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Review of Introducing Translation Studies, Theories and Applications
AUTHOR: Munday, Jeremy TITLE: Introducing Translation Studies SUBTITLE: Theories and Applications PUBLISHER: Routledge, London and New York, 2nd. Edition. YEAR: 2008
Mekki Elbadri, Vienna Austria
SUMMARY Munday's book consists of 236 pages divided into an introduction and 12 chapters. It includes also a list of figures and tables, acknowledgements and a list of abbreviations, as well as an appendix (with internet links), notes, a bibliography and an index. Each chapter is prefaced by a box of key concepts and a list of key texts, and concluded with one or two case studies, suggestions for further reading, a summary and a box containing discussion and research points.
In the introduction, the author defines translation studies as ''the academic discipline related to the study of the theory and phenomena of translation. By its nature it is multilingual and also interdisciplinary, encompassing any language combinations, various branches of linguistics, comparative literature, communication studies, philosophy and a range of types of cultural studies including postcolonialism and postmodernism as well as sociology and historiography'' (p. 1). He points out the difficulty of teaching about the discipline because of this diversity. He provides a list of readers on the subject (see, for example, Venuti (2000)) and outlines the structure of the book, defining its prospective audience, as well as pointing out similarities and differences between the first edition of the book (Munday, 2001) and this second edition.
Chapter 1, pp. 4-17, ''Main issues of translation studies'', outlines the concept of translation, describes what is meant by translation studies and sketches a brief history of the discipline. The author presents with some detail the map formalized by Holmes as a seminal concept of the translation studies, named as such, and establishes the field as a distinct discipline (Holmes, 2000). He presents the structure of the field proposed by Holmes and Toury (Toury, 1995). However, he points out some research areas that are not included in that map and includes new perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to the field. The developments of the field since the 1970s are traced. The chapter is concluded by a section on the aim of the book and a guide to its chapters.
Chapter 2, pp. 18-35, ''Translation theory before the twentieth century'', presents the recurring discussion in translation history about ''word-for-word'' and ''sense-for-sense'' translation. Instances of this debate, underlining the role played by translating religious texts are provided from European heritage and the debates about translating the Bible, with special reference to St. Jerome's work, as well as other civilizations, such as Arab translators of Greek works and Chinese translations of Buddhist sacred texts. In the same vein, the author presents Martin Luther's approach to the question, the debate on faithfulness, spirit and truth, in addition to early attempts at a systematic translation theory and the emergence of contemporary translation theory. The chapter is concluded with two case studies discussing assessment criteria and a translator's preface.
Chapter 3, pp. 36-54, ''Equivalence and equivalent effect'', discusses the linguistic, systematic approach to analyzing translation that moved away from the circular debate of ''literal'' versus ''free'' translation. It discusses Roman Jakobson's concept of linguistic meaning and equivalence, Nida's work in the translation of the Bible and his role in establishing a ''science of translating'' through analyzing the nature of meaning and benefiting from Chomsky's generative-transformational grammar models in his work. The author addresses as well Newmark's ''semantic and communicative translation'' and Koller's ''Korrespondenz and Äquivalenz''. The chapter contains a case study considering translations from Nida's perspective of formal and dynamic equivalence.
Chapter 4, pp.55-70, ''Studying translation product and process'', presents the direction of the classical taxonomy of linguistic changes in translation proposed by Vinay and Darbelnet, Catford's linguistic approach to translation and the use of the term ''translation shifts'', as well as the theoretical work by Czech scholars adopting stylistic and aesthetic parameters of language. It discusses also the problem of subjectivity of the invariant used to compare source text and target text. It considers finally the cognitive models seeking to study the processes of translation through observation making use of technological advances, such as think-aloud protocols, key-stroke records and eye trackers. The chapter is concluded with a case study based on the model proposed by Vinay and Darbelnet (1958) applied to short illustrative texts.
Chapter 5, pp. 71-88, ''Functional theories of translation'', considers a number of approaches that have adopted functionalist and communicative models in translation analysis. This includes a discussion of moves away from the static typologies of translation shifts represented by theories such as Katharina Reiss's early work on text type and Mary Snell-Hornby's 'integrated approach', the translatorial action model that views translation as purpose driven, outcome oriented human interaction, and the Skopos theory as a technical term for the purpose of translation and action of translating, which determines the translation methods and strategies that are to be employed in order to produce a functionally adequate result. It includes as well a discussion of translation-oriented text analysis. The chapter is concluded with a case study of a real-life translation commission discussed using Nord's model of text analysis.
Chapter 6, pp. 89-123, ''Discourse and register analysis approaches'', presents approaches to translation influenced by the growth of discourse analysis in applied linguistics and primarily by Halliday's systemic functional grammar. It contains a discussion of Houses' model for the assessment of translation quality, Baker's influential course book introducing discourse and pragmatic analysis for practicing translators, and Hatim and Mason's addition of pragmatic and semiotic levels to register analysis. Two case studies illustrating this approach are used to analyze the translation of a German and a French film in English.
Chapter 7, pp. 107-123, ''Systems theories'', discusses Even-Zohar's polysystem theory that sees translated literature as part of cultural, literary and historical system of the target language. It moves out of the static linguistic analysis of shifts and debate on one-to-one equivalence into an investigation of the position of translated literature. The chapter presents also the methodology proposed by Toury for descriptive translation studies as a non-prescriptive means of understanding the 'norms' at work in the translation process, and of discovering the general 'laws' of translation. It discusses also the related Manipulation School as part of the systems approaches. In conclusion, a case study is presented discussing the Harry Potter series and its translations into Italian and Spanish, following Toury's three-phase methodology.
Chapter 8, ''Cultural and ideological turns'', pp. pp. 124-141, considers the move in translation studies towards the analysis of translation from a cultural studies angle, sidelining linguistic theories of translation. Attention is paid to Lefevere's treatment of translation as ''rewriting'', identifying ideological pressures on translated texts, an approach that developed from systems theories. This chapter also looks at the writings of feminist scholars in translation studies who have raised the issues of gender and opposition to male dominated discourse in translation, as well as to the translation of gay literature. Considerable attention is paid to postcolonial translation theories which stress the part that translation has played in the colonization process and the image of the colonized. The move from translation as text to translation as culture and politics is termed 'the cultural turn' borrowing the name from Snell-Hornby. In addition, the author considers the ideologies of the theorists who come from different cultural schools and they themselves have their own ideologies and agendas that drive their criticism. The chapter is concluded with a case study that discusses the English translation of a Punjabi novel.
Chapter 9, pp. 142-161, ''The role of the translator: visibility, ethics and sociology'', focuses mainly on the role of the literary translator and the cultural and political agenda of translation. It discusses Venuti's position on the invisibility of the translator in contemporary Anglo-American culture and its ethical consequences. This view maintains that the foreign is made invisible by both publishing strategies, who influence and are influenced by market forces, and by the preference for a 'fluent' target text that erases traces of the foreign. This phenomenon, called ''domestication'', is opposed to ''foreignization'' as an endeavor of resistance to that dominance. The approach outlines the roles of different participants in this process: practicing translators, publishers, and reviewers, as well as the agent of the translator who has become central to work in these areas. Research in this area has links both to cultural studies theories and to philosophical approaches discussed elsewhere in the book. Finally, the case study investigates many of the areas discussed in the chapter by focusing on the epitexts of the English translation for a collection of short stories by García Márquez.
Chapter 10, pp. 162-178, ''Philosophical theories of translation'', considers the hermeneutic approach to translation studies, linked to the German Romantics and represented by Steiner’s hermeneutic motion, that consider translation as the act of elicitation and appropriate transfer of meaning. It discusses as well Ezra Pound’s energy of language, which treats translation as a tool in the cultural struggle, and the revitalization of the past, an effort that is considered as an early form of ''foreignization''. The author points out that Steiner's monumental description of literary translation in 'After Babel' (1975) brought translation to the attention of many non-specialists. At last, the case study, showing Steiner's model of the hermeneutic process, discusses an Irish translation of the epic poem 'Beowulf'. A second case study discusses a short story in which the language is described as seemingly designed to resist translation.
Chapter 11, pp. 179-196, ''New directions from the new media'', discusses how new media has transformed translation practice and caused theory to revisit and adopt new concepts. It presents corpus-based translation studies, as means of investigating translated language, audio-visual translation, especially subtitling that is becoming increasingly popular for applied descriptive studies, and localization and globalization, new translation practice and environment that alters notions of equivalence and power. As a case study, examples of corpus-based translation studies and audiovisual translation as scenarios for discussing what they can bring to the theory and applications of translation studies are discussed and illustrated by reference to source material.
In the concluding remarks the author points out the possible fragmentation of translation studies that would result from the persistent tension between linguistic and cultural studies. He outlines some of the new sub-disciplines or disciplines in their own right, such as interpreting studies, potential future audiovisual translation and localization studies, that are emerging within the field. He observes as well that issues such as equivalence are constantly revisited in the light of new theoretical models and technological developments.
EVALUATION In spite of the book's average size and textbook format, it manages to overview in a rather comprehensive way many of the important milestones of translation studies history, current trends and approaches, newer directions and future horizons. The author states at the onset that the book is designed to serve as a course book for students, researchers, instructors and professional translators in the areas of translation, translation studies and translation theory both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The book's simplified structure, clear indication of key concepts, main sources, further readings and discussion of research points makes it adequate for the purpose that the author put forward. In spite of the book's comprehensive approach and extensive reference, it didn't do injustice to the theories studied. They are presented in a concise but clear way.
However, given the vastness of the area of translation studies, the book missed some important areas in the field. Subjects such as machine translation and computer assisted translation tools could have found their place in a separate chapters or within the last chapter on ''new media''. Other subjects such as online-translation services, translator training, terminology and the role of globalization (see for example Ho 2008) and new market forces effect on translation, among others, would be worthy of discussion in such a comprehensive work. Nevertheless, these lacunae do not undermine the value of the book and its usefulness to its intended audience. In addition, the extensive literature referred to by the author makes it a difficult task for the reviewer to give adequate referencing to all the works mentioned in such a limited space, it is therefore inevitable to refer either to the book itself or to the original references for more details.
REFERENCES Ho, G. (2008) _Globalization and Translation: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Translation Studies_. Saarbruecken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG.
Holmes, J. (2000) 'The Name and Nature of Translation Studies', in Venuti (2000), pp. 172-185.
Munday, J. (2001) _Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications_. London and New York: Routledge, 1st. edition.
Steiner, G. (ed.) (1975) _After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation_. London: Oxford University Press.
Toury, G. (1995) _Descriptive Translation Studies – And Beyond_. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Venuti, L. (2000) _The Translation Studies Reader_. London and New York: Routledge.
Vinay, J.-P. and J. and J. Darbelnet. (1958) _Stylistique Comparé du français et de l'anglais: méthode de traduction_. Paris: Didier.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Mekki Elbadri is a translator and researcher based in Vienna, Austria. He conducts research on news discourse in English and Arabic. His research interests include translation, terminology and critical discourse analysis.