The Translation Studies Reader  book cover
4th Edition

The Translation Studies Reader

Edited By

Lawrence Venuti

ISBN 9780367235970
Published April 30, 2021 by Routledge
560 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Translation Studies Reader provides a definitive survey of the most important and influential developments in translation theory and research, with an emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The introductory essays prefacing each section place a wide range of seminal and innovative readings within their various contexts, thematic and cultural, institutional and historical.

The fourth edition of this classic reader has been substantially revised and updated. Notable features include:

  • Four new readings that sketch the history of Chinese translation from antiquity to the early twentieth century
  • Four new readings that sample key trends in translation research since 2000
  • Incisive commentary on topics of current debate in the field such as world literature, migration and translingualism, and translation history
  • A conceptual organization that illuminates the main models of translation theory and practice, whether instrumental or hermeneutic

This carefully curated selection of key works, by leading scholar and translation theorist, Lawrence Venuti, is essential reading for students and scholars on courses such as the History of Translation Studies, Translation Theory, and Trends in Translation Studies.

Table of Contents



Foundational Statements

1 [Zhi Qian?]

From the Preface to the Sutra of Dharma Verses

Translated by Haun Saussy

2 Dao’An

From the Preface to A Collation of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra

Translated by Haun Saussy

3 Jerome

Letter to Pammachius

Translated by Kathleen Davis

4 Nicolas Perrot d’Ablancourt

Prefaces to Tacitus and Lucian

Translated by Lawrence Venuti

5 John Dryden

From the Preface to Ovid’s Epistles

6 Friedrich Schleiermacher

On the Different Methods of Translating

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

7 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Translated by Sharon Sloan

8 Friedrich Nietzsche


Translated by Walter Kaufmann

9 Lin Shu

Paratexts to A Record of the Black Slaves’ Plea to Heaven

Translated by R. David Arkush, Leo O. Lee, and Michael Gibbs Hill


10 Walter Benjamin

The Translator’s Task

Translated by Steven Rendall

11 Ezra Pound

Guido’s Relations

12 Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun

An Exchange on Translation

Translated by Chloe Estep

13 Jorge Luis Borges

The Translators of The One Thousand and One Nights

Translated by Esther Allen


14 Vladimir Nabokov

Problems of Translation: Onegin in English

15 Roman Jakobson

On Linguistic Aspects of Translation


16 Eugene Nida

Principles of Correspondence

17 George Steiner

The Hermeneutic Motion

18 Itamar Even-Zohar

The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem

19 Gideon Toury

The Nature and Role of Norms in Translation


20 Hans J. Vermeer

Skopos and Commission in Translation Theory

Translated by Andrew Chesterman

21 André Lefevere

Mother Courage’s Cucumbers: Text, System and Refraction in a Theory of Literature

22 Antoine Berman

Translation and the Trials of the Foreign

Translated by Lawrence Venuti

23 Lori Chamberlain

Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation


24 Annie Brisset

The Search for a Native Language: Translation and Cultural Identity

Translated by Rosalind Gill and Roger Gannon

25 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

The Politics of Translation

26 Kwame Anthony Appiah

Thick Translation

27 Keith Harvey

Translating Camp Talk: Gay Identities and Cultural Transfer

28 Jacques Derrida

What Is a "Relevant" Translation?

Translated by Lawrence Venuti

2000s and beyond

29 Pascale Casanova

Consecration and Accumulation of Literary Capital: Translation as Unequal Exchange

Translated by Siobhan Brownlie

30 Ian Mason

Text Parameters in Translation: Transitivity and Institutional Cultures

31 Vicente L. Rafael

Translation, American English, and the National Insecurities of Empire

32 Carla Nappi

Full. Empty. Stop. Go: Translating Miscellany in Early Modern China

33 Karen Van Dyck

Migration, Translingualism, Translation

34 Lawrence Venuti

Genealogies of Translation Theory: Schleiermacher

Works cited 


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Lawrence Venuti, Professor Emeritus of English at Temple University, USA, is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator from Italian, French, and Catalan. He is the author of The Translator’s Invisibility (Translation Classics edition, 2018), The Scandals of Translation (1998), and Translation Changes Everything (2013) as well as the editor of Teaching Translation: Programs, Courses, Pedagogies (2017), all published by Routledge.


"This immensely popular reader, which has been instrumental in inducting generations of translation students into the mysteries of the field, has undergone more than the usual facelift in its fourth edition. Lawrence Venuti does a Herculean job of not just incorporating commentaries from the Chinese tradition but also rewriting section introductions that highlight fascinating East-West interconnections. Through a judicious sampling of masterworks across time and space, this book will point the way toward a reorientation of the terms under which translation is to be theorized."

Leo Tak-hung Chan, Guangxi University, China


Praise for previous editions:

'This catholic selection of essays is aimed at students on a range of courses who have to develop an understanding of translation theory or those embarking on doctoral research . . . This heterogeneity will also be welcomed by those involved in training in the context of translation practice, where the intellectual need to hone strategies is increasingly accepted as part of the necessary baggage of professional status.' - Peter Bush, The Times Higher Educational Supplement

'This is a generously proportioned volume which . . . offers a rich cross-section of contemporary approaches . . . one comes to its end feeling that few stones have been left unturned, few issues left unbroached.' - Clive Scott, In Other Words

'This volume is excellent for introducing students to the history and themes of the field.' - Christina Schaffner, EST Newsletter

'... a useful guide for all communication specialists interested in intercultural communication as it brings forth numerous examples of problems of intercultural communication and solutions to overcome them.  Helping the reader follow the thoughts and development linked to translation, this masterpiece portrays what is intelligible and interesting in translation culture.' - William Ndi, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics