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Translation Studies and Translation Practice: Proceedings of the 2nd International TRANSLATA Conference, 2014

Part 2


Edited By Lew N. Zybatow, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski

TRANSLATA II was the second in a series of triennial conferences on Translation and Interpreting Studies, held at the University of Innsbruck. The series is conceptualized as a forum for Translation Studies research. This volume includes selected contributions on translation theory and general issues in Translation Studies, as well as on translation theory and translation practice. The contributors focus also on literary translation, contrastive linguistics and the relation between semantics and cognition, as well as the relation between text, context and culture. The book also regards the translation process, the competence and quality of translation and professional aspects in translation and interpreting.

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The Root of All Meaning: Embodied, Simulated Meaning as the Basis of Translational Equivalence (Pawel Sickinger)


Pawel Sickinger, Universität Bonn

The Root of All Meaning: Embodied, Simulated Meaning as the Basis of Translational Equivalence

Abstract: This paper discusses cognitive equivalence, a new attempt at defining translational equivalence in a substantiated, psychologically realistic fashion, exemplified by an empirical study triangulating expressions in German, English and Japanese via their perception-based conceptual representations.

1. Revisiting equivalence from a cognitive perspective

The issue of equivalence is one of the classic problems in translation theory, and it has always been at the core of debates about both the nature of translated texts and a potential basis for translation quality assessment (see Pym 2010 for a detailed overview; cf. Pym 2009). Over the last decades, however, the very concept of equivalence has fallen into disgrace with various strands of translation theoreticians, either in the form of a downgrade to a minor factor, as proposed e.g. in Skopos theory (Reiss / Vermeer 1984), or in more extreme cases as a call for abolishing the concept altogether (see e.g. Snell-Hornby 1988; Holz-Mättanari 1990). A common theme underlying these critiques is the accusation that the concept is ill-defined, or even entirely vacuous (see Snell-Hornby 1988), and that it has so far failed to advance translation studies as a whole and should be abandoned in favor of researching other aspects of translation. Rising to the challenge, a number of translation scholars have attempted to defend the concept, often from the viewpoint of comparatively traditional, text-focused approaches...

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