Att demaskera översättarens roll i det interkulturella utbytet


  • Isabelle Desmidt


It goes without saying that translations are essential to intercultural communication. When language barriers prevent two cultures from exchanging a (written, literary) text, a translator is usually called for in order to solve the communication problem. But no matter how obvious the position of the translator in the intercultural communication process may be, the question as to how one should actually study translations is less obvious. In this article I wish to show the complexity of translation by discussing some of the difficulties that scholars meet - or can meet - when analyzing translations. I go into (a) the difficulty of delineating the concept of "translation", (b) the difficulty of defining who - apart from the interlingual translator - has (had) a voice in the realization of the target text, (c) the difficulty of finding the source text(s) that was (were) used (the translator may work indirectly), and (d) the difficulty of tracing and investigating the network of people and texts involved in the translation process.