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Translation in an International Perspective

Cultural Interaction and Disciplinary Transformation

Edited By Antoine Cazé and Rainer Lanselle

Translation scholars have for a long time been arguing in favor of a shift in paradigms to redefine the relationship between translation and the spreading of knowledge. Although a substantial share of worldwide knowledge is conveyed thanks to translation, the effects of this state of affairs upon the ways in which knowledge is actually built are all too rarely taken into account. This is particularly the case in the humanities.
The papers presented in this volume fall into three thematic categories – cultural transfer, terminology and literature. The authors are all scholars in the humanities, and some of them are also translators. They analyze the effects of translation in diverse domains such as the intercultural exchanges among Far Eastern countries, and between Asia and the West; the constitution of terminologies; clinical practices in psychoanalysis; and the impact on the definition of literary genres.
Each contribution shows how the act of translation is an integral part of the humanities, producing effects which may often be unforeseen and surprising but are always occasions for innovation.
This volume contains contributions in English and French.
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Translation as a Historically Situated Activity – “Situational Issues: the Case of Terminological Transfer and Text Translation”


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Translation as a Historically Situated Activity “Situational Issues: The Case of Terminological Transfer and Text Translation”

This article focuses on terminological issues in translation, from theoretical and practical viewpoints. This is illustrated by two kinds of examples: the first is dealing with the official Terminological process in France, while the latter is concerned with translating theoretical linguistics texts.

Actually one can find two main traditional perspectives in translation studies: the old romantic Sprachgeist (‘language spirit’) perspective, which sees language as a specific Weltanschauung, and which came back into fashion during the structuralism period, especially in France1. And, in more recent times, a shift from linguistic theory to cultural studies, where differences of languages are just one factor among others, such as cultural conventions and differences of power, in a more general process of rewriting2. In both cases, for linguistic reasons in the first one, for cultural ones in the second, translation becomes more or less aporetical and condemned to fail. Finally a third trend may be mentioned, that is the generalization of the translation model now used as ← 149 | 150 → a prototype for any kind of semiotic transfer (for instance from a novel to a film). Here, as in the cultural shift, the properly linguistic aspect is relegated to the background.

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