Definitions for TRANSLATION STUDIES
the study of the theory and practice of translating and interpreting, especially in an academic context, combining elements of social science and the humanities
Translation studies is an interdiscipline containing elements of social science and the humanities, dealing with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation, interpreting, or both. Historically, translation studies has long been normative, to the point that discussions of translation that were not normative were generally not considered to be about translation at all. When historians of translation studies have traced early thinking about translation, for example, they have most often set the beginning with Cicero's remarks on how he used translation from Greek to Latin to improve his oratorical abilities--an early description of what Jerome ended up calling sense-for-sense translation. The descriptive history of interpreters in Egypt provided by Herodotus several centuries earlier is typically not thought of as "translation studies"--presumably because it doesn't tell translators how to translate. As an interdiscipline, translation studies borrows much from the different fields of study that support translation. These include comparative literature, computer science, history, linguistics, philology, philosophy, semiotics, terminology, and so forth. Note that occasionally in English, writers will use the term translatology to refer to translation studies. However, the term translation studies has become implanted in English, whereas in French, it is la traductologie that is used.
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