Interdisciplinarity in Translation Studies
Theoretical Models, Creative Approaches and Applied Methods
Table Of Contents
- About the Editors
- About the Book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of contents
- Part I: On the interdisciplinary nature of translation theory and methodology
- An introduction to interdisciplinarity in translation research
- Herméneutique de la traduction : un voyage d’aller retour de la théorie à la pratique
- Facteurs de la psychologie de la personnalité jouant un rôle déterminant dans le processus de traduction chez les traducteurs français – espagnol
- Part II: Interdisciplinarity in specialised translation
- Cultural differences in the interpretation of Anglo-American and Spanish law; consequences for the translation of legislative texts
- On the reception of metaphors in U.S. Supreme Court opinions and their translation into Spanish
- Analyse terminologique et phraséologique du terme juridique « acte »
- Spread the news: translating for the Spanish press in English
- The translation of creative neologisms in economic discourse about the global crisis
- Traduire dans un contexte politique sensible : le cas de la Belgique
- Translating colours in specialised texts from English into Spanish
- Part III: Interdisciplinarity in literary translation
- Le Colporteur by Élie Berthet: A.T.Q.’s Spanish translation
- Jean Cohen et la première traduction française de A chronicle of the conquest of Granada (1829) de Washington Irving
- L’auteur moderniste américain comme traducteur et divulgateur de la littérature française : le cas de Francisco Gavidia
- La traduction de la nouvelle espagnole en France au XVIIe siècle : le style burlesque comme procédé de francisation
- Proposition d’éducation au féminin : essai sur l’éducation des femmes (1824) de Mme de Rémusat
- Les noms parlants dans la saga d’Harry Potter et leur traduction vers l’espagnol, le français et l’italien
- Part IV: Interdisciplinarity in other areas
- “It’s not what they said; it’s how they said it”: a corpus-based study on the translation of intonation for dubbing
- Words to see: on the intersemiotic translation of composition in paintings
- Technological advances in interpreting: new challenges for training
- Analysing English language teaching materials for translators and interpreters: a case study
- Pour une notion élargie de la qualité en pédagogie de la traduction
- About the authors
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)
1. On the interdisciplinary nature of translation
Every nation, society and culture communicates through a system of signs that shapes the way we view the world, the way we think, and even the way we feel and live. Language is a unique endowment, essential to our experience as human beings. Understanding its crucial role in constructing knowledge and facilitating communication brings us one step closer to comprehending human nature (Borodistky 2010). The task is complex enough when the focus is on the same linguistic community, and becomes next to impossible when communication across different languages is brought to the fore. The array of languages humans use to communicate with one another is overpowering; but the fact that each language differs from the next in numberless ways is almost insurmountable.
One of the tools humans have developed to bridge over these differences is translation. Translation grows out of the human urge to communicate and provides us with a way to negotiate meaning while threading our way through linguistic and cultural differences. Despite beliefs in cross-linguistic differences in the way we think and notice the world, translation still makes provision for strategies to get at least part of the meaning across. In such a process of negotiation, losses are unavoidable and the ideal of a translation identical to the original is indeed unattainable. Between a source text and its translation, there will always be invisible cracks, unavoidable ← 11 | 12 → fissures that the translator endeavours to cover. But in the same way as readers assume and enjoy the breach between the real world and its fictionated version, we should also understand and accept the gap between an original text and its translation. It is high time we all stop focusing on the fissures and start reflecting on the joints between source and target text. Because those connections are the master key to successful communication; they have opened the door to technological and scientific advances and still keep it wide open to progress.
Even if speakers of different languages pay attention to different things, translators must be skilful enough as to direct their attention to the relevant aspects of meaning so that they have the adequate information to include in their translations. From a translational point of view, the question is not so much whether people think or feel differently when speaking different languages; rather, the crucial question is whether the translation manages or not to transmit the message, employing the necessary strategies to communicate in the target language as much as possible about the events, ideas and feelings rendered in the source language. Even if the speakers of different languages attend to different aspects of the world and use their linguistic resources differently, the meaning they construct is still transferable to another language. A share of the source language worldview may be lost or domesticated in translation or, alternatively, may be rendered to foreignise and enrich the worldview of target language speakers (Venuti 1995). But despite the alien losses or imported gains, the relevant shades of meaning, the essential function of the message, will be communicated in successful translation.
2. Interdisciplinarity in Translation Studies
Communication sits at the heart of translation. Thus, understanding translation gets us several steps closer to decipher communication processes. Reaching such understanding has been the endeavour of Translation Studies since its origins as an academic discipline. But the problem lies in the extreme complexity of the task. Translation encompasses many different activities, each involving different goals, agents and types of texts. To decipher the mechanisms of such a polyhedral activity, translation scholars have turned to neighbouring disciplines in search of help (Rojo 2015). ← 12 | 13 → Initially they drew upon linguistics and literature, the two disciplines that at the time defined the linguistic nature of the activity and the most frequently translated types of texts.
But gradually scholars were realising that the study of language on its own was not enough to account for the complexity of the translation process and started to look to other disciplines – e.g. psychology, bilingual studies, neurology, sociology – that could also provide useful insights to decipher the cognitive and social processes involved in translation (see, for instance, Shreve and Angelone 2010). Meanwhile, translation also got further consolidated as a profession, engaging in new types of activities and texts. The development of specialised areas – e.g. medical, legal, financial or technical translation, translation for the film or the computer game industry, localisation, etc. – drew the attention of scholars to other potentially useful academic fields, such as documentation or terminology studies, semiotics, discourse studies, genre studies, or even to those disciplines relating to the subject matter of the translated texts, for instance, law, medicine, finance, film studies, etc.
This array of disciplines has a meeting point in the study of human communication, and finds a common goal in exploring translation as a complex type of mediated interlingual and intercultural communication. Translation is at the interface between all these disciplines, tentatively finding its way through the different methods and theories while borrowing the most valuable ones. Such an interdisciplinary approach provides a wealth of points of views that can undoubtedly help to enlarge and enrich the study of translation. However, to make the most of such an interdisciplinary panorama, Translation Studies still need to shape the different interdisciplinary inquiries into a common agenda that merges data and results and make them converge into a unified theory.
3. The present volume: some interdisciplinary theoretical models, creative approaches and applied methods
This volume does not intend at all to write such common agenda, but attempts at filling at least some of its blank pages by collecting a number of works that draw on some of the most relevant disciplines in Translation ← 13 | 14 → Studies. All the papers are written in either English or French, and have been grouped into four sections devoted to illustrate the type of interdisciplinary approach adopted in each of the areas of translation under study.
The initial section On the interdisciplinary nature of translation theory and methodology opens the collection of works with two prefatory papers that explore the interdisciplinary nature of translation from two different perspectives, providing a theoretical reflection and illustrating its application to an experimental study. The paper by Ortega Arjonilla “Herméneutique et traduction : un voyage d’aller retour de la théorie à la pratique” reflects on the hermeneutics of translation, approaching its interdisciplinary nature from a theoretical point of view. The work by Abihssira and Rojo “Facteurs de la psychologie de la personnalité jouant un rôle déterminant dans le processus de traduction chez les traducteurs français – espagnol” introduces an experimental study in which interdisciplinarity is put into practice to explore the translation process. Their paper investigates the impact of personality traits on the translation process adopting a methodology borrowed from psychology.
The second section Interdisciplinarity in specialised translation comprises eight papers delving into different fields relevant to specialised translation, among others, law, economy, politics, journalism or medicine. The three initial papers explore legal translation from different perspectives. The paper by Orts Llopis “Cultural differences in the interpretation of Anglo-American and Spanish law; consequences for the translation of legislative texts” draws on cultural and genre studies, investigating cultural differences between interpretation of the law in the USA and Spain, and the consequences these differences have for translating legislative texts. The paper by Vegara Fabregat and Cifuentes Férez “On the reception of metaphors in U.S. Supreme Court opinions and their translation into Spanish” calls on the conceptual metaphor theory from cognitive linguistics and designs two experiments to test the reception and acceptance of legal translations where metaphors are kept as opposed to those where metaphors are lost. And the paper by Campos Martín “Analyse terminologique et phraséologique du terme juridique « acte »” argues for the need to formulate a textual typology that facilitates the systematisation of the different problems encountered by the translator of legal texts.
The volume also includes two papers devoted to journalism translation, an area that, despite being often treated as non-specialised in the translation classroom, has nevertheless found its place in the literature among the dif ← 14 | 15 → ferent types of specialised translation. The two papers resort to discourse and genre analysis to explore the characteristics of journalistic genre and its translation. The paper by the translator Castillo Bernal “Spread the news: translating for the Spanish press in English” focuses on the translation of Spanish press for English speaking residents in Spain. Her works examines the peculiarities of inverse translation and some of the most common genres in this modality of translation. Aspects of terminology and style are discussed in a paper that illustrates the importance of pragmatic function and context. The paper by Roffé “Les journalistes d’opinion français et l’oralisation” emphasises the importance for translation of genre analysis in both source and target texts. Roffé’s work analyses the syntactic and lexical features that characterise orality in the French newspapers le Figaro, le Monde and Sud Ouest.
This section on specialised translation also includes two papers on two fields that occupy pride of place in contemporary world affairs: economy and politics. The paper by Naranjo Sánchez “The translation of creative neologisms in economic discourse about the global crisis” delves into the creativity of economic discourse by exploring “creative neologisms” and highlighting the problems they pose for the translator of economic texts. A contrastive analysis of three English books on the current economic crisis and their translations into Spanish is carried out to determine the degree to which creativity is kept in economic translation. The paper by Govaert “Traduire dans un contexte politique sensible : le cas de la Belgique” analyses the difficulties encountered when approaching the translation of a series of texts written to lead readers to construct a particular perception of reality.
The section closes with a paper focusing on different specialised fields, such as medicine, anthropology, gastronomy or games. The paper by Martínez López “Translating colours in specialized texts from English into Spanish” explores the translation of colour related terms in different specialised texts, analysing the multiple strategies employed in their translation from English into Spanish. The author emphasizes the lack of rules and the difficulties to identify the translation strategy best suited to the linguistic and cultural conventions prevailing for each context and situation.
The third section Interdisciplinarity in literary translation turns to literary studies by encompassing six papers that bring together different interdisciplinary and creative approaches to the translation of literary texts and gather texts from various historical periods. The paper by Díaz Alarcón “Le Colporteur by Élie Berthet: A.T.Q.’s Spanish translation” looks into ← 15 | 16 → Berthet’s contribution to 19th-century French novels and analyses the strategies used by A.T.Q. in the Spanish translation of his novel Le Colporteur in order to examine the additions, omissions and modifications found in the target text as compared with the source text. A similar aim is found in the paper by García Calderón “Jean Cohen et la première traduction française de A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada (1829) de Washington Irving”, in which the author also analyses Cohen’s translation of Irving’s work focusing on the different additions, omissions and modifications of the target text as compared with the source text.
The following three papers further emphasise the role and impact of translation on the target language context. The paper by Jiménez Cervantes “L’auteur moderniste américain comme traducteur et divulgateur de la littérature française : le cas de Francisco Gavidia” examines the influence that 19th-century French source and target texts exerted upon Latin American Modernism. The paper by Merino García “La traduction de la nouvelle espagnole en France au XVIIe siècle : le style burlesque comme procédé de francization” analyses the reception strategies used in French translations of Spanish Golden Age literature and highlights the use of a burlesque style to facilitate reception of these works in France. In the paper by Martínez Ojeda “Proposition d’éducation au féminin: Essai sur l’éducation des femmes (1824) de Mme de Rémusat”, translation becomes a useful tool to clarify aspects of the work under analysis and bring it closer to the target audience.
The section closes with a paper that proposes a cross-linguistic methodology. The work by Ladrón de Guevara “Les noms parlants dans la saga d’Harry Potter et leur traduction vers l’espagnol, le français et l’italien” leaps across time from Spanish Golden Age literature to the 21th century placing the focus on the Harry Potter saga. The work analyses the translation of proper names and compares the different translation strategies in three different languages, Spanish, French and Italian.
The final section Interdisciplinarity in other translation areas comprises five papers that draw attention to four prominent areas in Translation Studies: audio-visual translation, audio description, interpreting and the teaching of translation. The first two papers deal with two of the most recent and academically thriving areas in Translation Studies. The paper by Sánchez Mompeán “It’s not what they said; it’s how they said it: a corpus-based study on the translation of intonation for dubbing” empirically investigates the loss of the meaning nuances of intonation in the Spanish dubbing of American TV series. Focusing on the analysis of nine episodes ← 16 | 17 → of the series How I Met Your Mother, the paper explores whether or not the underlying meaning attached to the tonal patterns of the original characters is successfully reflected in the translated version. Together with audio-visual translation, audio description is another flourishing area increasingly receiving greater attention in Translation Studies. The paper submitted by Soler, Luque and Rodríguez “Words to see: on the intersemiotic translation of composition in paintings” illustrates to perfection the interdisciplinary nature of research in translation. Drawing on theories of visual communication and discourse comprehension, the paper proposes a methodology to audio describe the composition of paintings in art museums.
The third paper of this section brings attention to the field of interpreting, the academic partner par excellence of translation in scholarly research. The paper by Ruiz Mezcua “Technological advances in Interpreting: new challenges for Training” also proposes a truly interdisciplinary approach by focusing on the impact of technological advances on both the work by professional interpreters and their training.
The emphasis on academic training is fully implemented in the final two papers of this section, which focus on two central aspects in the debate on the teaching of translation, namely, the need to adopt a specific approach to language teaching and the problems involved in quality assessment. The paper by Carrasco Flores “Analysing English language teaching materials for Translators and Interpreters: a case study” examines the competences reflected in the materials used in the English language courses of two different Spanish universities to sketch the current situation of language teaching in translation training and define the existing needs. The work uses a survey research methodology based on the distribution of questionnaires, and draws on theories of translation competence and English for Specific Purposes.
The volume closes with a paper that discusses quality assessment, one of the most controversial topics in the teaching of translation. In the paper “Pour une notion élargie de la qualité en pédagogie de la traduction”, Fiola argues for the need to adopt an interdisciplinary definition of quality including, among others, the perspective of the translator as a language professional as well as that of the client and the agent who makes use of translation. ← 17 | 18 →
4. Concluding remarks
Interdisciplinarity has been a lingering issue in translation and Translation Studies since the very beginning of their existence. Nonetheless, the claim for an interdisciplinary research approach has regained strength from the beginning of the century (D’Hulst 1999, Wilss 1999, Chesterman 2002, Herbrechter 2002) up to the present day (Ferreira Duarte et al. 2006, Snell-Hornby 2006, Gambier and Van Doorslaer 2013, Ehrensberger-Dow et al. 2015).
Much has been reflected on the interdisciplinary nature of translation and on the need to undertake an interdisciplinary research approach. And yet, many issues and questions remain unresolved. But despite the blank spaces in the interdisciplinary research agenda of Translation Studies, there have been major advances in translation and interpreting research in recent years and much has been gained from increasing collaboration among researchers based on the common ground for translation studies, interpreting studies and cognitive studies (e.g. Shreve and Angelone 2010, Ferreira and Schwieter 2015).
The papers collected in this volume draw on different theoretical models and borrow various research methods from neighbouring disciplines. But they all share the common aim of gaining further insight into translation as a text product, a cognitive process, a profession and a teaching field. Works such as the volume presented here contribute to foster collaboration both at an interdisciplinary and international level. The conclusions and implications from these papers may bring us a step closer to understand not only translation and interpreting, but also other communication, cognitive and social processes involved in translating. Their shared enterprise may promote the sort of cooperation and teamwork needed to shape the different interdisciplinary inquiries into a common research agenda of the type needed to have data and results finally converging into a unified theory. ← 18 | 19 →
Boroditsky, Lera. 2010. “Lost in Translation.” The Wall Street Journal. Saturday, 24th of July 2010.
Chesterman, Andrew. 2002. “On the Interdisciplinarity of Translation Studies.” Logos and Language, 3 (1): 1–9.
D’Hulst, Lieven (ed.). 1999. Interdisciplinarity in Applied Translation and Interpretation Studies.
Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen, Göpferich, Susanne and Sharon O’Brien (eds.). 2015. Interdisciplinarity in Translation and Interpreting Process. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
- ISBN (ePUB)
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- Publication date
- 2017 (April)
- Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 350 pp., 40 b/w tables, 9 b/w ill.