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Norm-Focused and Culture-Related Inquiries in Translation Research

Selected Papers of the CETRA Research Summer School 2014

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Edited By Justyna Giczela-Pastwa and Uchenna Oyali

This volume collects selected papers written by young translation scholars who were CETRA 2014 participants. This book analyses the heterogeneity of translational norms, diversity of cultures and the challenges of intercultural transfer. The authors analyze a wide array of source texts, from the translations of contemporary prose and audiovisual products into Brazilian, Japanese and Swedish, to renderings of texts more distant in time, such as the Bible and «Golestân» written in medieval Persian. The book also concentrates on selected meta-level issues, such as the integrity of the discipline and its language, as well as the development of translation competence. The norm-focused and culture-related framework offers considerable research potential for Translation Studies.

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Revealing, reasonable, required: Norm-focused and culture-related research in Translation Studies (Justyna Giczela-Pastwa)

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Justyna Giczela-PastwaUniversity of Gdańsk, Poland

Revealing, reasonable, required: Norm-focused and culture-related research in Translation Studies

Starting from 1995, when Gideon Toury published his seminal book and defined translation as a norm-governed activity, the concept of normativization has inevitably dominated the research on all kinds of translational phenomena. However, as Toury emphasizes, the association of norms and translation could have been formed even earlier, because the fundamentals were easily to be found – as scholars such as Jiří Levý, James S. Holmes and Itamar Even-Zohar had partly spelled them out, being themselves preceded by others (2012: 61).1 The notion of norms seems, in this respect, similar to a few other concepts used in the humanities, such as genre or style: intuitively understood, although diversely defined and dependent on a number of variables, and still calling for further study.

The research potential offered by the norms framework seems limitless, similar to the factors under which agreement may be negotiated, reached and formulated within social entities. Toury observes after John Davis (1994) that sociability and consequential norm creation is inherent in human nature and as such pervades each type of human activity. Translation is not an exception: norms specify “what is prescribed and forbidden, as well as what is tolerated and permitted” (Toury 2012: 63) not only on the level of linguistic organization, but also in pragmatic and social dimensions. Thus, the descriptive-explanatory research into norms that are defined as the reflection...

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