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Title: What has Translation Theory got to learn from Contemporary Practice?
Author: Bennett, Karen
Keywords: translation theory
translation practice
market-driven translation
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2004
Citation: Bennett, Karen. ‘What has Translation Theory got to learn from Contemporary Practice’ in the proceedings of the VII Seminar on Scientific and Technical Translation in Portuguese, União Latina, 2004
Abstract: There has long been a traditional animosity between practising translators and the theoreticians residing in the ‘Ivory Tower’ of the University. In the past, this was due to the judgmental attitude that theory would assume in relation to the translation product; the source-text-oriented discourse of traduttore tradittore and les belles infidèles meant that the whole translation process was essentially doomed from the outset, with practitioners thrust into a thankless No Win situation that was as humiliating as it was gruelling. Modern theory, on the other hand, whilst being much more sympathetic to the undeniably important role that translation plays in the target culture, tends to get sidetracked into ideologically irreprehensible but entirely unfeasible missions to change the world, as can be seen from the discourses surrounding the concepts of ‘visibility’ and ‘transparency’, not to mention those that mobilise more obvious feminist and post-colonialist issues. This paper suggests that translation theory might have something to learn from the experience of real practitioners, who operate within the market and are subject to its forces. To what extent can translation be mobilised for ideological purposes? Does it really have the subversive potential that some theorists have claimed or is it in fact a lot more limited in scope? And how can the poor underpaid translator, whose main aim often goes no further than to satisfy her customers and earn a decent living, contribute to these lofty ideals?
ISBN: 972-96789-9-5
Appears in Collections:FL - CEComp - Comunicações

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