Book review
Ernst-August Gutt. Translation and relevance: Cognition and context
Manchester/Boston: St. Jerome, 2000. ix + 271 pp. ISBN 1-900650-29-0 (hbk) / 1-900650-22-3 (pbk)

Reviewed by Sonja Tirkkonen-Condit
Table of contents

Judging from frequent references to it, this book has become a classic in Translation Studies in less than ten years. This is a good enough reason for a second edition, this time by St. Jerome. What is new in the second edition, in addition to minor revisions, is a postscript of 40 pages, in which the author explains—for those in particular who did not gather it from the first edition—that the main purpose of this work is “to bring out with new clarity the truly unique mandate of translation which distinguishes it from other modes of interlingual communication” (p. 208, my italics). This is exactly the point for which I gave credit to the book in my earlier review (Tirkkonen-Condit 1992). It is true that relevance theory provides a sound theoretical framework for describing how interlingual communication tasks—while conventionally [ p. 194 ]referred to as ‘translation’—in fact differ so fundamentally as to deserve a distinction into translation proper and non-translation. A paramount example of the latter is localisation of software, which today employs increasing numbers of translators.

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