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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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8 Robinson’s Translation Theories in Contemporary Translation Studies 209


209 CHAPTER 8 Robinson’s Translation Theories in Contemporary Translation Studies As the foregoing chapters have demonstrated, Robinson’s translation theories are constructive on different levels: their pluralistic philosophical approaches, their multidisciplinary approach, their translator-centered theoretical models, their social-constructivist views of translation, and their instructive theoretical features. The constructiveness of his research also lies in his theoretical criticism of the contemporary “centrifugal” translation theories in the West and his suggestions for improving these theories, as well as his new definition of translation theory. However, his research on translation, because of its originality and versatility, has been against categorizing it into any of the pre-established theoretical schools of translation studies. Furthermore, as far as it goes, the diffi- culty in the categorization of his research has contributed to its marginali- zation and has overshadowed its constructive ideas on translation stu- dies to a great extent. If more readers are to benefit from Robinson’s thoughts on transla- tion studies we need to highlight the significance of his translation theo- ries by siting his research on translation on the map of contemporary translation studies, because such siting not only means an emphasis on his translation theories but can also offer a holistic view of them. For this purpose, this chapter will review the position and function of Robinson’s research on translation in historical and contemporary trans- lation studies. It will also offer certain reflections on translation studies in China and give constructive suggestions on the development of theo- retical construction in this field. 210 8.1...

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