Norms in Translation: Theory, Observation, and Practice

Résumé de la conférence prononcée par Candace Seguinot (professeure – Université York) le 19 mars 2009.

At a time when translation standards are being developed across the globe, it’s interesting to look at the different interpretations of what norms can mean in the theory and practice of translation.

On the one hand, there is the notion that there are universal principles or laws which predict some similarities in the outcome of translating, no matter what the languages or the specifics of the situation (for example Toury: 1995 and 2004, and Baker: 1996, and for a more psychological explanation, Pym: 2007).

On the other there is the understanding that choices are made by individuals, either in concert with or despite the conventions of translating particular types of texts in particular cultures.

Observational studies can sometimes help us see how the translator's awareness or interpretation of his or her place in a particular translating environment unconsciously guides the translation process.