Translation in Systems : Descriptive and System-oriented Approaches Explained book cover
1st Edition

Translation in Systems
Descriptive and System-oriented Approaches Explained

ISBN 9781900650113
Published March 26, 2014 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

The notion of systems has helped revolutionize translation studies since the 1970s. As a key part of many descriptive approaches, it has broken with the prescriptive focus on what translation should be, encouraging researchers to ask what translation does in specific cultural settings. From his privileged position as a direct participant in these developments, Theo Hermans explains how contemporary descriptive approaches came about, what the basic ideas were, and how those ideas have evolved over time. His discussion addresses the fundamental problems of translation norms, equivalence, polysystems and social systems, covering not only the work of Levý, Holmes, Even-Zohar, Toury, Lefevere, Lambert, Van Leuven-Zwart, Dhulst and others, but also giving special attention to recent contributions derived from Pierre Bourdieu and Niklas Luhmann. An added focus on practical questions of how to investigate translation (problems of definition, description, assessment of readerships, etc.) makes this book essential reading for graduate students and indeed any researchers in the field. Hermans' account of descriptive translation studies is both informed and critical. At the same time, he demonstrates the strength of the basic concepts, which have shown considerable vitality in their evolution and adaptation to the debates of the present day.

Table of Contents

Preamble: Mann's Fate

1. An Invisible College

Invisible Colleges
Manipulation College?

2. Lines of Approach

'Diagnostic rather than hortatory'
Decisions, Shifts, Metatexts
A Disciplinary Utopia

3. Points of Orientation

4. Undefining Translation

5. Describing Translation

First Attempts
Real Readers
Comparative Practice

6. Working with Norms

Decisions and Norms
Toury's Norms
Chesterman's Norms
Norm Theory
Studying Norms

7. Beyond Norms

Translation as Index
Historicizing Theory

8. Into Systems

Polysystem's Sources
Polysystem's Terms
Polysystems in Action
Polysystem's Limitations

9. More Systems?

Mass Communication Maps
System, Ideology and Poetics
Translation as Field and Habitus

10. Translation as System

Expectations Structure
Translation as a Social System
Self-reference and Description

11. Criticisms

12. Perspectives


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Theo Hermans