Descriptive Translation Studies - and Beyond by Gideon Toury †

By Gideon Toury †

Creating a case for descriptive translation stories, as a scholarly task in addition to a department of the self-discipline, having fast effects for problems with either theoretical and utilized nature, this article includes methodological discussions complemented via an collection of case experiences various in scope and point, wherein the necessity to contextualize no matter what one units out to target is emphasised.

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Frequent use of a term by a variety of different speakers and writers during an unbroken period of time is very suggestive of an established convention, whereas a long time lapse between any two known uses points to a greater likelihood of independent recoinage on the second occasion. It seems likely that, as Pinker suggests, even on the basis of evidence from a single homogeneous source such as the AP newswire, new vocabulary will continue to accumulate forever. An interesting question now is, how many of these ‘new words’ will ever recur?

No ordinary human reader puzzles over what was being essayed or aimed at. This book shows why not. The second directly relevant kind of exploitation that enables a reader to understand (12) is lexical creativity involving a combining form. Nowhere else in the novel, nowhere else in the BNC, and indeed nowhere in much bigger corpora—billions of words of English—have I been able to find the word Stuartesque. It is used occasionally in texts found on the Internet, with the meaning ‘characteristic of Stuart’, referring in each case to a completely different Stuart.

It might be thought that this sentence would be meaningless to readers who do not know who Ian Hislop is, but this would be to underestimate the redundancy of natural language. For such readers, the sentence is informative about the character traits being attributed to someone called Ian Hislop (a habitual nose wrinkler, apparently, noted for his contempt for hype and pretension), rather than about a particular method of nose-wrinkling. Those who do know who Ian Hislop is (a British satirical journalist and TV humorist, noted for his sarcastic wit) may prefer to regard this as a sideswipe at a fellow humorist, or perhaps an in-joke—a private reference to some conversation that the two humorists have had, which the rest of us know nothing about—rather than an enhancement of the message.

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