The History of Translation studies

Topics: Translation, Culture, Language Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: November 17, 2014
1. Ideally it combines the history of translation theory with the study of literary and social trends in which translation has played a direct part. It is the story of interchange between languages and between cultures and as such has implications for the study of both language and culture. 2. Closely allied to literary history, translation history can describe changes in literary trends, account for the regeneration of a culture, trace changes in politics or ideology and explain the expansion and transfer of thought and knowledge in a particular era. 3. It goes without saying that each culture will have its own particular translation history according to the historical and political events that have shaped it. There are of course periods in history featuring translation that are common to many cultures. The expansion of the Roman empire, for example, the invention of printing or the Reformation all had impact on most areas of Europe and its translation activities. Other continents will have experienced other invasions, other advances in technologies, other religions. Events like these are always good points of departure for research, but their effect on an individual culture varies according to the local context. 4. Placing translated texts into their historical contexts helps define and account for the policies employed by past translators and so gives at least a point of departure for developing strategies. Through history we encounter examples of the darker possibilities of translation, of the opportunities for distortion or manipulation of text, of the translations undertaken with hostile intent. Looking at the history of translation theory gives bases for comparison and demonstrates whether translators are making progress or simply repeating the same mistakes. It also helps to assess whether modern theorists are saying something new or simply repeating the same ideas in different language. 5. The study of prefaces or postscripts of a past age may reveal...
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