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© Intercultural Studies Group Universitat Rovira i Virgili Plaça Imperial Tàrraco Tarragona Fax: (++ 34) Translation as risk management Anthony Pym
© Intercultural Studies Group The problem: Equivalence died. So what are translation mistakes? What is the difference between a good and a bad translation? (What is a translation?)
© Intercultural Studies Group Example 1 In a birth certificate, where can you make a mistake? Name of person born? Date of birth? Name of midwife?
© Intercultural Studies Group This means Only work hard where there is high risk. Don’t work hard where there is low risk. (Don’t work too hard!) (These guidelines do not require equivalence.)
© Intercultural Studies Group What is risk? The probability of not meeting success conditions. Success means mutual benefits. Minimally: The benefits must be greater than the efforts (transaction costs).
© Intercultural Studies Group Example 2 Foreign students will need to convalidar or homologar their first degree. Convalidación = accreditation Homologación = accreditation
© Intercultural Studies Group This means: “seek accreditation” = low risk? Use Spanish terms = low risk? Omit phrase = high risk!... More information is needed.
© Intercultural Studies Group Linguistics is not enough: Success conditions are not in the text. High-risk texts are not “rich points” (Agar).
© Intercultural Studies Group Risk aversion? Risk-averse strategies: generalization explicitation literalism (interference) Non-translation.
© Intercultural Studies Group Why risk aversion? Translators do not see success conditions. Translators are not responsible for risk management (Patton’s interpreter). Translators reduce transaction costs in order to increase the probability of (minimal) benefits.
© Intercultural Studies Group Risk-taking? Translation of humour. Translation in subtitles. Highly localized texts. Advertising. Texts of salvation (Nida, Gutt).
© Intercultural Studies Group Why more risk aversion? Cross-cultural communication: relatively high transaction costs relatively low trust between participants relatively tight success conditions. Translation is an expensive strategy, only justifiable in high-risk situations.
© Intercultural Studies Group Objection 1: trust The greatest risk is of losing trust. (Because,without trust, effort cannot be distributed away from low-risk messages-) Mistrust feeds on minor mistakes. So all mistakes are high-risk?
© Intercultural Studies Group Objection 2 (Hatim) The default norm for translation is to reproduce what is in the text. So we need to know nothing more than what is in the text?
© Intercultural Studies Group Reply to both objections If we don’t learn to run risks, we will produce no great benefits.
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