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Translation as a normgoverned activity - Essay Example

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Translation as a normgoverned activity

There was a time when translation was perceived as a secondary activity, it was more likely to be understood as a 'mechanical' process rather than a 'creative' process, with a common perception that any layman can handle it. Gideon Toury presented a unique and new approach to reassess translation research in the 1980s until the translation studies was dominated by the systemic approach pioneered by Itamar Even-Zohar and Gideon Toury. Toury being the pioneer of "Polysystems theory" shifted it towards a radical development because he wanted to acquire the attention away from arid debates about faithfulness and equivalence towards an examination of the role of the translated text in its new context. Significantly, this opened the way for further research into the history of translation, leading also to a reassessment of the importance of translation as a force for change and innovation in literary history.
Whereas previously the emphasis had previously been on comparing original and translation, often with a view to establishing what had been 'lost' or 'betrayed' in the translation process, the new approach took a resolutely different line, seeking not to evaluate but to understand the shifts of emphasis that had taken place during the transfer of texts from one literary system into another. Polysystems theory focused exclusively on literary translation, though it operated with an enlarged notion of the literary which included a broad range of items of literary production including dubbing and subtitling, children's literature, popular culture and advertising.

When in 1995, Gideon Toury published "Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond", he meant to reassess the 'polysystems' approach (which was presented by first Itamar Even-Zohar) for the reason that it was disliked by some scholars for its over-emphasis on the target system. That means Toury's intentions were not to take full credit what was started by Itamar. While putting his emphasis on target culture, Toury mentioned and highlighted the need to fill in the gap created by target culture, it is logical to make the target system the object of study. He also pointed out the need to establish patterns of regularity of translational behaviour, in order to study the way in which norms are formulated and how they operate. Toury explicitly rejected any idea that the object of translation theory is to improve the quality of translations: theorists have one agenda, he argues, while practitioners have different responsibilities. Although Toury's views were never universally accepted but they acquired respect and esteem for the reason that it was significant during the 1990s to work, research and show efforts on translation norms and a call for greater scientificity in the study of translation.

In Search of a Theory of Translation (1980)
Although Toury's publication with Tel Aviv School of Poetics and Semiotics met with various criticisms and failure but Toury alone could not be held responsible for it for many reasons. The study of translation norms in the mid of 1970s did not expose Toury much towards the field as translation was not at heyday as what is today. No particular work had been done in the field of translations studies, until Toury Gideon along with Itamar Even-Zohar researched the field of literature and semiotics.

It was Toury who discovered ...Show more

Summary

Translation has no doubt suffered a lot throughout the ages. From Walter to Toury, it has always sought its place in the research work of scientists, and it is for this reason that scientists are able to get the most of 'Translation studies', somewhere in between the form of norms and culture…
Author : vhessel
Translation as a normgoverned activity essay example
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