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Discourses of Translation

Festschrift in Honour of Christina Schäffner

Series:

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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Miriam Shlesinger / Tanya Voinova, Ramat Gan: Self-Perception of Female Translators and Interpreters in Israel

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Miriam Shlesinger / Tanya Voinova Ramat Gan Self-Perception of Female Translators and Interpreters in Israel1 1 Introduction This paper was written in the context of a research project on the self-perception of translators and interpreters in Israel and on the ways in which they claim sta- tus by building their “occupational selves” (Sela-Sheffy & Shlesinger 2008) in a highly dynamic cultural community, with a language of limited diffusion as its main medium of communication. Our focal point was the translators and inter- preters themselves, in line with the current surge of research interest in the per- sona of the individual practitioner (Sela-Sheffy 2000; Inghilleri 2005; Chester- man 2006; Pym 2006; Merkle 2008; Dam & Zethsen 2009); more specifically, we were interested in the female translators and interpreters (FTIs) and the man- ner in which gender and profession intersected in shaping their representation of self. Traditionally, translators and interpreters have been a relatively invisible occupational group—a “transparent medium of textual procedures” (Sela-Sheffy 2005:2)—and their trade has been seen as a marginal professional option. This status is also reflected in the narratives of practitioners, which complement the pervasive view of translation as an ontologically derivative and intrinsically in- ferior occupation (Venuti 1995; Bassnett 1996) and of translators as minor, aux- iliary manpower in the text-production industry, as “servants” of a higher au- thority and as belonging “behind the scenes” (Jänis 1996; Simeoni 1998; Venuti 1998). Translators are thus “not as aware as they might be of their own power” (Chesterman...

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