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Charting the Future of Translation History

Edited by Georges L. Bastin and Paul F. Bandia

Publication Year: 2006

Over the last 30 years there has been a substantial increase in the study of the history of translation. Both well-known and lesser-known specialists in translation studies have worked tirelessly to give the history of translation its rightful place. Clearly, progress has been made, and the history of translation has become a viable independent research area.

This book aims at claiming such autonomy for the field with a renewed vigour. It seeks to explore issues related to methodology as well as a variety of discourses on history with a view to laying the groundwork for new avenues, new models, new methods. It aspires to challenge existing theoretical and ideological frameworks. It looks toward the future of history. It is an attempt to address shortcomings that have prevented translation history from reaching its full disciplinary potential. From microhistory, archaeology, periodization, to issues of subjectivity and postmodernism, methodological lacunae are being filled.

Contributors to this volume go far beyond the text to uncover the role translation has played in many different times and settings such as Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle-east and Asia from the 6th century to the 20th. These contributions, which deal variously with the discourses on methodology and history, recast the discipline of translation history in a new light and pave the way to the future of research and teaching in the field.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Perspectives on Translation

TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii

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pp. 1-9

Let’s make History so as “to let our children benefit from a more brilliant tradition” (Briceño Iragorry 1985, 145). Such a statement could serve as the motto for this book, and the attitude it expresses could be said to have motivated the contributors. This collection of studies is an attempt to point at blanks, at shortcomings which have prevented translation...

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Blank Spaces in the History of Translation

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pp. 11-43

Over ninety years ago, on August 15, 1911, George Santayana, a well-known Harvard professor, philosopher, poet, and humanist, born in Madrid, gave a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, on the topic The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy. And these were his...

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The Impact of Postmodern Discourse on the History of Translation

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pp. 45-58

It can be safely argued that over the last couple of decades the discipline of translation history has broadened its horizon beyond mainly Western traditions to include other histories and historical perspectives, thus ensuring pluralism as a basis for constituting a truly comprehensive...

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Conceptualizing the Translator as a Historical Subject in Multilingual Environments: A Challenge for Descriptive Translation Studies?

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pp. 59-79

During the past few years, the study of translation from a sociological point of view has come more and more to the fore within the descriptive translation studies (DTS) paradigm. But as usual in research, the discovery of new research areas is more or less erratic. It is the goal of this discussion to indicate a few shortcomings in these important...

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Microhistory of Translation

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pp. 81-100

The problem of historical awareness in research concerned with translation is — this is my main assumption — an issue which still deserves a great deal of reflection and investigation. I believe that the challenges posed by historical paradigms and historiographic models can open the study of translation to the dimension...

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Perspectives on the History of Interpretation

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pp. 101-110

Eighty-five years ago, in 1919, a lawyer from Quebec, Joseph Belleau, was recruited to participate as an interpreter in the first international conference derived from the Paris Peace Conference (even before the League of Nations began its work). This was the Washington...

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Subjectivity and Rigour in Translation History: The Case of Latin America1

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pp. 111-129

Paul Veyne’s quip “History has no method” (1978) is an invitation to re-examine the methodology of translation history and is particularly germane to Latin America, where many Eurocentric concepts are inapplicable. After a brief review of the methodology of translation...

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Translation, History and the Translation Scholar

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pp. 131-144

There is no doubt that history and translation are bound together. Translation represents not only a central process in historical work, but is, in itself, a historical practice. However, so far these ties have not forged connections across the two disciplines. It must be acknowledged that the difference between the status...

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Literalness and Legal Translation: Myth and False Premises

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pp. 145-162

Of the many articles that have been written over the years on the subject of legal translation, only a few address the history of legal translation.1 This lack of interest is surprising since legal translation predates even Bible translation. For example, it is generally accepted that “the oldest known...

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The Role of Translation in History: The Case of Malraux

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pp. 163-177

Whoever writes history may well control it. Indeed, this is the desperation in historiography: whoever records the present may control the past and hence the future as well. How can we learn from history when the records have been falsified? Or erased? Especially when or where historiography as the West...

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Puritan Translations in Israel: Rewriting a History of Translation

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pp. 179-199

This essay is an attempt to review the history of translation in Israel, with special focus on the ideological norms that permeated it and on the function of (moral) censorship as a tool for shaping and delimiting culture. The traditional history of Hebrew translation, as summarized...

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Ideologies in the History of Translation: A Case Study of Canadian Political Speeches1

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pp. 201-223

In Canadian history, many sociopolitical conflicts have arisen from the coexistence of two different peoples in a single land. For instance, one can think of Canada’s Conscription Crisis in 1942, its October Crisis in 1970, or its failure to conclude the Meech Lake Accord in 1990.2 Rival nationalism is often called upon to explain these conflict situations...

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Keepers of the Stories: The Role of the Translator in Preserving Histories

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pp. 225-241

Many Canadian readers are familiar with early Aboriginal literature— even that which was produced up until the middle of the last century — only through the “myths and legends” included in school textbooks and anthologies. Although several contemporary Aboriginal writers (many of whom write in English...

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“Long Time No See, Coolie”: Passing as Chinese through Translation

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pp. 243-261

In 1900, Ernest Bramah Smith published The Wallet of Kai Lung, purporting to be a collection of tales told by a Chinese storyteller, Kai Lung. Following its success, Smith published at least four additional anthologies sporadically over the next thirty years, and most of these works were reprinted one or more times up to the 1980s (see bibliography)...

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The Imperial College of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco: The First School of Translators and Interpretersin Sixteenth-Century Spanish America1

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pp. 263-275

The foundation and scope of teaching centres in sixteenth century Nueva Espa

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Glosas croniquenses: A Synchronic Bilingual (American Indigenous Languages – Spanish) Set of Glossaries

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pp. 277-291

Glosas croniquenses is a project that exhibits a distinct postcolonial approach, in that it considers texts as discourses and criticizes those accepted as foundational by conventional historians and anthropologists. Native languages and Spanish, as they appear in those discourses, have been studied...

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Translating the New World in Jean de Léry’s Histoire d’un voyage fait en la terre du Brésil

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pp. 292-307

One of the effects of translating a historical text years, even hundreds of years after its initial publication is the continued life given to it by the translation. The work lives on in its translation. The voices contained within the text are revived and returned to circulation. We shall see this occur in Janet Whatley’s 1990...

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Amadis of Gaul (1803) and Chronicle of the Cid (1808) by Robert Southey

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pp. 309-332

This article will deal with a “past translator,” Robert Southey (1774–1843), and two of his “past translations,” Amadis of Gaul (1803) and Chronicle of the Cid (1808), and will place its findings and proposals within the context of a combined double interest in translation and the future of history. The historical figure of Robert Southey,...


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pp. 333-339


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pp. 340-344

E-ISBN-13: 9780776615615
E-ISBN-10: 0776615610
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776606248
Print-ISBN-10: 0776606247

Page Count: 351
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: Perspectives on Translation