Towards the ethical principle of evaluation

-postmodern thought stems from the idea that there are no absolutes on which to base our notions of truth , ethics, or even the meaning f a particular text in question. Many critics , consequently, erroneously assume that this foments an anything goes approach to translation that disallows the possibility of evaluation.


-Because there are no formulas that one can follow absolutely transferring (or even determining) meaning,translators must pay even closer attention to what they are doing.

-Being ethical does not involve simply declaring fidelity but instead sorting though difficult decisions and taking responsibility for those taken. Also, contrary to the stereotype, just because there are no universals does not mean tr-rs can disregard conventions and do whatever they want

They must still take law, rules, and as much else as possible into account ( for tr-n this includes grammar, linguistic and cultural conventions, genre, historical context, etc), for these acts as the guardrails of responsibility


Ethics of difference


One of the consequences of postmodern conceptions of tr-n and ethics has been the flourishing of trends that focus specifically on what Lawrence Venuti calls an ethics of difference 1999, addressing the questions of how power influences what is consider proper meaning and its correcr translation, and silences the alternate versions.

The foreignizing method of tr-ing a strategy Venuti also terms resistancy is a non-fluent or estranging tr-ion style designed to make visible the presence of the tr-or by highlighting the foreign identity of the ST and protectiong it from the ideological dominance of the target culture

In his later book The Scandals of Tr-n 1998 he continues to insist on foreignizing or as he also calls it minoritizing tr-n , to cultivate a varied and heterogeneous discourse

In this kind of scenario the ethical role of the tr-r is to take a stand against injustice that is reflectes in , brought about by or propagated through lg, exposing the hidden or unconscious agendas of what has historically been considered neutral


Venutis ethics in practice

One of the examples Venuti gives of a minoritizing project is his own tr-n of works by the 19th century Italian Tarchetti. The choice of works to tr-te is minoritizing since Tarchetti was a minor 19th century Italian writer (used Tuscan dialect to write experimental novels), challenged the moral and political values of the day)

As far as the lg is concerned the minoritizing or foreignizing method of Venutis tr-n comes through in the deliberate inclusion of foreignizing elements: the calques , archaisms, modern colloquialisms, used British spellings to jar the reader with a heterogeneous discourse


Tr-rs are complicit in the institutional exploitation of foreign texts and cultures. Since English is the most translated lg worldwide, but one of the least tr-ed into Venuti writes, tr-n upholds the hegemonic domination of countries like Britain and the US. To preserve the illusion that tr-n is an innocent act of transference , tr-rs are marginalized. They are poorly paid, often receive no royalties and are generally considered inferior to the original author. By favoring authors, copyright law protects a Romantic concept of original authorship.

Venuti case

A more fluent, popular tr-n would be more democratic. But would it also be less democratic because it reinforces the major lg and its many other linguistic and cultural exclusions.

Tendentious alterations were made to Umberto Ecos Name of the Rose. Venuti writes, The success of a highbrow novel in tr-n , then, should not ne taken as a new sophistication in American literary taste.



There are two more distinctions that affect a typology of translation models. Both derive from Gideon Toury's work. The first is the difference between models of the translation act and those of the translation event.

TRANSLATION ACT The act is understood to take place at the cognitive level, inside the translator's head. The act is thus embedded in the event..

TRANSLATION EVENT- The event is a sociological concept , beginning from the client's selection of a translator, or perhaps from the translator's first reading of some of the source text and ending when the translation is submitted to the client or perhaps when the translator is paid or the translation is read. CAUSAL MODEL - Causal models aim to be more explicit about cause-and-effect relations. By introducing causality they also make the models more explanatory not just descriptive. Causal models aim to represent both the various causes that effect translations and various effects that translation can have. ----Many kinds of causal conditions that may affect translation socio-cultural and historical factors such as traditions and norms, economic factors, the translators personality and mood, the time and resources available the text type the translation skopos ( purpose) , the translators competence and so on.

COMPARATIVE MODEL- -Historically our first models were comparative and can be formalized simply like this ST=TT. That is there is a source text ST and target text TT and the relation between them is approximately equal.The approximately equal is of course where the concepts of correspondence and equivalence and similarity come in , always much debated. This kind of model is static and product based , and was influenced by Contrastive analysis in Linguistics , which studies the similarities and differenced between languages. In TS the focus was not on languages as such but on texts.More specific comparative models showed possible translation equivalents for particular source-text items.Catfords translation rules are based ( in theory) on detailed formulas showing when a given source item is translated as a given target item, in a given target language.


: 2016-06-09

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