Research Articles

Sharing knowledge without borders: Collaboration between U.S. business and law students and Spanish translation students




English, Spanish, collaborative interdisciplinary project, peer teamwork, encyclopedic knowledge, virtual exchange project


Collaboration between technical and professional (TP) writers in English as a second language is important for successful communication. This is evident in legal documents in both English and Spanish, where accuracy and clarity are paramount. However, achieving this is challenging because law students often lack effective writing tools, and translation students may lack the required encyclopedic knowledge. The present paper describes a co-designed exchange project between U.S. students in business and law and students of legal translation at a university in Spain. This paper aims to determine potential improvements in students’ encyclopedic and conceptual knowledge of this specialized language and their translation performance after the collaboration intervention. To evaluate these aspects, three textual items were targeted: terminological, nominal and, what we call, substitutional density. Our results indicate that peer collaboration helped Spanish students acquire encyclopedic knowledge in the field and avoid repetitive terms in their translations, leading to greater textual cohesion through the use of general language, synonyms and hypernyms. Other aspects of this peer collaboration as well as follow-up approaches to consolidate the observed effects are needed.

Author Biographies

Belén López-Arroyo, Universidad de Valladolid

Belén López-Arroyo is an Associate Professor in ESP at the University of Valladolid (Spain). Her research interests include Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis, Lexicography and Terminology, Contrastive Analysis and Specialized Translation. She is author of several articles and books related to contrastive analysis of scientific and professional genres and its implication for translation. 

Isabel Pizarro-Sánchez, Universidad de Valladolid

Isabel Pizarro-Sánchez is an Associate Professor at the Department of English Studies at the University of Valladolid (Spain). Her current research focuses on corpus-based contrastive studies and their applications in Discourse Analysis, Terminology, and specialized Translation. She has written on business genres and a monograph on their translation.

Leticia Moreno-Pérez, Universidad de Valladolid

Leticia Moreno-Pérez has combined her academic work at the University of Valladolid (Spain) with professional translation and language training in the business sector. Her research focuses on specialized language and its translation from a functional approach through corpus-based studies, specifically in the field of legal and business translation.