Publication details [#8026]

Brownlie, Siobhan. 2004. Derridian-inspired ideas for the conduct of translators. Babel 50 (4) : 310–331.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Person as a subject
Title as subject
Journal DOI


The article shows that ‘deconstruction’ can be useful to practicing translators. It is important not to proffer generalizations about 'deconstruction’, but to study specific texts. The author initially reviews Philip Lewis’ ideas before going on to show how Jacques Derrida’s text Force de loi is a preferable text. Ideas from Force de loi, in particular the notion of a just decision, inspire flexible guidelines for the conduct of translators. The main features are the following: making decisions which take into account the source text as a whole and the translational situation as a whole with its many facets; not sticking blindly to pre-determined translational strategies but responding to the specificity of the translational situation; making decisions which take into account both rules and protocols, and the incalculable singularity of the translation event; and adopting a critical attitude towards established social norms if required by the particular translational situation.
Source : Based on abstract in journal