Reflections on Translation Theory

Selected papers 1993 - 2014

| University of Helsinki
ISBN 9789027258786 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027258793 | EUR 36.00 | USD 54.00
ISBN 9789027265760 | EUR 99.00/36.00*
| USD 149.00/54.00*
Originally published in different journals and collected volumes, these papers in conceptual analysis cover some central topics in translation theory and research: types of theory and hypothesis; causality and explanation; norms, strategies and so-called universals; translation sociology, and ethics. There are critical reviews of Catford’s theory, and of Skopos theory, and of Kundera’s views on literary translation, and detailed analyses of the literal translation hypothesis and the unique items hypothesis. The methodological discussions, which draw on work in the philosophy of science, will be of special relevance to younger researchers, for example those starting work on a doctorate. Some of the arguments and positions defended – for instance on the significant status of conceptual, interpretive hypotheses, and the ideal of consilience – relate to wider ongoing debates, and will interest any scholar who is concerned about the increasing fragmentation of the field and about the future of Translation Studies. Let the dialogue continue!
[Benjamins Translation Library, 132]  2017.  x, 396 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Section I. Some general issues
Paper 1. On the idea of a theory
Paper 2. Shared ground in Translation Studies
Paper 3. What constitutes “progress” in Translation Studies?
Paper 4. Towards consilience?
Section II. Descriptive and prescriptive
Paper 5. The empirical status of prescriptivism
Paper 6. Skopos theory: A retrospective assessment*
Paper 7. Catford revisited*
Paper 8. The descriptive paradox, or how theory can affect practice*
Section III. Causality and explanation
Paper 9. Causes, translations, effects
Paper 10. A causal model for Translation Studies
Paper 11. Semiotic modalities in translation causality
Paper 12. On explanation
Section IV. Norms
Paper 13. From ‘is’ to ‘ought’: Laws, norms and strategies in Translation Studies
Paper 14. A note on norms and evidence
Section V. Similarities and differences
Paper 15. On similarity
Paper 16. Problems with strategies
Paper 17. The unbearable lightness of English words
Section VI. Hypotheses
Paper 18. The status of interpretive hypotheses
Paper 19. Reflections on the literal translation hypothesis
Section VII. “Universals”
Paper 20. Beyond the particular
Paper 21. What is a unique item?
Paper 22. Kundera’s sentence
Paper 23. Universalism in Translation Studies
Section VIII. The sociological turn
Paper 24. Questions in the sociology of translation
Paper 25. The name and nature of Translator Studies
Paper 26. Models of what processes?
Section IX. Translation ethics
Paper 27. Proposal for a Hieronymic Oath
Paper 28. An ethical decision
Name index
Subject index
“This collection of papers brings together more than two decades of writings on translation by one of the leading international Translation Studies experts. The selection reflects the trajectory of Andrew Chesterman’s thinking about the phenomenon of translation, with special emphasis on conceptual analysis and research methodology. He writes about translation theory, hypotheses, norms, causality, explanation and translation ethics in a thoughtful and intellectually stimulating manner. This book is essential reading for scholars and postgraduate students of translation alike.”
“Two decades of the best recent thinking about translation theory and its fundamental concepts. A superb achievement.”
Reflections on Translation Theory ultimately demonstrates the significance of Chesterman’s work to translation theory. He offers an important, questioning voice in the discipline that does not allow anything to be taken for granted. His writing is refreshingly clear, but he is not afraid of complexity when it is necessary. While his style might be relatively straightforward and easy to read, the ideas he grapples with can be quite large and imposing. There is much to learn from reading Chesterman’s work, even if we disagree with it: even then, he points out ways in which we can develop our thinking about translation.”
“The volume is logically structured and orderly. The collection indeed inspires and will inspire critical and in-depth thinking. The author does not impose anything on the readers, but constantly keeps them informed of why a particular definition, for example, is preferred and alerts readers of potential weaknesses in his own thinking as well as in the thinking of those who have influenced his ideas about translation. The volume is definitely a valuable and precious contribution to the translation studies literature, which will inspire generations of researchers.”
“Chesterman’s new book is valuable and a timely contribution to the field of Translation Studies. The paradox of fragmentation and shared ground will never cease existing as interdisciplinarity expands the research territory of TS while unification consolidates the foundation of the field. With a critical review over what has been achieved in TS, the book is a must-read not only for translation scholars, but also for translators as well as those who are interested in Translation Studies.”
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Cited by

Cited by 5 other publications

Heltai, Pál
2019. Stefan Baumgarten, Jordi Cornellà-Detrell (eds). Across Languages and Cultures 20:2  pp. 281 ff. Crossref logo
López-Alcalá, Samuel
2021. Issues of explanation in translation history: An example from US–Mexican religious historiography. Translation Studies 14:1  pp. 51 ff. Crossref logo
Ortiz García, Javier
2021. “All the pieces matter”. Babel. Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation Crossref logo
Tan, Hua
2020. A history of modern translation knowledge: sources, concepts and effect. Language & History 63:3  pp. 233 ff. Crossref logo
Xavier, Catarina
2021. On norms and taboo. Target. International Journal of Translation Studies Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 october 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata

Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CFP – Translation & interpretation
BISAC Subject: LAN023000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017001379 | Marc record