Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Translation Theory for Newbies

        This post deals with the question of Translation Theory's relevance to the professional practice of translation. Most of the practicing translators would think that it is not very important, especially the ad hoc translators and interpreters. Yet, I disagree with them on this point. It is true that practice makes perfect, however I believe that the new translators won't have time to make all the errors of their predecessors and colleagues or just of the fellow translators and interpreters in order to learn. Knowledge of translation theories is a must, it saves time and helps in achieving high-quality translations which fit for the purpose of the projects. 
        Here is a thread which might be enlightening to newbies. Professor As-Safi from Petra University surveyed most of the theories and provided an interesting account which might guide your search in this area. He pointed out that they were developed in four periods. The main theories are as follows:

- Philological Theories
- Philosophical Theories
- Linguistic Theories
- Functional Theories
- Text-type Theory
- Translational Action Theory
- Skopos Theory
- Socio-linguistic Theories
- Interpretative Theory
- Systems Theories
- Polysystem Theory
- Manipulation Theory
- Aesthetic Communication Theory
- Relevance Theory
              He also calls for a Comprehensive, Applicable Theory.
              What do you think?