When we carry out research on translation history, we face a choice. Are we going to attempt to extrapolate the translation features we uncover in the historical context we are examining in order to contribute to a wider, general or more global history of translation – thereby also making our work more accessible to Translation Studies (TS) in general – or are we going to address those scholars who share our historical subject and introduce them to the insights which the study of translation can offer? In short, is translation the object of our research, or is it the lens through which we research our historical object? In this paper I will discuss this choice and, drawing on my own area of research in translation history, I will argue that seeking to introduce the insights that the study of translation can bring to a wider community of cultural historians, who do not usually take translation into consideration, should be at least one of the objectives of historians of translation. So, to reduce my argument to what is, perhaps, an over-simplified paradigm but one which fairly accurately represents my own experience as a translation historian and which I hope will serve as a useful provocation: the more historical our research, and the more embedded it is in the relevant historiography, the less obviously enlightening it is for other translation scholars who are not familiar with this historiography; while the more we address other scholars in Translation Studies, the less we are contributing to the historical field of our choice. Or to put this another way: the more we immerse ourselves in the historical field of our choice the more the other scholars of this field become our natural interlocutors and the less we have in common with other scholars in Translation Studies.

History through a Translation Perspective

RUNDLE, CHRISTOPHER
2011

Abstract

When we carry out research on translation history, we face a choice. Are we going to attempt to extrapolate the translation features we uncover in the historical context we are examining in order to contribute to a wider, general or more global history of translation – thereby also making our work more accessible to Translation Studies (TS) in general – or are we going to address those scholars who share our historical subject and introduce them to the insights which the study of translation can offer? In short, is translation the object of our research, or is it the lens through which we research our historical object? In this paper I will discuss this choice and, drawing on my own area of research in translation history, I will argue that seeking to introduce the insights that the study of translation can bring to a wider community of cultural historians, who do not usually take translation into consideration, should be at least one of the objectives of historians of translation. So, to reduce my argument to what is, perhaps, an over-simplified paradigm but one which fairly accurately represents my own experience as a translation historian and which I hope will serve as a useful provocation: the more historical our research, and the more embedded it is in the relevant historiography, the less obviously enlightening it is for other translation scholars who are not familiar with this historiography; while the more we address other scholars in Translation Studies, the less we are contributing to the historical field of our choice. Or to put this another way: the more we immerse ourselves in the historical field of our choice the more the other scholars of this field become our natural interlocutors and the less we have in common with other scholars in Translation Studies.
Between Cultures and Texts. Itineraries in Translation History/Entre les cultures et les textes. Itinéraires en histoire de la traductionWith an Introduction by Theo Hermans/Avec une introduction de Theo Hermans
33
43
Christopher Rundle
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/103305
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