Can Theory Help Translators?
A Dialogue between the Ivory Tower and the Wordface
Andrew Chesterman & Emma Wagner
Translation Theories Explained 9 (ISSN 1365-0513; Series Editor: Anthony Pym)
Pbk, £19.50/$31, inc. postage & packing)
152 pages, 2002
This book is a dialogue between a theoretical scholar and a professional translator, about the usefulness (if any) of translation theory. Andrew Chesterman and Emma Wagner argue about the problem of the translator’s identity, the history of the translator’s role, the translator’s visibility, translation types and strategies, translation quality, ethics, and translation aids.
Chapter 1 addresses the aims of theory, the needs of translators and the role of conceptual tools. In Chapter 2 the authors debate issues of identity, metaphors of translation and translation history. Chapter 3 covers visibility, authors and professional status. Chapter 4 deals with classification of purposes, types and readerships, and Chapter 5 with strategies, unblocking, distancing, and motivating. The following chapter engages with issues of quality assessment, standards and norms, and the final chapter with translation aids, machine translation and translation memory.
For readers already working at the translation ‘wordface’, especially those who are sceptical of all theorizing, the book aims to challenge their view of theory. For those in the ‘ivory tower’, such as students, teachers and scholars, the book will strengthen the connections between theory and practice. For both groups, the book is an invitation to join the discussion.
Emma Wagner is a translator and translation manager at the European Commission in Luxembourg. Andrew Chesterman is professor of translation theory at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
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