Translating Cultures : An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators book cover
2nd Edition

Translating Cultures
An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators

ISBN 9781315759692
Published June 3, 2014 by Routledge
392 Pages

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Book Description

As the 21st century gets into stride so does the call for a discipline combining culture and translation. This second edition of Translating Cultures retains its original aim of putting some rigour and coherence into these fashionable words and lays the foundation for such a discipline. This edition has not only been thoroughly revised, but it has also been expanded. In particular, a new chapter has been added which focuses specifically on training translators for translational and intercultural competencies.


The core of the book provides a model for teaching culture to translators, interpreters and other mediators. It introduces the reader to current understanding about culture and aims to raise awareness of the fundamental role of culture in constructing, perceiving and translating reality. Culture is perceived throughout as a system for orienting experience, and a basic presupposition is that the organization of experience is not 'reality', but rather a simplified model and a 'distortion' which varies from culture to culture. Each culture acts as a frame within which external signs or 'reality' are interpreted. The approach is interdisciplinary, taking ideas from contemporary translation theory, anthropology, Bateson's logical typing and metamessage theories, Bandler and Grinder's NLP meta-model theory, and Hallidayan functional grammar.


Authentic texts and translations are offered to illustrate the various strategies that a cultural mediator can adopt in order to make the different cultural frames he or she is mediating between more explicit.

Table of Contents



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


Chapter 1: The Cultural Mediator


1.1 The Influence of Culture
1.2 The Cultural Interpreter/Mediator
1.3 The Translator and Interpreter

Chapter 2: Defining, Modelling and Teaching Culture


2.1 On Defining Culture
2.2 Approaches to the Study of Culture
2.3 McDonaldization or Local Globalization?
2.4 Models of culture

Chapter 3: Frames and Levels


3.1 Frames
3.2 Logical Levels
3.3 Culture and Behaviour

Chapter 4: Logical Levels and Culture


4.1 Environment
4.2 Behaviour
4.3 Capabilities/Strategies/Skills
4.4 Values
4.5 Beliefs
4.6 Identity
4.7 Imprinting
4.8 The Model as a System

Chapter 5: Language and Culture


5.1 Context of Situation and Culture
5.2 The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
5.3 Lexis
5.4 The Language System

Chapter 6: Perception and Meta-Model


6.1 The Filters
6.2 Expectations and Mental Images
6.3 The Meta-Model
6.4 Generalization
6.5 Deletion
6.6 Distortion
6.7 Example Text

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


Chapter 7: Translation/Mediation


7.1 The Translation Process
7.2 The Meta-Model and Translation
7.3 Generalization
7.4 Deletion
7.5 Distortion

Chapter 8: Chunking


8.1 Local Translating
8.2 Chunking
8.3 Global Translation and Mediation

Part 3 The Array of Frames: Communication Orientations


Chapter 9: Cultural Orientations


9.1 Cultural Myths
9.2 Cultural Orientations
9.3 A Taxonomy of Orientations

Chapter 10: Contexting


10.1 High and Low Context
10.2 English - the Language of Strangers
10.3 Contexting and the Brain

Chapter 11: Transactional Communication


11.1 Transactional and Interactional Communication
11.2 Medium
11.3 Author/Addressee Orientation
11.4 Formal/Informal Communication
11.5 Example Texts

Chapter 12: Interactional Communication


12.1 Expressive/Instrumental Communication
12.2 Direct and Indirect Communication
12.3 The Action Orientation
12.4 Conclusion

Part 4 Intercultural Competence: On Becoming a Cultural Interpreter and Mediator


Chapter 13: On Becoming a Mediator


13.1 The Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)
13.2 The Six Stages
13.3 The Translator Student


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