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Discourses of Translation

Festschrift in Honour of Christina Schäffner


Edited By Beverly Adab, Peter A. Schmitt and Gregory M. Shreve

Professor Christina Schäffner has made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary translation studies. This Festschrift in honour of her academic work brings together contributions from internationally distinguished translation scholars. Reflecting Professor Schäffner’s wide range of interests, topics in this Festschrift cover a wide spectrum, from fundamental issues in translation theory and didactic considerations to cultural and practical translation problems. The varied backgrounds of the authors represented in this volume ensure that its perspectives on the field of T&I training and research are similarly multifaceted.


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Kirsten Malmkjaer, Leicester: What’s The Point Of Universals, Then?


Kirsten Malmkjaer Leicester What’s The Point Of Universals, Then? 1 Introduction In their introduction to a collection of articles on translation competence, Schäffner and Adab (2000: viii) remark that translation competence “has thus far proved difficult to identify.” Their volume represents a significant contribu- tion to that effort and is widely quoted, as a search of “developing translation competence” on Google Scholar will demonstrate. Thanks to it and to further research that it has encouraged, we have arrived at a clear understanding of the very many skills and abilities and the many kinds of knowledge that translators need in order to be able to produce a product that is fit for purpose. In a rash moment (see Malmkjær 2009b: 132), I have hinted that the term ‘translation competence’ ought (also) to be used to designate a fundamentally unconscious mental state realised as (Malmkjær 2009b: 126) a translator’s knowledge of their languages simultaneously as one system, and as at least separable, and as related (as distinct from their ability to use their lan- guages individually). I now think that this was a mistake. I would advocate, instead, that we retain the term translation competence for the array of abilities that a translator needs in order to produce product fit for purpose, but that we also attend to the more basic, unconscious knowledge underlying these abilities, perhaps as defined above, and that we speak of this as translator competence. In this article, I would like to posit two translation...

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