• Recategorization = translation strategy which consists in
changing the grammatical category of the element
keeping at the same time the equivalence of meaning.
• Keep refrigerated = Conservare al fresco, conservare in
• From = mittente.
When is recategorization used?
• The syntactic structures of the source language may differ
from the syntactic structures of the target language.
Recategorization becomes advisable or mandatory when the
structures of the two languages either are different or have
different levels of frequency. The application of this strategy
results in a modulation of the text. Among other results, this
modulation can produce nominalization or denominalization.
• Nominalization = verb or adjective in the ST → noun in the TT.
• I’d rather exercise than eat too much = Preferisco l’esercizio al
troppo cibo
• Denominalization = noun in the ST → verb in
the TT:
For patrons only
= riservato ai clienti
Recategorization implies a change in
grammatical category. A more general change
is brought about by transposition, where
other elements may be changed.
Recategorization may be internal (within a
given language), or may be a result of the
passage from SL to TL.
• Non credo che verrò
• Credo che non verrò
Non penso che sia vero
Penso che non sia vero
Direi che è falso
Secondo me è falso
Recategorization in translation
No smoking → ……………….
No waiting → ……………….
No parking → ……………….
No entry → ……………….
Requests are a typical example of different attitudes
in the formulation:
• Shut the door, please
• Keep the window shut, please
• Will you please shut the window
Of course, different formulas can be used in the SL
too, what we have to take into account is their
original formulation and our approach in translation.
How do we behave when translating?
• As time goes by
Colloquial: Man mano che il tempo passa
But in case of denominalization:
• Con il passare del tempo.
Notice the function of the infinitive: con il passare
and analyze the effect it produces.
• At the end of the day
Colloquial: Alla fine del giorno/della giornata
But in case of denominalization:
• Sul finire del giorno.
Here too, analyze the effect produced by the use of the
infinitive. Is it a verb? What impression does this form
adjective+noun → noun+ suffix
use of suffixation (English→Italian)
A nasty word
A nasty look
A nasty temper
A light wind
A tiny box
A big man
Recategorization and sentence structure
• Though their life was modest they believed in
eating well
• There was no sign of Gabriel and his wife
• Gabriel glanced at her
• Listening to the skirts that swept
• It had gone off in splendid style
Recategorization and sentence structure
• For an Arab owned her
• Ne era proprietario un arabo
• As the buttons of his overcoat slipped with a
squeaking noise through the snow-stiffened frieze, a
cold fragrant air from out-of-doors escaped from the
crevices and folds.
• Via via che i bottoni uscivano scricchiolando fuor dal
tessuto, la fragranza fredda e pungente dell’aria
esterna sfuggiva dalle pieghe e dalle aperture del
e soffice
(tessuto di lana
morbido e

Recategorization - Roma Tre University