Translation universals is one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in recent translation studies. Can we discover general laws of translation, independent of the particularities of individual translations? Research into this is new: serious empirical work only began in the late nineties. The present volume offers the state of the art on the issue. It includes theoretical discussion on alternative conceptualisations and new distinctions around the basic concepts. Several papers test hypotheses on universals in the light of recent work in different languages, and some suggest new ones emerging from empirical work over the last two to three years. The book contributes to the search for generalities in translation, the methodological solutions available, and presents emerging evidence on the kinds of regularities that large-scale research is bringing forth. On a more practical level, the applicability of the hypotheses and findings to translator education is, as always, a concern for translation studies.
Table of contents
I. Conseptualising universals
Probabilistic explanations in translation studies: Welcome as they are, would they qualify as universals?
Beyond the particular
When is a universal not a universal? Some limits of current corpus-based methodologies for the investigation of translation universals
Silvia Bernardini and Federico Zanettin
II. Large-scale tendencies in translated language
Corpora, universals and interference
Untypical frequencies in translated language: A corpus-based study on a literary corpus of translated and non-translated Finnish
Untypical patterns in translations: Issues on corpus methodology and synonymity
Jarmo Harri Jantunen
III. Testing the basics
Translation-specific lexicogrammar? Characteristic lexical and collocational patterning in Swedish texts translated from English
Explicitation: A universal of translated text?
Explicitation of clausal relations: A corpus-based analysis of clause connectives in translated and non-translated Finnish children’s literature
Unique items — over- or under-represented in translated language?
IV. Universals in the translation class
What happens to “unique items” in learners’ translations? “Theories” and “concepts” as a challenge for novices’ views on “good translation”
The fate of “The Families of Medellín”: Tampering with a potential translation universal in the translation class