Translating Cultures : An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators book cover
3rd Edition

Translating Cultures
An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators

ISBN 9781138344464
Published June 18, 2021 by Routledge
432 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This bestselling coursebook introduces current understanding about culture and provides a model for teaching culture to translators, interpreters and other mediators. The approach is interdisciplinary, with theory from Translation Studies and beyond, while authentic texts and translations illustrate intercultural issues and strategies adopted to overcome them.

This new (third) edition has been thoroughly revised to update scholarship and examples and now includes new languages such as Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, and examples from interpreting settings. This edition revisits the chapters based on recent developments in scholarship in intercultural communication, cultural mediation, translation and interpreting. It aims to achieve a more balanced representation of written and spoken communication by giving more attention to interpreting than the previous editions, especially in interactional settings. Enriched with discussion of key recent scholarly contributions, each practical example has been revisited and/ or updated.

Complemented with online resources, which may be used by both teachers and students, this is the ideal resource for all students of translation and interpreting, as well as any reader interested in communication across cultural divides.

Additional resources are available on the Routledge Translation Studies Portal:

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables


Preface to the third edition

Preface to the second edition


Part 1. Framing Culture: The Culture-Bound Mental Map of the World.

Chapter 1: The Translator, Interpreter and Cultural Mediator

Chapter 2: Defining, Modelling and Teaching Culture

Chapter 3: Frames and Levels

Chapter 4: Logical Levels and Culture

Chapter 5: Language and Culture

Chapter 6 Perception and Meta-Model

Part 2. Shifting Frames: Translation and Mediation in Theory and Practice

Chapter 7: Translation/Mediation

Chapter 8 Chunking

Part 3. The Array of Frames: Communication Orientations

Chapter 9: Cultural Orientations

Chapter 10: Contexting

Chapter 11: Transactional Communication

Chapter 12: Interactional Communication

Concluding remarks



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David Katan is Full Professor of Language and Translation at the University of Salento in Italy, a visiting professor at the University of South Africa, and Editor of Cultus: the Journal of Intercultural Mediation and Communication. Recent publications include keyword entries for Routledge Encyclopedias and Benjamins Handbooks on translation: ‘Culture’, ‘Defining Culture … Defining Translation’, ‘Translating Tourism’ and ‘Transcreation’.

Mustapha Taibi is Associate Professor in Interpreting and Translation at Western Sydney University, and Editor of Translation & Interpreting: The International Journal of Translation and Interpreting Research. His most recent books are Community Translation (2016), New Insights into Arabic Translation and Interpreting (2016), Translating for the Community (2018), and Multicultural Health Translation, Interpreting and Communication (Routledge, 2019).


'A classic remastered through intercultural collaboration – Katan and Taibi connect culture research with translation studies in an eminently practical and instructive way, offering multiple handles on some of the most pressing problems of our age.'

Anthony Pym, University of Melbourne, Australia