Understanding translation

This book helps you gain an in-depth understanding of translation and provides you with a conceptual framework for analysing the various aspects. 

It can be of interest both to practising translators, interpreters and subtitlers and to students as well as to others who are interested
in interlingual communication.

This introductory textbook presents a general conceptual framework for understanding translation. Alongside the theoretical discussion, it offers  evidence of the enormous range of forms that translation can take. One of the special strengths of the book is the examples it gives not just of translations but of different translation situations, both genuine and simulated. These illustrate the text itself and also appear in the Points for Discussion at the end of each chapter.

Understanding translation

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15. maj 2008
Poul Kragh Jensen


“Writing an introductory book of this type is fraught for all sorts reasons, notably the questions of what to include and what to omit, how much theory (and which teory) should predominate, whether it should be built around examples, and, if so, in which language(s), whether exercises should feature, ect. Understanding Translation sets its own path through the subject and is a welcome addition, written in English for a very specific market in Denmark.” (…) “The ‘theory and practice’ question is central to the book, starting with a justification for the study of theory (pp. 14-15). Each chapter then adopts a format of accessible theoretical survey with bullet-pointed lists illustrated by well-chosen translation examples, finished off by ‘points for discussion’ based on Danish-centred scenarios. This demonstrates the focus of the book: it is an introductory textbook for Danish students of translation/interpreting and of languages, and the examples are almost all of translation between Danish and English, often with back translations for non-Danish speakers. The style of most chapters is quite informal, and the student readership is addressed directly and in opposition to the informed authors and research community.” (…) “Students are therefore provided with a good grounding for their practical needs and for reflecting on and taking decisions in a range of different translation scenarios. Some of the interlinked ‘points for discussion’ in chapter 9 (pp. 182-186) present a complex real-life scenario, the translation of Danish folksongs and hymns and its reception, with questions about translator role, brief, skopos, and both macro- and micro-strategies employed. The practical applications of theories work very well in the book, and the authors are to be congratulated.” (…) “At the very beginning (p. 11), the three authors state that ‘Our discussions focus on the reality of professional translation between Danish and English, but it is our hope that these discussions will also interest some international readers’. They should rest confident that Understanding Translation will certainly be of interest to an international audience and I foresee it inspiring teachers of translation and translation studies in many other countries.”
Jeremy Munday
Hermes16. april 2010