School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Conceptual tools in translation history
    Pym, A ; Rundle, C (Routledge, 2021)
    Western translation historiography has developed a set of conceptual tools with which to talk about translations in terms of separate languages, cultures, and texts, with operational maxims for distinguishing translations from non-translations, and translators from authors. Those concepts assume a foundational binarism that became strong in the early modern period in Europe and may be described as the Western translation form. They then moved outwards from Europe, first as a fellow travelertraveller of modernity, and later with the spread of Western translation studies. Translation historians have, nevertheless, become increasingly aware of alternative translation forms that consistently challenge the Western concepts. Here, it is proposed that the wider plurality might be embraced by honing conceptual tools that, for example, do not systematically separate orality and iconic communication from the written text,; that recognize the ways translators seek trust, collaboration, and inclusion in diverse intercultures,; and that work from technologies as the driving forces of translation history. In developing such concepts, translation historians should further recognize that they are responding to the priorities of the present, in a world where electronic media are revealing the historicity of truths once thought eternal.