Five reasons why semiotics is good for Translation Studies
Using the theoretical and methodological framework of C.S. Peirce’s theory of signs, I move from the assumption that translation is a special form of sign–action or semiosis. Simply stated, this means that all translating is semiosis but not all semiosis is translating. I will try to show that semiotics is good for Translation Studies for (at least) five reasons:
– it is a theory of signs in general, not of verbal language;
– it provides a viable model for the core of translation events;
– it redefines the traditional image of translating as transfer;
– it casts new light on equivalence and loss; and
– it affords an investigation of the logico-semiotic conditions to translation in general.
The last point is crucial. Three existential characters can be identified for translation semiosis: difference, similarity, and mediation. Together, they can help us frame a fundamental question: “What do we talk about when we talk about translation?”
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