From Polarity to Plurality in Translation Scholarship

Abdolla Karimzadeh, Ebrahim Samani


Review of the literature in translation studies shows that translation scholarship can be discussed in 3 Macro-levels including 1) Corpus-based studies, 2) Protocol-based studies, and 3) Systems- based studies. Researchers in the corpus-based studies test the hypothesis about the universals of translation. They also try to identify translation norms and regular linguistic patterns. This scholarship aims at showing that the language of translation is different from that of non-translation. The other purpose is to identify the techniques and strategies adopted by the translators. In protocol –based studies, the researchers study the mental activities and the individual behaviors of the translators while translating. They aim to describe the behavior of professional translators (versus translator trainees) during the process of translation in a bid to identify how they chunk the source text (unit of translation) and to describe how the translation trainees develop their translation competence. These studies are longitudinal for the reason that they aim to investigate the change of intended behaviors in the subjects of the study. Like corpus-based studies, they are experimental and data for analysis are collected by various methods including the translators’ verbal report, keystroke logging, eye tracking, and so on. Recently, in a method called “triangulation”, they combine the above-mentioned methods of data collection to test their hypotheses on a stronger experimental basis. To collect the data, they also employ the methods used in neurology (for example the technology of Electroencephalogram) in order to obtain information on the physiological processes in the brains of the translators while translating. And finally in the systems-based studies, the researchers analyze more extended systems of production, distribution, and consumption of translations and their impacts on the target culture in a specific socio-cultural context. Differentiating these levels does not mean that there is a fragmentation in translation scholarship. Rather translation scholarship despite having pluralistic frameworks is focused on a single object of study. In other words, differentiating these levels is related to the method of research rather than the object of the research. This paper makes an attempt to shed light on the mentioned levels and then to introduce some new areas which have not been discussed widely. It also tries to introduce a systematic framework for historical research of translation based on Pym’s theory of humanizing translation studies and finally to discuss the metaphorical concept of unity in diversity from the vantage point of translation studies.



corpus- based studies; protocol-based studies; system-based studies; experimental studies; historical research of translation; dehumanized translation scholarship; humanized translation scholarship

Full Text:



Agheli, B. (2001). Political and military figures in contemporary Iranina history ( ed.): Goftar Publications.

Alves, F. (Ed.). (2003). Triangulating Translation. Perspectives in Process Oriented Research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Baker, M. (1995). Corpora in Translation Studies: An overview and some suggestions for future research. Target, 7(2), 223-243.

Baker, M. (1996). Corpus-based Translation Studies: The challenges that lie ahead. In H. Somers (Ed.), Terminology, LSP and Translation Studies in Language Engineering in Honour of Juan C.Sager (pp. 175-186). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Bamdadi, M. (1984). The history of Iranian men (Vol. First): Zavvar Publications.

Bernardini, S. (2001). Think-Aloud Protocols in Translation Research: Achievements, limits, future prospects. Target, 13(2), 241-263.

Bibliography of Ebrahim Yunesi (2011,June 2). Hamshahri, p. 19,

Homes, J. S. (1988). Translated Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Hous, J. (1977). Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited. Tübingen: Narr.

ICTS (2005). Official Website of the Iranian Center for Translation Studies.

Jaaskelainen, R., & Tirkkonen-Condit, S. (1991). Automatized Processes in Professional Vs. Non-Professional Translation: A think-aloud protocol study In S. Tirkkonen-Condit (Ed.), Empirical Research in Translation and Intercultural Studies (pp. 89-109). Tubingen: Narr.

Jakobsen, A. L. (1999). Logging target text production with Translog. In G. Hansen (Ed.), Probing the process in translation:Methods and Results.Copenhagen Studies in Language 24 (pp. 9-20). Copenhagen: Samfundslitterature.

Krings, H. P. (1986). Was in den KÖpfen von Übersetzernvorgeht. EineEmpirischeUntersuchung der Struktur des ÜbersetzungsprozesscsanfortgeschrittenenFranzÖsischlernern. Tübingen: Narr.

Livbjerg, I., & Mees, I. M. (2003). 'Patterns of dictionary use in non-domain-specific translation'. In F. Alves (Ed.), Triangulating Translation. Perspectives in Process Oriented Research. (pp. 123-136). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

LÖrscher, W. (1991). Translation Performance, Translation Process and Translation Strategies. A Psycholinguistic Investigation. Tübingen: Narr.

Newmark, P. (1981). Approaches to Translation

Oxford: Pergamon.

Nord, C. (1991). Text Analysis in Translation: Theory, Methodology, and Didactic Application of a Model of Translation-oriented Text Analysis Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Nord, C. (1997). Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained Manchester: St Jerome.

Palumbo, J. (2009). Key Terms in Translation Studies. New York and London: Continuum.

Payandeh, H. (2009). "An Interview with Dr. Hossein Payandeh". In M. Akbari (Ed.), Ketabe-Mahe-Adabiyat (pp. 10-11).

Pollabauer, S. (2006). "Translation culture in interpreted asylum hearings". In Pym, Anthony, Miriam, Shlesinger & Z. Jettmarova (Eds.), Sociocultural Aspects of Translating and Interpreting (pp. 151-162).

Pym, A. (1992). Shortcomings in the History of Translation. Babel, 38(4), 221-235.

Pym, A. (2008). Humanizing Translation History. Hermes, 42, 23-48.

Snell-Honby, M. (2006). The turns of Translation Studies. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Tirkkonen-Condit, S., & Jaaskelainen, R. (Eds.). (2000). Tapping and Mapping the Processes of Translating and Interpreting:Outlooks on Empirical Research Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Toury, G. (1980). In Search of a Theory of Translation. Tel Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, Tel Aviv University.

Venuti, L. ([1995] 2008). The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation. London/New York: Routledge.

Wilder, B. (2004). A Survey among Audiences of Subtitled Films in Viennese Cinemas. Meta, 49(1), 98-101.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.