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Universidade Federal do Ceará
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Estudos da Tradução

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Conference – Indirect Translation among translation phenomena

Data de publicação: 15 de May de 2021. Categoria: Sem categoria
José Lambert – Indirect Translation among translation phenomena

15 May 2021 – 22:00 (POET/UFC, Fortaleza, Brazil)
16 May 2021 – 09:00 (SISU, Shanghai, China)

The idea that translation is old, and that Translation Studies is very young (Daniel Gile) happens to take particular relevance in the case of Indirect Translation (iTR): well-known translation phenomena from past and present times seem to have been rather systematically excluded from scholarly and intellectual discourse.

Publications on iTR are indeed very young, they have lead in a short time into spectacular results under different names, e.g. as Second-Hand Translation (von Stackelberg 1984), or as relay translation (relay interpretation), first without being identified as a functional component of translation cultures (except since Toury 1978; Toury 1995), then while inspiring more and more younger scholars from TS after 1990. The definition provided by Wikipedia looks like a substantially new chapter in the discipline:

Indirect translation is a long-standing reality of intercultural exchanges, especially associated with those exchanges involving geographically, culturally and linguistically distant communities […] It remains a common translation practice […audio-visual translation …] interpreting. Currently, its use is often linked to globalization or the practice of international organizations[…] (Wikipedia).

This interesting and very contemporary fragment reflects a peculiar State of the Art. Maybe a certain worldview among people/scholars? Distances: is China too far away? For whom exactly?

The big surpriSe is indeed that the ubiquity of iTR – and not just of translations – in the long-distance relations between continents seems to have been the object of study in quite a few important publications, in general without references to modern translation theories. And often in connection with Big Books: religious and political texts, It seems that the (re)discovery of World Literature, whatever it may mean, is just a component of World Culture. And maybe we remember that World Literature is hard to understand without translation (or TS).

In fact the history of TS tends to be shortsighted, not only in terms of distances, but also in terms of disciplines: how can we account for iTR without the study of more than one língua franca, without a better integration of language hierarchies, without a beter knowledge of the more than seven thousand languages: where, when, how, why? Recommendations that have been formulated in the mid-seventies, long before our world was that big.

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