Translators translate texts, not languages. The linguistic approaches that fail to take into account their semiotic characteristics are inadequate. It is more appropriate to maintain traductology and translation within the tradition of hermeneutics that deals with texts as cultural objects. Translation is an interpretative reworking of texts whose aim is transmission. Text semantics provides a single theoretical framework for a top-down approach to interpretation and translation. A typology of genres would benefit the practice of translation since local determinations result from generic constraints. Semantic figures and backgrounds evolve and change thus determining textual passages whose boundaries are set in the course of interpretation. It is at this local level, and irrespective of the linear order of speech or writing, that the process of translation is carried out.