Article: Henry Jackman, Indeterminacy and Assertion

Henry Jackman, Indeterminacy and Assertion

Presented at the 2000 Meeting of the Society for Exact Philosophy, March 2000

This paper will appeal a recent argument for the indeterminacy of translation to show not that meaning is indeterminate, but rather that assertion cannot be explained in terms of an independent grasp of the concept of truth. In particular, it will argue that if we try to explain assertion in terms of truth rather than vice versa, we ultimately will not be able to make sense of the difference between assertion and denial. This problem with such 'semantic' accounts of assertion then illustrates why we need not worry about the purported argument for indeterminacy.

New journal: Trahir

New Journal: Trahir

We are setting up a new Journal named Trahir (to betray) and the first issue will have the topic of the translation and Gilles Deleuze. We are looking mainly for people who already translated Deleuze, but we are also looking for translation studies scholars who would like to discover a new thinker in an original way: by translating/transposing/transcripting him.

Here is the Call for papers for Trahir: []

The deadline is the 31st of December 2009, and the first issue of Trahir will be published during the year 2010.

Don't hesitate to disseminate this call for papers to your collegues.

René Lemieux
Sémiologie | Université du Québec à Montréal

Journal: The Translator, Special Issue Chinese Discourse on Translation

Volume 15, Number 2, 2009: Special Issue. Chinese Discourses on Translation

Positions and Perspectives

ISBN: 978-1-905763-14-6

Chinese discourse on translation has always been a site for negotiating cultural politics, and for heated debates about the perennial problem of China’s relation with the world. Traditional Chinese discourse on translation has been criticized for being impressionistic, unscientific, anecdotal and unsystematic, and more or less consigned to oblivion, while contemporary Chinese discourse on translation became almost synonymous with Chinese translations, explications and/or application of imported translation theories. In the mid 1980s, however, there was a wave of critical self-reflection on this state of affairs. Alarmed by the loss of ability to tap into the power of discourse and to exercise the right of discourse, and by the muting of the Chinese voice to mere echoes of the voice of the West, there has been, in the field of translation studies as in other fields, a series of movements to rediscover the roots of Chinese culture, to reconstruct a Chinese tradition, to regain a Chinese voice, and to re-establish a Chinese system of learning. A similar process of critical self-reflection has also unfolded in the Anglo-American world. The impact of postcolonial thinking has produced some sharp critiques of Eurocentrism in different academic disciplines, including translation studies, and there have been attempts at borrowing and learning from other discourses on translation in order to produce new models or conduct new theoretical explorations.

Chinese Discourses on Translation sets out to address these issues from the perspectives of Chinese and non-Chinese scholars of translation, and to bring contemporary Chinese discourses on translation to the attention of a wider readership.

More here.

Conference: Research Models in Translation Studies

Event: Research Models In Translation Studies II
Date and Venue: 29 April - 1 May 2011
Short Description: The first Research Models in Translation Studies conference was held ten years ago. It provided a forum for divergent approaches, theories, objectives, terminologies and procedures; it engaged with a range of old and new manifestations of translation and interpreting and took account of the impact of globalization, Interdisciplinarity and geopolitical developments on research in the field. Research Models in Translation Studies II seeks to take stock of developments on these and other fronts ten years on.

The enlargement of the remit of translation and interpreting studies has continued apace, as has the diversification of research models and methods. New media, including news media, the use of modern technologies in sign language interpreting and complex forms of audiovisual and multimodal translation have proved both challenging and enriching. The accelerated pace of migration, globalization and violent conflict have called for cross-disciplinary and self-reflexive
modes of research. Technology informs not just the practice but also research into translation and interpreting. Research training remains a pressing issue.

Like its predecessor, Research Models in Translation Studies II will provide a forum for engaging with questions of current import. What are the key challenges for research in translation and interpreting today? What concrete forms do cross-disciplinarily and self-reflexiveness take in research? As the scope of the discipline
widens, what happens to existing research models and what alternatives present themselves: Should researchers seek common ground, be it theoretical, methodological or ideological, or celebrate ever-increasing diversity? What paradigms have proved or promise to be most productive today?
Theme(s): self-reflexiveness and the researcher's subjectivity; research culture, research ethics, research practice; the globalization of translation and interpreting studies: research and theory beyond the traditional centers of academic work; the challenges of researching translation and interpreting in new settings: new
media, journalism, fansubbing, remote interpreting, the asylum system, war contexts, etc.; Interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinary and interaction with neighboring disciplines.
Contact Details: mona.baker at
Invited Speakers: Robert Barsky, Dirk Delabastita, Sandra Halverson, Hephzibah Israel, Vicente Rafael

New book: The Metalanguage of Translation

The Metalanguage of Translation

Edited by Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer
University of Turku / Lessius University College, Antwerp and CETRA, University of Leuven
Benjamins Current Topics 20
2009. vi, 192 pp.
Hardbound – In stock978 90 272 2250 3 / EUR 85.00 / USD 128.00

“Let the meta-discussion begin,” James Holmes urged in 1972. Coming almost forty years later – years filled with fascinating and often unexpected developments in the interdiscipline of Translation Studies – this volume offers the reader a multiplicity of meta-perspectives, while also moving the discussion forward. Indeed, the (re)production and (re)use of metalinguistic metaphors frame and partly determine our views on research, so such a discussion is vital ­as it is in any scholarly discipline. Among other questions, the eleven contributors draw the reader’s attention to the often puzzling variations of usage and conceptualization in both the theory and the practice of translation.
First published as a special issue of Target 19:2 (2007), the volume runs the gamut of metalinguistic topics, ranging from terminology, localization and epistemological questions, through the Chinese perspective, to the conceptual mapping of the online Translation Studies Bibliography.

Table of contents

How about meta? An introduction
Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer

Defining patterns in Translation Studies: Revisiting two classics of German Translationswissenschaft
Gernot Hebenstreit

Risking conceptual maps: Mapping as a keywords-related tool underlying the online Translation Studies Bibliography
Luc van Doorslaer

Polysemy and synonymy: Their management in Translation Studies dictionaries and in translator training. A case study
Leona Van Vaerenbergh

The terminology of translation: Epistemological, conceptual and intercultural problems and their social consequences
Josep Marco

Natural and directional equivalence in theories of translation
Anthony Pym

A literary work – Translation and original: A conceptual analysis within the philosophy of art and Translation Studies
Leena Laiho

"What's in a name?": On metalinguistic confusion in Translation Studies
Mary Snell-Hornby

In defence of fuzziness
Nike K. Pokorn

The metalanguage of localization: Theory and practice
Iwona Mazur

The metalanguage of translation: A Chinese perspective
Jun Tang

Translation terminology and its offshoots
Yves Gambier


Podcast: Bink Hallum and Uwe Vagelpohl discuss the formation of the Islamic civilisation through translation

Bink Hallum and Uwe Vagelpohl discuss the formation of the Islamic civilisation through translation

Alchemy and alcohol are only two of the many Arabic words which came all the way to Albion. The word ‘alchemy’ had to travel a long distance: original a Greek term used in Hellenised Egypt, it passed into Arabic, Latin, French, and finally English. Translation made this transfer of ideas possible.
During the heyday of the Islamic empire in the eighth to tenth centuries, a massive translation movement from Greek into Arabic took place. Without it, our modern world would hardly be the same. No algebra and algorithms, for instance; no chemistry and no medicine as we know it. Islam itself would be unrecognisable, because Muslim theologians and lawyers used the tools of Greek logic and argumentation to develop their own disciplines.
Graeco-Arabic studies, a rapidly growing field within Classics, investigates this translation movement. Why were nearly all available Greek texts translated into Arabic? How did these translations lay the foundation for much of Muslim civilisation? And who were the people who produced them?

Download (MP3 format, 21:44, 31 MB)

Article: Naoko Saito: Ourselves in translation, Stanley Cavell and Philosophy as Autobiography

Ourselves in translation: Stanley Cavell and Philosophy as Autobiography

by Naoko Saito

“Narrative” has become fashionable in educational research and practice. The vogue is obviously related to an “inward turn” – a reflective mode of thinking and talking about one’s own self (Smeyers, Smith and Standish 2007). As a concomitant phenomenon,
the writing of autobiography in various forms has become part of educational practice, often with the expectation that this will have therapeutic effects. In this general trend, there is a prevailing assumption that there must be an identifiable self, a “real me,” a self that is to be revealed in the process of writing an autobiography. Such a mode of narrating one’s self, on the one hand, tends to be assimilated, ironically, to a unification of desire constructed within a global market, and ironically to end up with a loss of one’s self. On the other hand, the performativity of disclosing one’s self in the name of narrative often creates a form of violence to the ear of the other: language is trapped in the narrow and fixed framework of the narrator and is imposed on the listener. There is, however, an undeniable need, a therapeutic desire for finding one’s self. Is there not an alternative way of responding to this need, a way that avoids these negative aspects of the current preoccupation with narrative? This is a question to which this paper tries to respond.
As a promising potential answer, I shall discuss an alternative approach to narrating and writing about one’s self – Stanley Cavell’s idea of philosophy as autobiography. This is an idea in which the acknowledgement of the partiality of the self is an essential condition for achieving the universal. In the apparently paradoxical combination of the “philosophical” (which is traditionally connected with a search or the objective and the universal) and the “autobiographical” (which is conventionally associated with the subjective and the personal), Cavell shows us a way of focusing on the self and yet always transcending the self. The task requires, however, the reconstruction of the notions of philosophy and autobiography, while at the same time destabilizing our conceptions of self and language. Cavell seeks to achieve this through the idea of finding one’s voice in an autobiographical exercise. This necessitates both inheritance from the past and innovation for the future, and both initiation into the language community and deviation from it. What this amounts to is a process of the self and language in translation, which, I shall argue, can exercise a most therapeutic effect on the self, destabilizing the myth of selfidentity.


Article: Carmen Guarddon Anelo, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Linguistics in Translation

Philosophy, Anthropology, and Linguistics in Translation

by Carmen Guarddon Anelo

1. Relativism and Universal Rationalism

When a translator is faced with a text, he should take into account that the product of his translation is directed at people that come from a background which is different from that of the original target audience. When we talk of a different background, we refer to people with a different history, participating in different social practices and speaking a different language.In philosophy, we face two perspectives from which to consider a translation. The first is that of relativism. Relativism is a philosophical perspective that considers our cognitive exercise of understanding as filtered by a culturally defined conceptual way of thinking. Therefore, common biological or genetic factors, like race, are insignificant in the formation of knowledge schemes and concepts in comparison with those factors that provide the surroundings where the individual developed. In short, one can say that a human being is born without these knowledge schemes and that it is culture that creates them and molds his development.