Publication details [#57]

Ghazala, Hasan. 2002. The translator's dilemma with bias. Babel 48 (2) : 147–162.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Journal DOI


The translator is a sociable human being in the sense that he lives in a certain community with an intricate complex of religious beliefs, feelings, peculiarities, mental and psychological constraints, dialects, etc. The first part of the article focuses on the fallacy of unbias with regard to the translation of major sensitive topics like culture, religion, politics and sex, as well as technical, general and abstract texts. It comes to the conclusion that the translator's bias, rather than unbias, is the norm in those different types of topics and texts, be it with varying degrees. The second part deals with two main types of bias in translation: 'negative' (because of ignorance, negligence, prejudice, exaggeration, minimization, and the like) and 'positive' (because showing respect, avoiding insulting readers, glorifying, etc.) The author concludes by stressing that bias is not only inevitable, but at times even advisable.
Source : Based on abstract in journal