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The Translator- Centered Multidisciplinary Construction

Douglas Robinson’s Translation Theories Explored

Lin Zhu

This book embraces the epistemological and methodological issues of theoretical construction in the field of Translation Studies from a historical and global perspective. The theoretical stances are explained in detail through a systemic inquiry into the constructive aspects of theoretical innovation of the American translation theorist Douglas Robinson. In order to renew and promote theoretical thinking in the field of Translation Studies, this book aims to reflect on existing theoretical problems in translation, trace the translation theorist’s innovative and constructive ways of thinking about translation theory, and explore productive philosophical and theoretical resources of translation studies. This book will not only be helpful to a further and full understanding of Robinson’s thoughts on translation, but also offers a rethinking of how to advance Translation Studies epistemologically and methodologically.


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Foreword by Douglas Robinson 17


17 Foreword by Douglas Robinson The overlapping worlds of translation and translation studies are not, of course, necessarily global – it’s entirely possible to live in a bilingual city like Montreal, say, and do and/or study translation between English and French with an entirely local focus – but there is, as Aristotle might say, an entelechy to both translation and translation studies that is be- coming-global. The mediatory spaces or trajectories that translators and interpreters inhabit and ply tend to make the borders and boundaries between locales permeable but to expand those permeable membranes or interfaces into interlocales, intercultures, that are themselves in- cipiently global(izing). And yet, even caught up as we translators and translation scholars tend to be in the swirling becoming-globality of our professional inter- locales and intercultures, we often find – at least I do – that the localness of our locales is phenomenologically powerful. There is a naturalizing normativity to locality. It is normal to be local, abnormal to be interlocal, or intercultural, or global. We may be plugged into global networks through the Internet, email, and apps on our smart phones and tablets, but when we buy groceries we have to remind ourselves that the food we’re shopping for has often been internationally produced and distrib- uted. The people in grocery stores, and most other stores we shop in, and in banks, and post offices, and restaurants, and so on, may have their own international connections, through the Internet, email, and smartphones; but while we interact with them,...

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