermeer defined his approach as part of a theory of "translational action" (which included translation and interpreting), first formulated by Holz-Mänttäri in 1984. The term skopos refers to the aim or purpose of a translation, and skopos theory was summarized by Vermeer (Reiß and Vermeer 1984) in a few axiomatic rules:

  • By definition, any action has a purpose.
  • Translating is an action.
  • Every translation has a purpose (a skopos).
  • The skopos of a translation depends on its addressees.
  • The skopos is the most important factor determining the translator's decisions and the final form of the translatum (the outcome of translational action).


This entry sketches the development of skopos theory from its inception in the German-speaking academic community in the late 1970s to its wider dissemination and recognition in the international domain in the past three decades. It situates the evolution of skopos theory in the broader context of translation and interpreting studies, highlighting its innovative aspects in relation to more traditional views and the criticisms it raised concerning the definition of translation and the epistemological status of the theory. In this context, it discusses the concept of culture of skopos theory and approaches its ethical dimension and the concept of loyalty introduced by Christiane Nord. Finally, the entry also deals with the influence of skopos theory on translation and interpreting didactics and sketches its application on interpreting.


ficha   record

autor Celia Martín de León
fecha de publicación 2022
referencia (cómo citar) Martín de León, Celia. 2022. "Skopos" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.
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