Translation Studies across the Boundaries

by Lucyna Harmon (Volume editor) Dorota Osuchowska (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 224 Pages


This book presents a wide range of topics and approaches in the nowadays Translation Studies, which includes popular, trendy issues as well as niche subjects that are rarely taken up in research. The chapters can be grouped into four thematic divisions that capture some major interests of translation scholars. They discuss the nature of the discipline as such and its dimensions, its development and tendencies in some countries, the process of translation from the perspective of translation practice as well as culture-specific elements in translation.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • Series Information
  • List of Contributors
  • More Recent Avenues of Research in Contemporary Translation Studies
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Cognitive TS
  • 3 Sociological TS
  • 4 Technological TS
  • 5 Economic TS
  • 6 Anthropological TS
  • 7 Conclusion and Implications
  • Is a General Theory of Translation Possible?
  • 1 Introduction: Translation and Translation Studies
  • 2 General Models of Translation
  • 2.1 Shortcomings of the Models
  • 3 Translation and Semiotics
  • 4 Towards a Semiotic Model of Translation: Some Preliminary Thoughts
  • 5 General Conclusions
  • The Myth of the Cultural Turn
  • Revival of the Interpreter’s Profession in Latvia after 1988. Notes on the Margins
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Time of Change and Challenge
  • 3 Response to the Challenge
  • 4 Concluding Remarks
  • Literary Periodicals’ Introduction and Translation of Foreign Literature in Hong Kong in 1950s
  • 1 Literature Review
  • 2 Research Significance
  • 3 Literature and Publishing Industry in Hong Kong in 1950s
  • 4 Translation Choice Differed from American Ideology
  • 5 Patron’s Ideology and Professionals’ Literary Preference
  • 6 Conclusion
  • Translation Issues in the Amistad Case Reveal Proclivities Both against and in Favour of the Institution of Slavery in the 19th Century USA
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Fidelity vs Infidelity
  • 3 Without licencia
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Hryhir Tiutiunnyk’s Short Story
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Theoretical Framework for the Present Case Study: The Cognitive Approach
  • 3 Results and Discussion
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Does this Kat Speak an Untranslatable Language?
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Translating is Understanding
  • 3 Solving Problems on Theoretical Level
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Annex 1: Krazy Kat’s online devices for intralingual translations (print screens)
  • Annex 2: Krazy Kat’s comic strips comparison
  • The Traps of Normativity –
  • 1 The Queer (and) Translation
  • 2 Queer Translation Praxis
  • Dictionary Use by Translation Students
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Lexicographically Relevant Errors in the Work of Professional Translators
  • 3 Methodological Background
  • 4 The Results
  • 4.1 Standard Dictionary Behaviour by Translation Professionals
  • 4.1.1 Types of Dictionaries Translation Professionals Consult
  • 4.1.2 Types of Information Professionals Need to Look Up
  • 4.1.3 The Quality of Dictionaries Professionals Use
  • 4.1.4 Frequency of Use
  • 4.2 Standard Dictionary Behaviour by Trainee Translators
  • 4.2.1 Dictionary Types They Consult
  • 4.2.2 Types of Information They Look For
  • 4.2.3 The Quality of Dictionaries They Use
  • 4.2.4 Frequency of Use
  • 5 Concluding Remarks
  • Names of Wild Birds in Simile
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Translation of Ukrainian and English Similes with Names of Wild Birds as Based on Bible-Rooted Correspondences
  • 3 Conclusion
  • The Progressive Construction in the Translation of British English Literary Fiction into Polish
  • 1 Aspect in English and Polish – A Brief Contrastive Analysis
  • 2 The English Progressive Aspect
  • 3 The Analysis of Polish Translational Equivalents of the Modal Uses of the English Progressive Aspect
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Foreign Idiolect in Translation
  • 1 The novel The Call of the Toad
  • 2 Idiolect as Dialect
  • 3 Techniques of Dialect Translation
  • 4 The Function of Dialect in a Literary Work
  • 5 Piątkowska’s German
  • 6 Notes on the Polish Translation
  • 7 English Translation
  • 8 Evaluation and Conclusion
  • Cultural Transplantation & Humour
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Cultural Transplantation
  • 3 Humour & Translation
  • 4 Cultural Transplantation in Humour Translation
  • 5 Conclusion


Edited by Robert Kiełtyka and Agnieszka Uberman

Advisory Board

Piotr P. Chruszczewski (Wrocław, Poland)

Grzegorz A. Kleparski (Rzeszów, Poland)

Zoltán Kövecses (Budapest, Hungary)

Anna Malicka-Kleparska (Lublin, Poland)

Sándor Martsa (Pécs, Hungary)

Tadeusz Rachwał (Warsaw, Poland)

Elżbieta Rokosz-Piejko (Rzeszów, Poland)

Slávka Tomascíková (Košice, Slovakia)


Notes on the quality assurance and peer review of this publication

Prior to publication, the quality of the work published in this series is

reviewed by the editors and members of Advisory Board of the series.

List of Contributors

Klaudia Bednárová-Gibová

University of Prešov

Anna Drzazga

University of Silesia

Lucyna Harmon

University of Rzeszów

Krzysztof Hejwowski

University of Warsaw

Olha Hrabovetska

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Jakub Jankowski

University of Warsaw

Mateusz Król

University of Silesia

Dace Liepiņa

University of Latvia

Oksana Molchko

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Michał Organ

University of Rzeszów

Dorota Osuchowska

University of Rzeszów

Anna Rędzioch-Korkuz

University of Warsaw

Liu Yunrou

Shanghai International Studies University

Jeanette Zaragoza-De León

Universitat Jaume I←13 | 14→←14 | 15→

Klaudia Bednárová-Gibová

More Recent Avenues of Research in Contemporary Translation Studies

Abstract: Translation Studies (TS) has come a long way from being initially treated as part of contrastive linguistics or comparative literature up to a poly-discipline with its multifarious sub-fields. Amidst this diversity, it may rightly be viewed as a ‘meta-hybrid’ in post-modernist terms. Therefore, this paper homes in on re-conceptualizing this field of study at the stage it reached in the second half of the 2010s by drawing together the various strands of contemporary translation studies research which may continue to dominate scholarly discussion in the next decade or so. My ultimate goal is to identify popular research scenarios in cognitive, sociological, technological, economic and anthropological TS, in methodological compliance with so-called turns or ‘shifting viewpoints’ (Snell-Hornby 2006) that have shaped its more recent history. By closely scrutinizing the selected strands of TS, I wish to point out that the recent changes in the status of TS demand that a conventional understanding of what constitutes translation at present should be re-evaluated.

Keywords: contemporary Translation Studies, turns, trends, directions


Translation Studies (hereafter abbreviated as TS) is now a fairly well established academic discipline related to the study of the translation theory and practice. Since its formal beginnings in the 1970s, it has witnessed an unprecedented growth and “has moved from the study of words to text to sociocultural context to the working practices of the translators themselves” (Munday 2016:27). A notable characteristic of recent TS research has been its interdisciplinarity as it has had links to linguistics (especially semantics; pragmatics; applied, contrastive and cognitive linguistics), modern language studies, comparative literature, cultural studies (including gender and postcolonial studies), philosophy (of language and meaning, hermeneutics, deconstruction and ethics) and in recent years also to creative writing and sociology. Borrowing a myriad of theoretical and methodological lenses from other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, the interdisciplinarity of TS is more evident now than ever before. Tracing its vibrant history, TS has come a long way from being a mere sub-discipline of contrastive linguistics, comparative literature or part of language-learning methodology via a discipline up to a multidiscipline. ←15 | 16→

From both a diachronic as well as synchronic point of view, TS has been characterized by “a complex criterion of a dominant theoretical concept” (Benčo qtd. in Angelovičová 2016:15). As a consequence of interdisciplinary contact with other disciplines, which may call into question the dominant theoretical concept, the so-called turns or ‘shifting viewpoints’ (see Snell-Hornby 2006) have emerged. The turns have reified the discussions of paradigms that have shaped TS. In its history, TS has witnessed a variety of such turns, from the ‘pragmatic turn’ in the 1960s linguistics – when many still viewed TS as a sub-field of contrastive linguistics – and the ‘cultural turn’ in the 1990s, to the ‘sociological turn’, ‘power turn’ or ‘cognitive turn’ over the past two decades. More recently, the 2010s saw the rise of the ‘technological’, ‘activist’ and ‘economic turns’, as proposed by Cronin (2010), Wolf (2014) and Gambier (2014), respectively.1 Of course, nowadays, the given viewpoints can rarely be sharply demarcated from one another as a growing body of present-day TS research cannot be performed only within one approach. The turns in TS2 also imply approaches to translation and they are not discrete, hermetically sealed. In the same way as linguistic-translational analysis which does not consider the broader contextual factors is in some way deficient, so too are culturally oriented studies which abstain from a textual analysis.

TS in the second half of the 2010s, with all its manifold sub-branches and avenues of research, has taken on such incredible dimensions that it is possible to start to regard the discipline as a meta-hybrid. I use the concept of ‘meta-hybrid’ purposely here because when looking up the term ‘hybrid’ in e.g. Oxford English Dictionary as ‘the product of mixing two or more different things’, one could easily be misled to relegate present-day TS to a mere (interdisciplinary) connection of any two or more items. However, seen from a contemporary perspective, with so many offshoots and outgrowths, this would no longer truly ←16 | 17→correspond to its contents as the TS sub-disciplines are getting cloned, mutually mutated and exponentially absorb the influences from various more or less related disciplines until a new one crops up.

These changes in the status of TS demand that a conventional understanding of what constitutes translation nowadays should be re-examined. Paradoxically, it was precisely the self-containment and a widening scope of the discipline which obscured a clear focus on translation. Delabastista (qtd. in Brems, Meylaerts and van Doorslaer 2014:2) refers to this phenomenon as a deeply ironic paradox:

The more TS is coming to its own, the more its central object – translation – gets eroded and dispersed. The harder we look at translation, the softer our analytical focus appears to be getting and the more the specificity of our object seems to be dissolving. TS had to be invented, apparently, to show how blurred and how elusive a concept translation really is.

Even if Delabastista emphasizes the unsettling aspect of the TS’s journey, the moving of its boundaries may offer new openings for TS, as this paper attempts to demonstrate.

Shedding light on various strands of contemporary TS research, the paper aims to re-conceptualize present-day TS focusing on the latest avenues of research which will continue to dominate TS discussions in the next decade or so. In the light of steering TS research in a relevant direction, they merit our scholarly attention. My goal is not to present an exhaustive overview of all recent TS research strands. Quite selectively, what I would like to focus on here are the most vital directions and trends for TS as a discipline, as resulting from a conceptual analysis of several dozen secondary sources. The study represents a fresh contribution to conceptual positioning of TS suggesting gaps in the research areas which merit translation scholars’ attention in the future direction of TS. In terms of methodology, the study is conducted from an inductive positioning and is an outcome of conceptual research whose aspirations are to clarify current concepts, relate them into larger systems and introduce new frameworks which enable a better understanding of the current object of TS research.

2Cognitive TS

Cognitive TS covers the area of cognition-related aspects of the translation process using experimental methods and technological tools to ultimately gain a better insight into the so-called ‘black box’, the “classic known unknown in TS” (see Brems, Meylaerts and van Doorslaer 2014:7). Cognitive ←17 | 18→TS corresponds to Translation Process Research (TPR) and intersects with a number of disciplines such as cognitive science, psychology, bilingualism studies, ergonomics, artificial intelligence and anthropology. Employing also the methods of ethnographic and corpus research, cognitive TS strives to illuminate our understanding of the mental processes which underlie the complex observable behaviour of cross-language communication. As early as 2004 Wills saw TPR as one of the principal future directions in TS, in particular research on the objectifying of the translation process (ibid.). Saldanha and O’Brien (2013:109) highlight the fact that process-oriented research follows primarily twofold aims; firstly, to understand cognitive processes which influence the competence of translator and secondly, the relations between cognition and the translated product.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (December)
Language Intercultural Communication Applied Linguistics Linguistics Text Linguistics
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 222 pp., 18 fig. b/w

Biographical notes

Lucyna Harmon (Volume editor) Dorota Osuchowska (Volume editor)

Lucyna Harmon is Professor at the Institute of English Studies and Head of the Department of Translation Theory, University of Rzeszów, Poland. Her expertise includes general and literary translation, general and comparative linguistics, and intercultural communication. Dorota Osuchowska is Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Rzeszów, Poland, where she lectures in academic writing, applied linguistics, and lexicography.


Title: Translation Studies across the Boundaries
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225 pages