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Translators theorising translation : A study of Japanese/English translators’ accounts of dispute situations and its implications for translation pedagogy

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posted on 2014-10-10, 09:51 authored by Akiko Sakamoto
The gap between theory and practice has long been an issue of discussion in Translation Studies, particularly in the pedagogy of translation. While the teaching of theory has been an integral part of translator education in academic institutions, students and practitioners of translation tend to think that practice should be prioritised over theory. Although scholars have often argued the benefit of theoretical knowledge of translation to practice, the discussions have tended to lack empirical evidence, relying heavily on anecdotal evidence provided by teachers as well as the beliefs of scholars. Against this background, the present study aims to generate a translators’ version of translation theory from working practitioners’ meta-discourse about their professional practice. The main source of data comes from semi-structured interviews with seventeen successful translators who work in the language combination of English and Japanese. Using a methodologically eclectic approach (drawing on grounded theory, narrative inquiry and Discursive Psychology), the translators’ theorisation patterns are explored, which is then compared with various theories of translation that are popular within academia or related to the study outcomes. The study revealed that the major concepts presented in the interviewees’ theorisation are: role of participants and natural/literal translations. Their accounts demonstrated a particular narrative structure involving the concepts of text type, money, feedback and repeated commission. In addition, scarce use of metaphor was identified as their discursive characteristics. By comparing the outcomes with the theories found within academia, I argue that the similarities and differences identified can be fed into translation pedagogy, particularly in relation to the notions presented in the theory of translatorial action, norm theory, skopos theory and dichotomous notions of translation such as foreignising and domesticating translations. Some suggestions of how to use those outcomes in the classroom will be presented too.

History

Supervisor(s)

Malmkjaer, Kirsten; Storchi, Simona

Date of award

2014-09-01

Author affiliation

School of Modern Languages

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD

Language

en

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