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Language and Cultural Contact in the Caribbean
Volume Editors: Glenda-Alicia Leung and Miki Loschky
Temporal and Geographical Dynamics of Theorization
Volume Editors: Luc van Doorslaer and Ton Naaijkens
In The Situatedness of Translation Studies, Luc van Doorslaer and Ton Naaijkens critically reassess some outdated views about Translation Studies, and demonstrate that translation theory is far more diverse than its usual representation as a Western scholarly tradition arising from the 1970s onwards. They present ten chapters about lesser-known conceptualizations of translation and translation theory in various cultural contexts, such as Chinese, Estonian, Greek, Russian and Ukrainian. This book shows that so-called ‘modern’ arguments about translation practice encompassing much more than a linguistic phenomenon, can, in fact, be dated back and connected to several precursors, such as semiotics or transfer theory. In doing so, it theorizes and localizes discussions about perceptions of translation and Translation Studies as a discipline.

Contributors: Yves Gambier, Iryna Odrekhivska, Elin Sütiste & Silvi Salupere, Shaul Levin, Feng Cui, Natalia Kamovnikova, Anastasia Shakhova, George Floros & Simos Grammenidis, Anne Lange, Luc van Doorslaer & Ton Naaijkens.
The relationship between language and identity is a complex topic everywhere in the world, but maybe it is even more crucial for those people living in the Balkans who speak a Romance variety. This volume is the result of a project started by the Balkan History Association, and brings together scholars trained in social sciences and humanities to offer the reader a thorough sociolinguistic and anthropological account of this region. It constitutes a contribution to a reformulation of methodological and analytical issues, providing a better insight in the linguistic and geopolitical processes taking place in the area.
Contributors are Michael Studemund-Halévy, Cătălin Mamali, Anna-Christine Weirich, Ewa Nowicka, Daniela-Carmen Stoica, Mircea Măran, Zvjezdana Vrzić, and Monica Huțanu.
Author: Yves Gambier

Abstract

The movement of theories belongs both to the history and the sociology of disciplines, especially to their institutionalization. Epistemology should also be added here, though sometimes disguised as the History of Ideas, sometimes labelled as the Philosophy of Science. One of the major paradoxes, or even contradictions, in translation studies (TS) seems to be the double bind of opening borders and establishing limits—hence the simultaneous struggle for interdisciplinarity and for hyper-specialized compartmentalization. The field has yet to acknowledge the fragmented nature of its origins, traditions and filiations. To date, the dissemination of TS, along with its different paradigms and approaches, has become visible through certain concepts such as “age, turn, meme, and model” among other ways. This paper examines certain conditions underlying the development of a historiography of TS. In particular, it insists on the relevance of a media history of translation.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies

Abstract

Translation studies as an academic discipline in its own right have only emerged in the Greek-speaking world over the past decades. Despite the recent emergence, sufficient time has passed for an attempt to take stock of the directions into which translation studies in Greece and Cyprus is now developing. The main aim of this paper is to explore the epistemological profile of translation studies in Greece and Cyprus. The examination of the Greek context as a ‘peripheral’ one might offer interesting insights into the processes by which translation knowledge is distributed and diffused, but also into the ways new translation knowledge is positioned against the existing situation. In order to sketch the epistemological profile of translation studies in Greece (TS in Greece), a corpus-based approach was adopted to analyze two sets of data by using the classic framework by Holmes (1988[1972]) and Gile’s scientometric method (2000; 2006). The findings suggest that TS in Greece are, for the time being, mainly descriptively oriented and that the adoption of mainly western theoretical discourses in the last two decades has led to a reconsideration and re-interpretation not so much of the concepts and methodologies which were ‘imported’, but mainly of the very own local tradition.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies

Abstract

The article studies the development of the Russian-language Soviet translation scholarship in the twentieth century against the background of the political climate and social practices in the Soviet Union. The initial attempt to create a translation theory in the Soviet Union was made with an eye to the existing literary translation practices, which evolved under the influence of socially determined factors, including general orientation of arts and science towards education, the universally implanted principle of primacy of practice over theory, and the requirements of the Socialist realism. The focus on practice created favorable conditions for the application of comparative methodology to the study of existing translations and the wide spread of translation criticism. The groundbreaking work of Andrei Fedorov put linguistics in the focus of translation research and became a turning point in the development of the translation theory. The elevated interest of researchers to the translation theory continued to co-exist with the social requirements, such as the overtly imposed mandatory linkage of theory and practice and the covertly desired methodological orientation of translation studies.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies
Author: Shaul Levin

Abstract

Even-Zohar’s 1981 call for transfer theory as a general framework for dealing with translation has been scarcely addressed and not yet answered. Part I of this paper offers a critical reading of four investigations into the relationship between translation and transfer carried out by Rachel Weissbrod (2004, 2010), Susanne Göpferich (2007), and Lieven D’hulst (2012). Strongly connected with Even-Zohar’s theorization, the concepts of transfer employed by these scholars exhibit a sharp distinction between a Jakobsonian understanding of transfer and a socio-cultural one, potentially blurring the conceptualization of these relations in the discipline. Part II turns to Anthony Pym’s (1992) markedly different understanding of transfer, and systematic conceptualization of its relations with translation as one of its possible responses. Part III suggests that combining previous insights with knowledge acquired outside of translation studies may lead at long last to a fruitful formulation of a general theory of transfer. Following Pym’s categories, it is suggested that relations between transfer and its various forms can all be conceptualized along causal, economic, semiotic, epistemological—and functional—terms. Incorporating notions of temporality and continuity is also urged, and recontextualization identified as a universal characteristic of transfer processes.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies

Abstract

Any research in translation historiography presents a methodological problem: in studying or re-considering theoretical concepts of the past, the scholar inevitably ‘translates’ them from the present perspective (i.e., from the premises of one’s current scholarship), an approach that postulates a “double historicity”. On the one hand, the present context of increased institutionalization and social organization of TS stimulates and justifies meta-reflection on different traditions of translation theorization as systematic constructs, framed in their ‘chronotope’. On the other hand, extensive accentuation of national or geographical inquiries in translation historiography without adequately linking them to global debate marginalizes and even simplifies conceptual problematization and research programs developed therein. This chapter aims to foreground the historiosophy of translation, by focusing on complex, relational interpretation of reasoning and change in translation theorization and the ontological, epistemological and methodological premises of a certain disciplinary tradition. Thematic analysis of science with its key notion of ‘themata’, advocated by Gerald Holton, appears to be quite applicable to historiosophical redux of translation, as evident in the analysis of the historiosophy of Ukrainian reflection on translation and Ukrainian translation culture—a culture, if to extrapolate Henri Meschonnic’s words, “born of translation and in translation”.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies
Author: Feng Cui

Abstract

According to André Lefevere, translation is a rewriting of an original text. All rewritings, whatever their intentions, reflect a certain ideology and poetics, and as such manipulate literature to function in a given society in a given way. Borrowing this concept, this chapter examines the translation of occidental modernist literature, with a focus on French modernist literature in Shijie Wenxue (World Literature)—the only official journal publishing translated literature in Mainland China in the 1950s, a period when China was dominated by Maoism and the unified communist ideology. During that time, China’s alliance with the USSR, its antagonism against the Western capitalist camp, and Mao Zedong’s mandate that “literature should reflect politics” all exerted ideological influences on the translation of occidental modernist literature in China. Taking a temporal and geographical approach, this chapter aims to examine the cultural behaviors of translators in the given cultural climate and timespans, the relationship between poetics and ideology in the polysystem of the target culture, the interaction among professional actors (such as reviewers, critics, teachers, and translators), mainstream ideologies and patronage, and the translator’s subjectivity under the manipulation of ideology. Framing the case study in a specific historical period, the concepts of rewriting, subjectivity, and ideology in translation studies will be examined as well.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies

Abstract

This background chapter explains why the present publication sees itself as part of an ongoing critical tendency in the discipline of translation studies, questioning—among other things—its own scope and fields of application. In this sense, the chapter partly relates to older discussions on topics such as translation universals and Eurocentrism. Here, the aim is to focus on both temporal and geographical extensions of theorization and conceptualization. Scholarly ideas and concepts are transported and transferred, both inter- and intralingually. They also originate in very divergent frameworks, affected by societal and institutional circumstances, with varying degrees of (non-)interaction, at different moments, in different places. Simultaneity, diachrony and synchrony in conceptual thinking become relative under these circumstances. The last part briefly presents the chapters and how they contribute in their own right to resituate the (center of the) discipline, both temporally and geographically.

In: The Situatedness of Translation Studies