The American Heritage Dictionary gives three definitions of target language:,
- 1) The language into which a text written in another language is to be translated.
- 2) A language that a nonnative speaker is in the process of learning.
3) Computers The computer language, often a machine language, into which a document written in another computer language is to be translated.
In all senses also called object language.
- 1) the language into which a text is to be translated from another language. Compare source language
- 2) a language, especially a foreign language, that one is in the process of learning. Compare source language.
According to Ngrm the expression "target language" is from the '50s.
Is "target language" a colloquial or a formal/technical expression?
For instance, could a foreign student say that English is their target language meaning that they are studying English as a foreign language?
In which context is the expression most commonly used today?
- When and in what context was the expression originally used?