Translating Terms and Concepts in the Texts of Translation Studies

Esra Birkan Baydan

Abstract


This paper intends to explore challenges in translating terms and concepts of the social sciences within the frame of scholarly texts of translation studies translated into Turkish. Conceptual problems in the translation of scholarly texts in translation studies arise both from the “interdisciplinary” and “independent” nature of the field. Given the interdisciplinary nature of translation studies, key concepts of the influential movements of thought from adjacent fields pose challenges for the translator. Furthermore, terms which specifically belong to the field of translation studies require the translator to be familiar with the literature of the field in both source and target languages. Immanuel Wallerstein’s suggestions for translating concepts of the social sciences are evaluated within this context with certain reservations. The translator of the scholarly texts of translation studies encounters challenges both with regard to “commonly shared” and “specific” concepts. Already existent Turkish translations of “common” concepts shared with the other disciplines are often diverse and varied, while some of the “specific” concepts of the field have not yet been translated. Both instances bring to the fore the translator’s agency as the decision-maker who makes informed decisions among various alternatives. Examples[i] of two Derridean concepts and two terms specific to the field of translation studies are provided to illustrate the problem-solving and decision-making process of the translator.

Keywords: Concept translation, Derridaen concepts, common concepts, specific concepts, translator’s agency


[i] Examples are selected from my unpublished translations (completed for MA and PhD projects) of Arrojo (1995), Arrojo (1998) and Hermans (2007).


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References


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