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Norm-Focused and Culture-Related Inquiries in Translation Research

Selected Papers of the CETRA Research Summer School 2014


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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Can’t see the wood for the trees: An overview of translation strategies from a ‘cultural’ perspective (José Jorge Amigo Extremera)


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José Jorge Amigo ExtremeraUniversidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Can’t see the wood for the trees:An overview of translation strategies from a ‘cultural’ perspective1

Abstract: This survey paper presents an overview of the most popular approaches relating culture to translation strategies in Translation Studies. Examples out of a multilingual specialized corpus of articles published in several prestigious TS journals (1990–2014) are discussed and organized around key notions: equivalence (or analogy), cultural identity, domestication vs. foreignization (Venuti 1995) and culture as a translation problem – within didactic, experimental and empirical approaches. The implicit visions of CULTURE in these approaches are elucidated. A preliminary analysis of the corpus shows that TS faces a large number of problems with regard to ‘cultural’ understandings of translation as an activity. There seems to be a lack of coherent terminology to label strategies. Empirical testing of domestication and foreignization poses problems that demand further investigation. Taxonomies of translation strategies might be appropriate for didactic purposes.

Keywords: culture, cognitive translatology, translation strategies, domestication vs. foreignization, equivalence

1.  Introduction

This survey paper aims to draw an overview of the most popular approaches relating culture to translation strategies within Translation Studies (Holmes 1972, 1988; henceforth, TS). Scholarly reflections on cultural approaches to translation, the cultural turn, and cultural factors in TS have a longstanding tradition (e.g., Bassnett and Lefevere 1990, Vermeer 1992, Schäffner and Kelly-Holmes 1995, Nord 1997, Katan 2004, Koskinen...

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