Publication details [#7978]

Chesterman, Andrew. 1993. From 'is' to 'ought': laws, norms and strategies in Translation Studies. Target 5 (1) : 1–20.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
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Journal DOI


Translation Studies need to cater for both description and evaluation. This can be achieved via the study of translation norms. The norms governing translation are: (a) professional norms concerning the translation process (norms of accountability, communication and target-source relation); and (b) expectancy norms concerning the form of the translation product, based on the expectations of the prospective leadership. While general translation laws account for the behaviour of translators in general, normative laws describe the translation behaviour of a subset of translators, namely, competent professionals, who establish the norms. Normative laws originate in rational, norm-directed strategies which are observed to be used by professionals. These laws are empirical, spatio-temporally falsifiable, probabilistic, predictive and explanatory.
Source : Based on abstract in journal