Book reviewLos estudios descriptivos de traducción y más allá: Metodología de la investigación en estudios de traducción Translated and edited by Rosa Rabadán & Raquel Merino. (Spanish translation of Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995). Translated and edited by Rosa Rabadán & Raquel Merino. Madrid: Cátedra, 2004. 371 pp. ISBN 84-376-2174-7 .
Reviewed by Marta Mateo
Table of contents
Gideon Toury’s contribution to Translation Studies has been rightly acknowledged as crucial. Building both on James Holmes’ ‘map’—which may be said to have initiated the discipline as a distinct one—and on Even-Zohar’s application of polysystems theory to the study of translation, as is well known Toury developed the branch of descriptive studies—one of the pure areas in Holmes’ framework—by presenting a methodology which enables researchers to place their analyses of source and target texts within the sociocultural system in which they function, with a culturally-oriented and non-prescriptive approach. Some of his most valuable contributions to the field—the search for the norms governing the decision-making processes of translation, his dynamic and functional concept of equivalence, set between the poles of adequacy and acceptability, his target-oriented position in the description, and the different steps proposed in his methodology for DTS research—have been incorporated by translation scholars all over the world and have sparked off further theoretical and methodological developments. They also received some criticisms, which Toury partially replied to in this book which is now translated into Spanish and in which he also unified the notions that had previously appeared in separate publications, he explained the misunderstandings which, in his view, lay behind some criticisms, and presented some tentative ‘laws’ to illustrate research possibilites ‘beyond’ the study of translational norms.