Transfer and Transfer Studies

Susanne Göpferich
Gießen University
Table of contents

In Translation Studies there is no unified concept of transfer. What distinguishes transfer concepts from concepts of translation, however, is that ‘translation’ is frequently, but not necessarily, seen as a more constrained mode of transfer associated with equivalence or invariance requirements (see e.g., Koller 1992). In contrast, transfer concepts include, apart from translations in a narrower sense, transformations of texts and other media produced with a functionalist objective, i.e., with the intention of obtaining a target text or medium that fulfils specific functions for its audience in the target culture, rather than the criterion of invariance in relation to the source material. The results of transfer also include target texts or media whose functions differ from those of their source material. Transfers in which a variance requirement leads the hierarchy of target-text requirements have frequently been termed adaptations or versions. To what extent the concepts of translation and transfer overlap, however, depends on the paradigm of translation theory from which one starts. Over the last 60 years, the scope of Translation Studies has expanded continually bringing the concept of translation closer to the more encompassing concept of transfer. For a detailed description of this expansion and its implications for the resulting translation concepts, see Göpferich (2007).

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Further reading

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