Propositions on cross-cultural communication and translation
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
Cross-cultural communication can be characterized by a relatively high degree of effort required to reduce complexity, by relatively high transaction costs, by relatively low trust between communication partners, and by relatively narrow success conditions that create points of high-risk discourse. To communicate successfully between cultures would thus require a special kind of risk management. Translation, as a mode of cross-cultural communication, is held to share those same features, as well as at least two specific representational maxims concerning discursive persons and textual quantity. It is argued that the related concepts of complexity, success conditions and risk can describe not only the act of translating as a mode of cross-cultural communication, but also certain features of the professional intercultures to which translators belong. Step-by-step propositions thus synthesize an approach that runs from an analysis of cross-cultural communication to a description of professional intercultures, their sources of power, and the reasons for their apparent lack of power in a globalizing age.
The following are propositions designed to connect a few ideas about crosscultural communication. They are presented in fairly common language and as concisely as possible. The ideas are drawn from a multiplicity of existing theories; the aim is not particularly to be original. The propositions are instead intended to link up three endeavors: an abstract conception of cross-cultural communication, a description of the specificities of translation, and an attempt to envisage the future of cross-cultural communication in a globalizing age. The various points at which the propositions draw on previous theories are indicated in a series of endnotes. Examples and illustrations can be found in the works referred to.
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1994b “Karl Popper in the translation class”. Cay Dollerup and Annette Lindegaard, eds. Teaching translation and interpreting 2: Insights, aims and visions. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins 1994 89–95.
1997Memes of translation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
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1995Basic concepts and models for translator and interpreter training. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
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1975 “Logic and conversation”. Peter Cole and Jerry L. Morgan, eds. Syntax and semantics 3: Speech acts. New York: Academic Press 1975 41–58.
1991Translation and relevance. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
1999 “Conceptual work and the ‘translation’ concept”. Target 11:1. 1–31.
Holmes, James S.
1988 “Forms of verse translation and the translation of verse form”. Translated!: Papers on literary translation and Translation Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi 1988 23–33.
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Keohane, Robert O.
1984After hegemony: Cooperation and discord in the world political economy. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
1989 “La traduction, les langues et la communication de masse: Les ambiguïtés du discours international”. Target 1:2. 215–237.
1967 “Translation as a decision process”. Reprinted in Andrew Chesterman, ed. Readings in translation theory. Helsinki: Oy Finn Lectura Ab 1989 37–52.
1989Vertrauen: Ein Mechanismus der Reduktion sozialer Komplexität, 3. durchgesehene Auflage. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke.
2003Translating official documents. Manchester: St Jerome.
Monacelli, Claudia and Roberto Punzo
2001 “Ethics in the fuzzy domain of interpreting: A ‘military’ perspective”. Anthony Pym, ed. The return to ethics. Special issue of The translator
1992aTranslation and text transfer: An essay on the principles of intercultural communication. Frankfurt/Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Vienna: Peter Lang.
1992b “The relations between translation and material text transfer”. Target 4:2. 171–189.
1992c “Translation error analysis and the interface with language teaching”. Cay Dollerup and Anne Loddegaard, eds. The teaching of translation: Training talent and experience. Amsterdam: John Benjamins 1992 279–288.
1993Epistemological problems in translation and its teaching. Calaceite: Caminade.
1995 “Translation as a transaction cost”. Meta 40:4. 594–605.
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1996 “Multilingual intertextuality in translation”. Beatriz Penas Ibáñez, ed. The intertextual dimension of discourse. Zaragoza: Universidad de Zaragoza 1996 207–218.
1997Pour une éthique du traducteur. Arras: Artois Presses Université/Ottawa: Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa.
1998Method in translation history. Manchester: St Jerome.
2000a “On cooperation”. Maeve Olohan, ed. Intercultural faultlines: Research models in Translation Studies I: Textual and cognitive aspects. Manchester: St Jerome 2000 181–192.
2000bNegotiating the frontier: Translators and intercultures in Hispanic history. Manchester: St Jerome.
2001a “Alternatives to borders in translation theory”.
Athanor (Bari) 12, nuova serie: Lo stesso altro
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2001b “Four remarks on translation and multimedia”. Yves Gambier and Henrik Gottlieb, eds. Multimedia translation: Concepts, practices, and research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins 2001 275–282.
2003a “Redefining translation competence in an electronic age”. Meta 48:3. 481–497.
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2004The moving text: Localization, translation, and distribution. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
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Sperber, Dan and Deirdre Wilson
1988Relevance: Communication and cognition. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
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ed.2000Translating into success: Cutting-edge strategies for going multilingual in a global age. American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series XI. Amsterdam/PhiladelphiaJohn Benjamins.
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1995Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
2002 “What’s the problem with ‘translation problem’?”. Marcel Thelen and Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, eds. Translation and meaning Part 6: Proceedings of the 3rd International Maastricht–Lódź Duo Colloquium. Maastricht: Universitaire Pers Maastricht 2002 57–71.[ p. 28 ]