Chapter published in:Reflections on Translation Theory: Selected papers 1993 - 2014
[Benjamins Translation Library 132] 2017
► pp. 201–212
Problems with strategies
The term “translation strategy” has been used by various translation scholars to describe different kinds of textual procedures used by translators. Other terms that have been proposed for these or related concepts include techniques, procedures, shifts, operations, transfers, changes, methods, trajections and transformations. There actually seem to be more terms than concepts. This paper offers a critical analysis of some of the conceptual and terminological problems in this area of translation studies. Distinctions are made between concepts pertaining to result and to process; linguistic vs. cognitive levels; problem-solving vs. routine procedures; and global vs. local strategies. Different systems of strategy classification are briefly compared, and the problem of their operationalization and application is raised, particularly with respect to their use as pedagogical tools. Finally, a terminological and conceptual solution is proposed which takes into account the main distinctions discussed and also shows links between this conceptual field and two other areas of translation studies: translation typology and equivalence typology.
Keywords: strategy, technique, shift, method, similarity, equivalence