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A Man for All Media
Contents:
  1. Category: Social theory
  2. About the author(s)
  3. Translation in the global village / edited by Christina Schäffner. - Version details - Trove
  4. Sean P. Harvey

SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Translation in the global village. Physical description 72 p. Series Current issues in language and society Unnumbered. Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. T Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Current issues in causation. Sport and Society Issues in Society. Forgetting Current Issues in Memory. Current issues in school leadership. Current Issues in IT Education. Genocide and the Global Village. Multiculturalism in Global Society.

Christ the Key Current Issues in Theology. Jeremy Munday and Peter Newmark take up Snell-Hornby's point about the responsibility of the translator. The question of the responsibility of a translator is related to what we understand by translation. As is increasingly agreed within the academic community of translation scholars, the translator's responsibilities go well beyond what was traditionally considered a 'translation proper'.

They include, among other things, making 'non-translators', i. Or as Pym states, translators become responsible as soon as they accept to translate, rather than doing something else, like producing a commentary or not accepting the assignment at all. There is sufficient evidence that the translator profession has undergone rapid and profound changes. Translators today do a lot of things, they also do terminological work, give advice, do public relations.

Category: Social theory

Moreover, translation memory and machine translation systems are transforming the field of human translation, and translators are expected to master the new technologies. In a word: their job profile is constantly changing. As Pavlovich argues, '[n]owadays clients expect and demand finished products complete with RAM-eating graphics on self-opening disks in addition to electronic transfers'.

Stressing the important role of human translators is particularly relevant in view of frequently heard predictions that human translators will become superfluous with the advance of machine translation systems. Times Higher Education Supplement recently published an article under the heading 'Machine will make linguists redundant'. There we read: An electronic device that will instantly translate the spoken word will be invented within the next five years, according to a book published this week by the British Council.

The Language Machine by Eric Atwell predicts future technological developments that could result in widespread redundancies in the language professions. Such technology could also reduce interest in learning English and threaten the overseas student market. The British Council may be underestimating the consequences, however.

The Babel fish a creature that can translate any language into your mother tongue, as described by Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 'by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation'. Times Higher Education Supplement, 23 July , p. It is, however, true that translations need to be done ever more quickly, much more efficiently, and at a high quality.

Machines may be quicker than human translators, and in some cases a defective output of a machine translation system will be sufficient for the immediate need. But there are still many translation assignments which require the production of a target text where appropriateness for the specified purpose may involve rearrangements of information, deletions, additions, etc. And these decisions can only be taken by a human translator whose translation competence is much more than linguistic competence alone. It also includes, at least, subject-specific competence, cultural competence, text-typological competence, technical writing competence, re search competence cf.

Nevertheless, accounting for such advances in technology, and influencing them, is part of the discipline of Translation Studies in its widest sense. One question raised in this context of the changing job profile, both in the Debate and very forcefully in Peter Newmark's response paper, concerns the contrast between the nature of translation and the job profile of the professional translator today. Where does translation stop and something else take over, e. The conditions of the profession are changing, but does this mean that we would need to redefine the very notion of translation?

Snell-Hornby and Newmark answer this question differently see also Snell-Hornby's concluding comments. Globalisation, Tribalisation and Translation Studies All these new developments which can be summarised under the cover term 'globalisation' have also an impact on the training of translators and on the discipline of Translation Studies itself.

How do we prepare future professional translators more and more effectively for the continuously changing requirements of the world? What are the consequences of a changing job profile for translator training at institutions? Today, for example, specialisation becomes more and more necessary. But can, and should, universities prepare their translation students for highly specialised translation in a variety of subject domains? Is training in specialised translation better left to translation agencies as on-the-job training or to professional organisations?

About the author(s)

Should training at institutions rather focus on developing an awareness of what professional decision-making in translation involves? Is training in technology-management skills, business and customer-management abilities to be part of translator training? Do we risk that what we do today will be outdated tomorrow because the developments are extremely fast? What exactly is the task of a university in this context? These questions were discussed fairly vigorously during the Debate.

Decisions as to a general translation policy in a country e. As Mary Snell-Hornby argues, globalisation puts new demands on the discipline as well. What kind of academic discipline is it? Where is the discipline today, and where is it going? Over the last years, it has increasingly been recognised and more and more forcefully argued within the discipline that translation is not a purely linguistic activity.

As a consequence, knowledge and methods from other disciplines, notably psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, communication studies, anthropology, cultural studies, have been integrated into Translation Studies, making it into an interdiscipline par excellence. Although most scholars today do agree that Translation Studies is not a sub-discipline of applied linguistics, the questions 'where do we stand?

Translation studies continuously brings new theoretical developments to bear upon its disciplinary object. What is obvious in the substantially growing literature is that scholars have come to translation studies from a variety of fields and disciplinary backgrounds. Whereas traditionally this background was linguistics or its subdisciplines, particularly pragmatics, textlinguistics , and also literature, nowadays there is an increasing input from Cultural Studies.

One of the consequences is terminological inconsistency. It seems to be a general phenomenon that different academic disciplines use the same labels, however, with different meanings. Another example is 'equivalence', a highly controversial concept in Translation Studies see also the Debates in Current Issues in Language and Society, Vol. As Mary Snell-Hornby herself 17ff. As Myriam Salama-Carr argues in her response paper, the two opposing directions of globalisation and tribalism can equally be related to what is going on within the discipline of Translation Studies.

We have a unified yet diverse field of Translation Studies, as is also reflected in the title Unity in Diversity? Current Trends in Translation Studies, which was the title of a conference held in Dublin in and is also the title of a subsequently produced volume edited by Bowker et al. The new impetus which has come to Translation Studies from Cultural Studies is the focus on culture as being linked to notions of power, asymmetries, difference and identity. For example, stereotypes and misrepresentations often permeate the images which people in the target culture receive of the source culture, and translations can contribute to this effect, as has been pointed out by Venuti and others.

Globalisation and tribalisation as applied to the very discipline of Translation Studies, raises the question of how we deal with these different strands within our discipline. Do we recognise what each specific perspective can contribute to the study of the common object? Salama-Carr gives as a negative example the ongoing divisive linguistic versus cultural studies debate. That is, what we are experiencing seems to be that different approaches defend their corner and criticise other approaches.

We are far from developing more and more agreement within the discipline. But on the other hand, would a single, commonly agreed and generally accepted approach within Translation Studies be advantageous for the development of our discipline? Isn't it rather the case that the very diversity and heterogeneity within the discipline drives our research? This issue does not provide all the answers to the questions raised and discussed, but it intends to add some more stimulating and provocative ideas to the ongoing debates.

References Adejunmobi, M. African writing and European Languages. The Translator 4, Barat, E. Bowker, L. Current Trends in Translation Studies. Selected papers of the conference 'Translation Studies: Unity in Diversity? Manchester: St. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Current Issues in Language and Society 5, Hondrich, K. Der Spiegel, 3 May, Current Issues in Language and Society 4, Kwiecinski, P. The Translator, 4 Pavlovich, H. The Linguist 38, Polezzi, L. Italian travellers in English translation. Pym, A. Snell-Hornby, M Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach.

Venuti, L. Current Issues in Language and Society 1, Special issue on 'Translation and Minority'. The two conflicting forces of globalism and tribalism are presented and set off against the sociological concept of cultural identity. The position of English as the world lingua franca and in post-colonial studies is discussed, along with the constellation of languages in present-day Europe and the resulting phenomenon of hybridity. Conclusions are drawn for the varying activities of translation today and for the rapidly changing job profile of the translator, and these are illustrated by comparing four authentic translation assignments: from an international organisation, from an electrical appliances firm with branches all over Europe, from an airline publicity leaflet, and from a recent best-selling novel.

Introduction 'Kommunikation total' can be seen in bold letters on the title page of the German news-magazine Der Spiegel on 14 December 'Der siebte Kontinent' The seventh continent was the title of the corresponding story, though the subject was not geographical or environmental but the electronic world of the outgoing 20th century: multimedia, Internet, power-books and swatch-talk. The prototype of the age is a software manager seen pedalling away at his keep-fit bike in the local gym, while surfing in the Internet via a monitor attached to the handle-bars.

After ten theoretical kilometres he has glanced through three newspapers on-line, studied the latest stock market prices and read over a dozen e-mails. Instant information, presented in unlimited quantities through various channels and all at the same time that is communication in the global village today. The sheer amount of the material, the speed with which it must be processed, the remote or virtual character of the participants in the communication act, all of this has changed the way we produce and perceive language and the way we interact with the world around us.

In the early days of human communication there was on the one hand the simple word of mouth, which until the invention of sound recording remained ephemeral, and on the other hand the written symbols perpetuated on stone or parchment but accessible only to a scholarly elite. With the invention of printing, written texts were made available to anyone with enough education to read them. In our present technological revolution, literacy is taken for granted, and the flood of information is made available to anyone with the hardware, software or electronic gadgets to gain access to it.

These still communicate by simple word of mouth or provided that they are able to read and write through conventional written texts, and their view of the world tends to be local and regional rather than global. Globalism, Tribalism and Cultural Identity In , in a visionary article published in The Atlantic Monthly, Benjamin Barber foresaw such a polarised world with two possible political futures, 'both bleak, neither democratic' Barber One is driven by the tide of globalism or globalisation :.

Barber, The second political future is seen in the other extreme:. Barber, For these 'two axial principles of our age', whereby the planet is 'falling precipitantly apart and coming reluctantly together at the same moment' Barber coined the title 'Jihad vs. From the viewpoint of today, seven years later, his words assume visionary dimensions, not only in the areas of commerce and military conflict, but even by means of an extended metaphor in the fields of language and communication. And here there are three main areas that have undergone considerable changes over the last few years: the nature of the material the consumer has to process, the language in which it is presented, and the concept of text.

Translation in the global village / edited by Christina Schäffner. - Version details - Trove

For the first two of these areas we can continue Barber's metaphor as it stands: our linguistic McWorld presents its own intellectual 'fast food' via the Internet, for example, and is dominated by its own 'McLanguage', which is typically American English. It is however a particular brand of American English, reduced in stylistic range and subject matter, and with the aid of abbreviations, icons, acronyms and graphic design tailor-made for fast consumption.

It is itself a lingua franca, often colloquial in register even when in written form, and it has no great concern for native-speaker prescriptivism. No less drastic are the changes caused by multimedia in our concept of text and text types: at one time the products of the communication act over long distances could be neatly classified into spoken and written, into business correspondence often governed by rigid culture-specific conventions , telegrams, phone calls, reports, and so forth.

The computer screen and the endless possibilities of telecommunication have now produced a 'homo communicator' used to e-mailing, faxing, speaking, listening, reading, and viewing typically with several of these activities going on at the same time but often without absorbing or ordering the endless snippets of information or the flood of images into a coherent message.

But our planet does not consist only of such a Brave New McWorld: at the other end of the scale there is a brand of 'linguistic retribalisation', as in areas of Central and Eastern Europe, reflecting the tragic excesses of the more brutal tribalism in the political arena. With the emergence of new national identities after the fall of the Iron Curtain, individual ethnic groups are rediscovering their cultural heritage and with it the significance of their own mother tongue, particularly if they are in conflict with other groups.

The most striking example is the emergence of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian as separate languages from what was known as Serbo-Croat , despite minimal, often artifically created linguistic differences arising from the implementation of new language policies see Grbic forthcoming. If the same objective linguistic criteria were applied to the many varieties of English cf.

Stoll, , and if the speakers of these 'Englishes' were in conflict with each other, the world might face the creation of literally hundreds of new 'languages'. But the definition of 'language' as against 'language variety' is here not objectively linguistic, and it does not depend on mutual intelligibility; seen in this light, a language is simply what is officially recognised or accepted as such, whether from political, ethnic or religious motives.

Benjamin Barber's vision of a globalised world governed by 'universalizing markets' and a tribalised world torn apart by 'parochial hatreds' is sombre indeed, but between the two extremes there is a phenomenon that can be viewed more constructively: the notion of cultural identity. This indicates a community's awareness of and pride in its own unmistakable features and an individual's sense of belonging to that community, whether by birth, language or common territory but implies that it is still able to communicate with and exist in harmony with other communities in the world around hence it is not bound by either the uniformity of globalism or the destructive aggressivity of tribalism.

In a century of constant migration and mass mobility the concept of identity has been a favourite topic for scholars: in the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel referred to the formation of a sense of identity as a process of 'setting oneself apart from others' Simmel, In a more recent essay the sociologist and psychologist Dieter Claessens described the notion of cultural identity as one based on collective self-definition and a sense of belonging, on the awareness of those features characterising one's own community and of those characterising the Other.

Venuti's 'cultural identity' is firstly based on unreal notions and is implicitly inaccurate, and secondly, it is limited to the second sense of an outsider's viewpoint. Language and the Concept of Hybridity One could now call it a truth universally acknowledged, that within the context of global discourse, English, for better or for worse, has assumed the key position.

It is the official language of 52 countries, with a total population of more than million Navarro, The role of English as a world language like French, Spanish and the languages of other former colonial powers goes back to its former role as dominant language of the British Empire, whereby standard British English has diversified into numerous regional and local varieties or 'new Englishes'. Its role as international lingua franca, however, is due on the one hand to the already mentioned world-wide domination of North American technology and culture, and on the other to the fact that its basic grammar and core vocabulary can be relatively easily acquired for everyday conversation as needed for superficial communication by speakers of other languages all over the world.

This latter factor is coupled with a structural flexibility in the language itself and a general policy of non-puristic openness among the Englishspeaking cultural institutions. This has not only encouraged the development of the many regional varieties, but has paved the way for the use of English, not in its pristine standard form, but as a less than impeccable common denominator for communication maybe comprehensible but often full of local interferences by native speakers of other languages all over the world.

A counter-example to prove the point is French: despite massive government-sponsored promotion for the French language, the puristic, normative policy of French institutions and academies have helped the language to preserve much of its characteristic correctness and hence its identity as a language of culture, despite the often reluctantly accepted Anglicisms , but its role as a world language has been reduced.

To keep the content if not the language and the message if not the medium , the French must learn from the vital US qualities of openness and flexibility. Quote of the month in Language International , , p. In a recent article Fernando Navarro has shown that:. It is very noticeable that of the six economically most important languages in the world, five are European languages.

Sean P. Harvey

Navarro, 6 As far as English is concerned, it is important to stress that one half of the world's native speakers of English and three-quarters of the economic power attributed to the English language are concentrated in a single country, the United States of America. This overwhelming domination of American English has created a basic attitude among its speakers that this English and the status it enjoys is the self-evident, unmarked linguistic norm and the natural standard against which other languages are measured.

Europe is essentially multilingual and multicultural, and the individual languages especially those of 'lesser diffusion', and even local varieties such as Swiss German are proud hallmarks of cultural identity. The language with the most native speakers in Europe and with the most economic power is German, and economically English only takes a fourth position, after German, French and Italian Navarro, 6.

But the question of language is here not only one of economic power or numbers of speakers; it is also a geopolitical issue and one fraught with historical complications, including the historic rivalry between English and French, the proud ambitions of the Spanish, and the reluctance to accept any kind of dominance of German despite its historical role as the major lingua franca of Central Europe. At the same time Europe, in the guise of the European Union, is emerging as one of the world's largest economic entities, and one with a declared policy of democratic multilingualism.

However laudable this may be, it is even today illusory cf. Dollerup, and with the further expansion of the Union will some day, at least in its present form, prove unmanageable and financially untenable. For internal purposes French for historical reasons , English for practical reasons and despite the reluctance German are already used as the chief means of communication. However, it is quite clear that in Europe both languages and cultures are constantly in contact, whether within the institutions of the European Union, through business transactions, mass tourism, cultural exchanges or whatever.

This intensive intercultural communication has resulted in what Schaffner and Adab have defined as the hybrid text. Eurotexts reflect a Eurojargon, i. EU texts [. This means that there are clearly defined user needs. The multinational EU institutions as such are the target culture, hybrid texts are formative elements in creating a truly supranational culture. Such texts are typical products of our age and are a natural result of our international globalised lives of today. They reflect the reality of our world in the outgoing 20th century, where the former clear-cut and conflicting power structures and systems whether capitalism vs.

The term 'hybrid text' has however been in use for some years, but in another context and with an essential shift in meaning. Mehrez, Samia Mehrez devotes her essay on 'Translation and the colonial experience', from which this quotation is taken, to the francophone North African text, but many of her observations apply equally to the anglophone scene. In memorable words, the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe describes the language suitable for use by the African writer as a vehicle of expression in postcolonial English literature: The African should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.

It will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home, but altered to suit its new surroundings. Villareal, 62 Such texts, written in a 'new English' as expression of a specific cultural identity here in contrast to the hybrid Eurojargon are likewise a characteristic feature of our constantly changing hybrid world, and they have enriched the English language and the English-speaking cultures by yet another dimension. Firstly, there is the free-floating lingua franca 'International English' that has largely lost track of its original cultural identity, its idioms; its hidden connotations, its grammatical subtleties, and has become a reduced standardised form of language for supra-cultural communication the 'McLanguage' of our globalised 'McWorld' or the 'Eurospeak' of our multilingual continent.

Then there are the many individual varieties, by and large mutually intelligible, but yet each an expression of a specific cultural identity with its own idioms, metaphors and cultural allusions Indian English, for example, or British English as demonstrated by any feature article in the Daily Mail.

Translation, Globalisation and the European Language Scene Both the rapid development of our globalised 'McWorld' with its technological 'cultura franca' and the emergence of new national and cultural identities after the end of colonialism and the fall of communism have deeply affected translation and the work of the professional translator. In another visionary article called 'Jack in the Year ', originally presented as a conference paper in Misano Adriatico in , Patricia ViolanteCassetta described how she then envisaged the translator at the turn of the millennium.

Her sketch runs as follows: My name is Jack, and I am a translator in the United States, although I share many traits and characteristics with colleagues all over the world. Jacks such as myself may be staffers at international organisations, multinational corporations, government agencies, private concerns, or we may be selfemployed. We wade through documents that are often highly technical sometimes barely legible5 and translate them into other languages.

One day it might be environmental regulations and the next day the specifications for a desalinator. Violante-Cassetta, 'Jack' has a variety of tasks and varied working conditions, but it is clear that his work is unthinkable without a good technological infrastructure: computers for producing texts, online services providing continuously updated glossaries of terms, e-mail, Internet, MT systems and so forth.

This translator is seen in a computerised future, which sounded like grim science fiction when the paper was read five years ago; however, we can now say that the vision has not only become reality but has even been outdated by the 'homo communicator' of our multimedia age. Formal business correspondence has to some extent been replaced by email, much is dealt with by fax and mobile phone.

Here too, however, things have changed. Apart from the hybrid character of Eurospeak, the normative and levelling influence of bureaucratic Euroculture and the de facto dominance of the three main languages, English, French and German, we have a large number of 'exotic' languages of lesser diffusion Finnish, Slovene, Polish, Lithuanian, to name only a few jockeying for position within our complex and swiftly moving European world. One way of solving the problem is by gaining expert proficiency in one or more of the 'main' languages and by producing highly skilled professional translators: Finland and the Scandinavian countries are proud examples.

Another solution might be the phenomenon of 'passive multilingualism', whereby people gain reading and listening skills in several foreign languages without necessarily perfecting their active skills. Then discussions or meetings can be conducted in different languages at the same time where languages are mutually intelligible, as in the Scandinavian, Romance or Slavonic regions, this is entirely unproblematic leaving it open for people to speak or write in any language in which they can be understood by those present. Another option, already a necessity in languages of very limited diffusion like Slovene or Lithuanian, is regular translation into the non-mother tongue with special modules for this purpose within translator training , whereby once again as in the case of International English and MT a 'suboptimal translation product' as Prunc has called it Prunc, in press , is not only tolerated but even included in the translation brief with a correspondingly suboptimal fee.

For example, this would be the case not in literary translation of course but with a summary of business information for internal use within the firm only. I would like to illustrate this briefly by excerpts from four authentic texts, along with their translations, spanning the range from global to culture-specific, from technical to expressive. The English version of each of these excerpts is reproduced below.

Translation in International Organisations The first excerpt is from a text used as material for translation into several languages at the United Nations Translation Service in Vienna. Text 1 A. Note on Morocco's Nuclear Power Programme Organisation structures for implementation of nuclear programme 1. In this connection it is designated as the owner and future operator of any nuclear power-stations to be set up.

This is the framework within which ONE, within the assistance of IAEA, has prepared the first planning studies, which will be examined and taken further under the agreement with France, and has also started to collect information and data on site choices. A special study has also been made of present population distribution in the area where a nuclear power-station may be built.

As Didaoui points out, a major problem with United Nations source texts is that they are often compiled jointly by a number of authors who are not native speakers, and they are hence linguistically defective. The above text illustrates clearly what happens to English as 'world property' beyond the control of native speakers, and in the opinion of some translators I have consulted so far, it needs to be transedited before it can be translated.

An acceptable English version 7 might run as follows: The National Electricity Board ONE , a public industrial and trade authority, controls the generation and distribution of electricity in Morocco. Due to its monopoly of this area, it is considered to be the owner and future operator of any nuclear power stations which may eventually be set up in the country. Taking this into consideration, and with the assistance of IAEA, ONE has initiated a series of investigations which are, however, subject to approval by the French government.

A survey to gather information and data on possible site choices has already begun and a special study is under way concerning the redistribution of the population which presently inhabits the area in which nuclear power stations may be built in the future. Even now however, the text has its problems. Multilingual Information Booklets The second text Text 2 is part of a multilingual information booklet on service and guarantee conditions issued by the German firm 'Bauknecht', which produces quality electrical appliances and is represented in several European countries under the name 'Whirlpool'.

It is designed to give you every satisfaction, provided that it is properly installed, operated and maintained. YOUR GUARANTEE If any defect in manufacture or material should appear in this product within 12 months of the date you purchased it, Whirlpool Ireland Service will arrange for such defect to be rectified without charge, provided that: 1 reasonable evidence is supplied that the product was purchased within 12 months prior to the date of claim. If you did not receive a guarantee application form from your retailer, at the time of purchase, please contact Whirlpool at the address shown.

We will forward this form to you, which you should complete and return to us within 30 days from the date of purchase. You should remember that either during the guarantee period or later, a charge will be made for a Service visit in the event that no defect is found in your appliance. Before requesting a call therefore, you should make the checks suggested in the instruction booklet to see whether you can correct the problem for yourself. While Text 1 functioned as basic information material for reproduction in several languages in an international organisation, Text 2 is intended to function specifically within the culture and legal system of the Republic of Ireland, and it has to some extent been localised.

This means text type conventions have been changed, particularly in the area of syntax and pragmatics. The technological subject matter is, however, supra-cultural, it requires subject-area competence on the part of the translator but does not pose intercultural problems. The differences between the English and German texts are manifold. On the pragmatic level the English text promises service, the German states conditions of guarantee. But as a text type, the German text is a blend of legal information in strictly legal terminology and promotion gags of the operative text type as understood by Katharina Reiss In the unlikely event of anything going wrong, the service department will be available.

The customer is then advised how important the service number would be in this situation and urged not to remove it from the appliance. With the sub-heading 'Guarantee conditions' with period of guarantee 1 and conditions for rectifying defects without charge 2 the text assumes a purely informative function, with stipulations comparable to those in the English text under the heading 'Your Guarantee', whereby it is significant that in the English version 'reasonable evidence' for the date of purchase suffices, whereas the German customer is required to produce the receipt.

Of special interest is the final section 3 indicating the area within which the guarantee applies 'Geltungsbereich'. Whereas the English version simply requires the product to be 'located in the Republic of Ireland', the German version refers to the 'Bundesrepublik Deutschland' and adds further legal restrictions.

There follows information about products purchased and transported in another 'EC country' 'EGLand' in such cases the guarantee would depend on local stipulations. The term 'EG-Land' betrays that the text must have been written before the introduction of the term 'European Union' EU in although the actual electrical appliance concerned was a deep-freeze unit purchased in One typical genre is the illustrated leaflet with texts in two or more languages, one of them usually English for an international readership; here is a translated English version taken from a leaflet of the airline Lauda Air.

Its history is the subject of many a coffee-house dispute, though the wonderfully light sponge cake is thought to have originated in a decidedly archaic environment namly sic , in the Capuchin Monastery. The hoods of the Capuchin monks were commonly known as 'Gugl'. And when one particularly sweet-toothed monk baked a cake in a mould which had more than a passing resemblance to his hood, the holy brother jumped in the air for joy at the success of his sweet speciality.

The Austrian dialect word for jump is 'Hupf' and so the 'jumping Capuchin', known as the 'Guglhupf', was born. The subject described here is the culture-bound item Guglhupf, recognisable as a kind of cake though not so clear from the text is its characteristic form. Markstein, , particularly in their distinguishing features and in the associations they arouse. Thus the Guglhupf is important, not for being just any kind of cake, but as part of the specifically Austrian tradition of confectionery and as such it was offered as a refreshment on the Lauda Air flight. It is a subject for debate whether it fulfils its function as an advertising text singing the praises of Austrian traditions for the world-wide English-reading public.

Another form of word-play is the compound 'Kaffeetratscher', based on 'Kaffeetratsch' Standard German: 'Kaffeeklatsch' , which refers to light-hearted conversation over the customary coffee and cake. Such elementary textual principles can explain how a text which relies heavily on witty connotations could be weakened in translation by a too pedantic search for linguistic equivalence. What the German text seeks to get across is the monk's delight 'jumped for joy' -hupf at his success in producing a cake that was shaped like his hood Gugl- , whereby the English translator made another positive contribution to the coherence of the text by explaining that Hupf is a dialect word for 'jump'.

Literary Hybrid Texts Our fourth text is an example of postcolonial prose. It is taken from the prize-winning novel The God of Small Things by the South Indian writer Arundhati Roy, is hence a literary hybrid text as described above by Samia Mehrez, which has created a 'new language' that has come to occupy a space 'in between': Text 4 While the Welcome Home, Our Sophie Mol play was being performed in the front verandah and Kochu Maria distributed cake to a Blue Army in the green heat, Ambassador E.

Pimpernel with a puff of the beige and pointy shoes, pushed open the gauze doors to the dank and pickle-smelling premises of Paradise Pickles. He walked among the giant cement pickle vats to find a place to Think In. Ousa, the Bar Nowl, who lived on a blackened beam near the skylight and contributed occasionally to the flavour of certain Paradise products , watched him walk. Past floating yellow limes in brine that needed prodding from time to time or else islands of black fungus formed liked frilled mushrooms in a clear soup.

Past green mangoes, cut and stuffed with turmeric and chilli powder and tied together with twine. They needed no attention for a while. Past glass casks of vinegar with corks. Past shelves of pectin and preservatives. Past trays of bitter gourd, with knives and coloured finger-guards. The language presented here is the exact opposite of the globalised supra-cultural 'McLanguage' for online fast consumption as described at the beginning of the paper.

But it is a description full of local colour and atmosphere, certainly an expression of a local cultural identity with the blend of dankness, pungent smells, cake, pectin and pointed shoes and not without irony the reference to the Indian boy's 'Elvis puff' or the owl's 'contribution' to the flavour of the preserves. What is most significant is that this isolated fragment is not immediately comprehensible without prior knowledge of the context as the allusions to names and items mentioned and explained elsewhere in the novel can demonstrate.

The hybridity is shown particularly in the names combining Christian and local traditional elements 'Sophie Mol', 'Kochu Maria' , the rich and exotic imagery 'islands of black fungus. It is also present in such extensions of the English language norm in phrases like 'picklesmelling premises' or 'a Blue Army in the green heat'. It is the multi-dimensional, highly evocative character of such elaborate and finely wrought prose which would need a separate paper to analyse that poses a problem and creates the challenge for the literary translator.

Conclusion: The Hybrid Profession Over the last twenty years the profession of the translator has undergone radical changes. In the Collins Dictionary of the English Language, published in , a translator is defined simply as 'a person or machine that translates speech or writing', and translate is defined as 'to express or be capable of being expressed in another language or dialect'. Such a simplistic impression which even twenty years ago was amazingly naive comes nowhere near describing the complex activity of the translator today.

Even looking at the four short excerpts from recent translation assignments each text in its own way a 'hybrid' text , we can see how much technical, legal and cultural knowledge is required for producing a text, not only in another language, but for a target community, and our glimpse of language work in the global village gives us some idea of how language is processed by multimedia and technology, so that even our traditional concept of text must be questioned. Schmitt has sketched a job profile of the professional translator and interpreter, as based on studies of the mid- and early nineties, and even this needs amending to accommodate developments that have taken place in the meantime.

Using Schmitt's article as a frame of reference, we could describe the activity of the translator of today as follows: Translators and interpreters are experts for interlingual and intercultural communication, and assume full responsibility for their work. They have acquired the necessary professional expertise, above all linguistic, cultural and subject-area competence, and are equipped with suitable technological skills to meet the challenges of the market today and those to be expected over the coming years. Translators are engaged in fields ranging from scientific and literary translation over technical writing and pro- and post-editing to translation for stage and screen.

In the 19th century, Jakob Grimm famously compared translation to crossing a river or sea, whereby the ship is the text, the navigator is the translator, the passage across the sea or river is the translation process, and the land beyond the two shores are the source and target cultures cf.

For those times, when boundaries were clear, nations neatly defined and distances difficult to cover, the image was apt. In our heterogeneous global village of today, where distances have been overcome by telecommunication, where the concept of nation has been complicated by mass-migration and the development of subcultures and multicultural societies, and where boundaries even between languages have often grown fuzzy or have disappeared completely, it seems simplistic and naive. Notes 1. This is clear from the following statements: 'By far the most consequential of these effects, I want to argue, is the formation of cultural identities.

Translation wields enormous power in constructing representations of foreign cultures' Venuti, , emphasis added. An example of this characteristic Anglo-American attitude is provided by Venuti: 'This project takes as its point of departure the misunderstanding, suspicion, and neglect that continue to greet the practice of translation, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. This may be true of the situation in the 'major English-speaking countries' but cannot be elevated to the status of a universal truth.

In countries such as Israel, Finland or the Philippines, due among other things to the status of the national language s , the figures and the situation would be quite different. Violante-Cassetta may possibly mean 'barely readable'. Meanwhile a new manual has been produced and the information updated. There is also an impressionistic drawing of a Guglhupf on the front page of the leaflet, but only with a partial view, and for the non-initiated reader this gives incomplete information on its actual shape. They are often left untranslated, but their basic meaning is made clear from the immediate content.

References Barber, B. The Atlantic Monthly 3, Born, J. Textarbeit in einer Institution der EG. Claessens, D. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. London: Collins. Didaoui, M. The role of translators. Unpublished dissertation, Vienna. Dollerup, C. Rose ed. Translation Horizons.