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Scandals of Translation

Towards an Ethics of Difference

Lawrence Venuti



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06 August 1998
Translation & interpretation; Cultural studies; Languages & ESL; Methodology; Translation
Provocative and controversial, The Scandals of Translation explores the anxious relationships between translation and the institutions that at once need it and marginalize it. Lawrence Venuti, a professional translator, argues that prevalent concepts of authorship degrade translation in literary scholarship and underwrite its unfavorable definition in copyright law. Exposing myriad abuses, Venuti provides stinging critiques of institutions such as the Modern Language Association for its neglect of translation, as well as publishers for their questionable treatment of translators. From Bible translation in the early Christian Church to translations of modern Japanese novels, Venuti reveals the social effects of translated text and works towards the formulation of an ethics that enables translations to be written, read and evaluated with greater respect for linguistic and cultural differences.
By:   Lawrence Venuti
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   340g
ISBN:   9780415169301
ISBN 10:   0415169305
Pages:   220
Publication Date:   06 August 1998
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference

Although this polemic is chiefly targeted at universities and publishers, it contains much of interest to any general reader (except those of you who read everything in the original). The scandals of the title are not primarily the errors of translators, of whom the author is one, but the underrating of his profession and 'the scandalous conditions under which publishing decisions and literary evaluations are made with foreign texts'. Nearly half the world's annual translation output is from English, but translations account for only a few per cent of books published in English - the cultural effects of this discrepancy are often overlooked. Moreover, the foreign works chosen for translation tend to be ones that reinforce existing stereotypes about the foreign culture and do not jar domestic attitudes. Venuti also draws attention to the 'transindividual determinants' (linguistic, cultural and social factors) that affect a translator's choice of words. Too often a translation is praised - if it is noticed at all - for being 'transparent', when it cannot and, Venuti argues, should not be that. (Kirkus UK)

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