This is an expanded and slightly revised version of the book of the same title which caused quite a stir when it was first published (1995). It thus reflects an additional step in an ongoing research project which was launched in the 1970s. The main objective is to transcend the limitations of using descriptive methods as a mere ancillary tool and place a proper branch of DTS at the very heart of the discipline, between the theoretical and the applied branches. Throughout the book, theoretical and methodological discussions are illustrated by an assortment of case studies, the emphasis being on the need to take whatever one wishes to focus on within the contexts which are relevant to it. Part One discusses the pivotal position of the descriptive branch within Translation Studies, and Part Two then outlines a detailed rationale for that positioning. This, in turn, supplies a framework for the case studies comprising Part Three, where a number of exemplary issues are analysed and contextualized: texts and modes of translational behaviour are situated in their cultural setting, and textual components are related to their texts and then also to the cultural constellations in which they are embedded. All this leads to Part Four, which asks what the knowledge accumulated through descriptive studies of the kind advocated in the book is likely to yield in terms of both the theoretical and the applied branches of the field. All in all: an innovative, thought-provoking book which no one with a keen interest in translation can afford to ignore.