Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Probe into Translation Strategies of Tech English Neologism in Petroleum Engineering Field

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Probe into Translation Strategies of Tech English Neologism in Petroleum Engineering Field

Article excerpt


As a variety of English for Special Purposes (ESP), petroleum English has its distinctive features. Through a close examination of petroleum English characteristics as well as plenty of translation examples, this paper focuses on the translation of tech English neologism in petroleum engineering field, and provides some appropriate translation strategies.

Key words: Tech English neologism; Petroleum English; Translation strategies

Liu, H. (2014). A Probe Into Translation Strategies of Tech English Neologism in Petroleum Engineering Field. Studies in Literature and Language, 9(1), 33-37. Available from: DOI:

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)


Petroleum, as an extremely important strategic material, is related to a country's economic lifeline. Thus, many countries invest large amount of money on the research and development of petroleum science and technology, which in turn directly leads to the emergence of interdisciplinary and cross disciplines, and at the same time numerous petroleum neologisms as well. The subjects relevant to the petroleum engineering involve geological structure, seismic lithology, non-seismic exploration method, drilling process, gas field development and production, oil field chemistry, storage & transportation, oil refining equipment, petroleum economy and computer application etc.. Apparently, petroleum science and technology is a highly comprehensive subject, and its vocabulary is all inclusive.

For example, the extensive application of the computer and information technology in the petroleum field gave birth to the oil reservoir numerical simulation technology and the reservoir description technology, and meanwhile neologisms as "matrix"(...), "grid block" (...) and "time step" (...) unavoidably enter into the petroleum engineering field. Undoubtedly, it can be estimated that with the development of petroleum technology, the vast expansion of petroleum terminologies will surely happen.

According to statistics, the new petroleum technical terminologies although occupy just about 5%-10% of the total passage of scientific articles, yet convey abundant information, and serve as the foundation of academic research papers. To some extent, petroleum English translation is the translation of technical terms. Therefore, the translation of petroleum neologisms has become a significant task. Although petroleum English terminologies still belong to the common core of the basic vocabulary of general English, in the field of petroleum science and technology, however, they have more precise meaning or definition. Special attention should be paid to the specific meaning of those terminologies while they are used in the petroleum field. In translation, the proper determination of the real meanings of the petroleum terminologies in the word context can remove the obstacle and shorten the distance which may result from the lack of understanding or even misunderstanding of the word meaning.

This paper, by studying the features of petroleum English terminology, attempts to provide some appropriate translation strategies in order to promote the standardization of the translation of petroleum English terminologies, especially the English neologisms.


1.1 Words With Unique and Accurate Meaning

Polysemy is a significant language phenomenon, and it appears widely in general English. But in petroleum English, terminologies are specific and accurate expressions with no figurative meanings. Especially in petroleum geology vocabulary, words regarding minerals, marine organism and geological age are highly noticeable in such features, for example:

feldspar - ...

basalt - ...

Devonian - ...

Permian - ...

carbonate - ...

trilobite - ...

Jurassic - . …

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