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LINGUIST List 19.2195

Wed Jul 09 2008

Books: Translation/Anthropological Ling/Pragmatics: Koskinen

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Ken Baker, Translating Institutions: Koskinen

Message 1: Translating Institutions: Koskinen
Date: 08-Jul-2008
From: Ken Baker <StJeromecompuserve.com>
Subject: Translating Institutions: Koskinen
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Title: Translating Institutions
Subtitle: An Ethnographic of EU Translation
Published: 2008
Publisher: St. Jerome Publishing Ltd

Book URL: http://www.stjerome.co.uk/page.php?id=518&doctype=StJBooks§ion=3

Author: Kaisa Koskinen
Paperback: ISBN: 1905763085 9781905763085 Pages: 186 Price: U.K. £ 25.00

Translating Institutions outlines a framework for research on translation
in institutional settings, using the Finnish translation unit at the
European Commission as a case study. Because of their foundational
multilingualism, the institutions of the European Union could be described
as both translating and translated institutions. The European Commission
alone employs nearly two thousand translators, and it is translators who
draft the vast majority of outgoing EU messages. Translating Institutions
sets out to explore the organizational role and professional identity of
this group of cultural mediators, a group that has remained relatively
invisible despite its size and central institutional role, and to use the
analysis of this data to elaborate broader methodological and theoretical

Translating Institutions adopts an ethnographic approach to explore the
life and work of the translators at the centre of this study. In practice,
this entails employing a number of different methods and interrogating
various types of data. The three-level research design used covers the
study of the institutional framework, the study of translators working in
specific institutional settings, and the study of translated documents and
their source texts. This is therefore a study of both texts and people in
their institutional habitat. Given the methodological focus of the volume,
the different methods and data are outlined in independent chapters: the
institutional framework of translation (institutional ethnography), the
physical location of the unit (observation), translators' own views of
their role (focus group discussions), and a sociologically-oriented text
analysis of a sample document (shifts analysis).

Translating Institutions constitutes a valuable contribution to the
sociology of translation. It opens up new avenues for research and offers a
detailed framework for the study of institutional translation.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Written In: English (eng )

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