Concept

Translation studies

Summary
Translation studies is an academic interdiscipline dealing with the systematic study of the theory, description and application of translation, interpreting, and localization. As an interdiscipline, translation studies borrows much from the various fields of study that support translation. These include comparative literature, computer science, history, linguistics, philology, philosophy, semiotics, and terminology. The term "translation studies" was coined by the Amsterdam-based American scholar James S. Holmes in his 1972 paper "The name and nature of translation studies", which is considered a foundational statement for the discipline. Writers in English occasionally use the term "translatology" (and less commonly "traductology") to refer to translation studies, and the corresponding French term for the discipline is usually traductologie (as in the Société Française de Traductologie). In the United States, there is a preference for the term "translation and interpreting studies" (as in the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association), although European tradition includes interpreting within translation studies (as in the European Society for Translation Studies). Historically, translation studies has long been "prescriptive" (telling translators how to translate), to the point that discussions of translation that were not prescriptive were generally not considered to be about translation at all. When historians of translation studies trace early Western thought about translation, for example, they most often set the beginning at the renowned orator Cicero's remarks on how he used translation from Greek to Latin to improve his oratorical abilities—an early description of what Jerome ended up calling sense-for-sense translation. The descriptive history of interpreters in Egypt provided by Herodotus several centuries earlier is typically not thought of as translation studies—presumably because it does not tell translators how to translate. In China, the discussion on how to translate originated with the translation of Buddhist sutras during the Han Dynasty.
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