Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Translation Studies

Two Dimensional Interpretation for Translator’s Ethics

Author PuHongYing
Tutor XieXuSheng
School Xinjiang University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Translation Ethics Translator’s Ethics Dimensional Interpretation
CLC H059
Type Master's thesis
Year 2007
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The last two decades has witnessed the great proliferation and diversification in translation studies. A real breakthrough for the field came in the year of 1990 with Susan Bassnett and AndréLefevere making the landmark announcement of‘cultural turn’in translation studies in their co-edited book Translation, History and Culture. It was then that translation studies began to go beyond the restraints of linguistic equivalence, and focus on the interaction between translation and culture. At the turn of the 21st century, the heated discussions centered on cultural studies show signs of calming down. Many scholars have applied more logic insight into their reflections on translation studies. Anthony Pym (2001:129), as the guest-editor for the special issue The Translator entitled‘The Return to Ethics in Translation Studies’, points out that‘Translation Studies has returned to the question of ethics’.In view of the dominant position of translation ethics in today’s translation studies, the present thesis intends to explore translator’s ethics. With regard to research approach, the thesis adopts descriptive and dialectical methodology to display translator’s ethics, to explore the relationship between translator’s professional ethics and personal morality and to redefine the ethics for today’s translator to conform to.Translator’s ethics has individual and collective dimensions. Collective dimension refers to his professional ethics qua translator while individual dimension refers to translator’s personal morality qua social member. Translation professional ethics sets out principles governing not only how translators should behave (translators’obligations), but also how society should behave towards translators (translators’rights), as well as social expectations of‘good’translation practice which limit translators to the professional dimension. Translator’s personal morality is a representation of the culture in which he is immersed. Both dimensions are inevitably intruded into translator’s practice. While sometimes the two dimensions clash owing to their respective requirement and various social factors. The clash always places the translator in ethical dilemmas. In practice translators without keen ethical sense neglect translation professional ethics, directing their moral tendency according to their ethical preference. Encountered with two cultures, the translator must decide whether to direct his ethical stance to the source culture or to the target culture. A dialectic approach can pull the translator out of this dilemma. Such dialectical approach requires holding these two contradictory ethics simultaneously. As a qualified translator, he should always bear in mind his professional ethics, trying to obey its regulations, taking the“Harmony in Difference”principle as his cultural stance: representing foreign culture and communicating with it, being responsible for both cultures. A qualified translator should be responsible not only to translation profession but for his personal morality.

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