Methodology in Translation Studies

Peter Flynn & Yves Gambier
Lessius University College | University of Turku

Table of contents

Methodology could be defined as the study of or the body of knowledge relating to method(s). Viewed in other terms, it can be considered as the hallmark or defining feature of a discipline or an approach within a discipline. In this respect any methodology is the site of constant contention, refinement and re-evaluation (Kuhn 1962). So strictly speaking, a discussion of methodology should also include the position(ing) (Marcus 1998: 98) of the scholar or school with regard to it, both inside any given approach and other approaches adjacent to it and within the discipline as a whole. This has been the case in Translation Studies, viz. the long-standing debate on the use and effectiveness of the Liberal Arts Paradigm and Empirical Science Paradigm (Gile 2005) in tackling and understanding translational and interpreting phenomena. The same holds for the various turns in Translation Studies, all of which are manifestations of its attempt to expand, define and establish itself as a specific academic discipline (Snell-Hornby 2006). Furthermore, an awareness of positioning and its ethical and political implications for researchers has given rise to studies in this area (see Committed approaches and activism; Gender and translation; Political translation; Post-colonial literatures and translation). All of these turns have brought changes in methodology with them or have rejected previous approaches and their respective methodologies. As Interpreting Studies has developed and outlined its own methodological concern, the discussion that follows will focus on translation.

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Further reading

Brenda Nicodemus & Laurie Swabey
(eds) 2011Advances in Interpreting Research. Inquiry in action. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. . Crossref logo  TSBGoogle Scholar
Briggs, Charles L
2002“Interviewing, Power/Knowledge, and Social Inequality.” In Handbook of Interview Research Context & Method, F. Jaber (eds), 911–922. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
Gabriela Saldanha & Sharon O'Brien
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Sandra Hale & Jemina Napier
2013: Research Methods in Interpreting. A practical Resource. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Singleton, Royce & Straits, Bruce C
2010Approaches to Social Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar