Translation as special type of bilingual speech. Speech contact and language contact. Translation uni-versals as a special type of language contact universals. Contact induced features. Convergence – levelling up. Linguistic insecurity. Simplification – implicitation. Analytic tendency – explicitation. Purism -adherence to the norms.

The main goal of the paper is to show that there are a number of questions dealt with in translation theory which can be interpreted and studied in the framework of contact linguistics. No wonder that this is so, since the translators are bilingual persons whose speech shows the same features as that of other bilinguals, even if their language use is more conscious than that of “ordinary” bilinguals and therefore there may be substantial differences between the types of contact induced features characteristic of the two groups. Translation contact is a part of language contact in general, which is one of the most significant factors influencing language change.

The problems of universals of language contact as well as translation uni-versals show how important it is to deal with translation theory, bilingualism and contact linguistics in a uniform conceptual frame. The concepts used in contact linguistics seem suitable for describing all the relevant phenomena on the basis of uniform principles. Beside the fields of inquiry mentioned in this paper language acquisition and foreign language teaching should also be included into this description, and within contact linguistics language attrition and language shift phenomena should also be incorporated. As to the way of looking at the problems connected with language contact and translation, it seems appropriate to take the stance of the sociolinguist.