Most articles on translation start out with a section devoted to the definition of translation. In that respect, this article is not unlike them. Yet, it also differs significantly from them. While it makes sense for many publications to define and delimit their field of study before embarking on it, the concept and definition of translation are core elements of Fundamentals of Translation. Fundamentals is about achieving a better understanding of the concept and definition of translation. In this first chapter, we explicitly present the concept and associated terms, and then devote the remainder of the article to related issues, with the goal of helping the reader come to a deeper understanding and a transformed conceptualization of translation. The following sections take as their point of departure a brief, basic definition of translation and related terms (e.g., translating, interpreting, translation studies), to later present the difficulties involved in arriving at a more definitive concept, including the notion of equivalence. In an effort to assist the reader in acquiring a more up-to-date conceptualization of the term, the chapter also reviews types of translation activity, professional translation (i.e., translation in a professional context) and their connection with translation ability.
Translation, translating and translation studies , the term translation can refer to an activity, a product and the scholarly field that studies both the activity and the product(s). This article will deal with the first two, namely, the product (translation or translations), and the activity or process that produced this product(s) (also referred to as translating). The distinction between the process and the product is not always clear-cut, as the two concepts often overlap, whereby it can be difficult to draw a clear line where the one ends and the other begins.
The term “translation”
Product. The brochure was a translation from English, so it did not work well in the Russian market
- Process. The interns were working on a translation of the letter from the principal to the workers.
- Field. Translation is sometimes considered an area of applied linguistics.
The scholarly field that studies translation and interpreting and related phenomena is known as translation studies. The name was first coined by Holmes (1988) and has since become established wherever the field is cited. In the last few years some degree of confusion has arisen, however, with regard to the name translation studies. As interest in translating and interpreting grows, teaching and training programs of various types have become common in universities and other educational institutions.With the rise of area studies and cultural studies, it seemed logical to some to simply apply the same template to translation and interpretation, and refer to any program dealing with translation and interpretation as a Translation (and Interpreting) Studies program. Unfortunately, in some cases the label was applied (often by well-intended administrators, clearly not familiar with the field) to programs whose primary concern is the training and education of translators and interpreters (i.e., the practice of translating and/or mediation, whereas translation with a lower-case “t” means translation. This article follows common usage in T&I, in which the oral vs. written medium stablishes a distinction with regard to field and practice.