Pym, Anthony and Alexander Perekrestenko (eds) (2009). Translation Research Projects 2.
Tarragona, Spain: Intercultural Studies Group. 191 pp. EUR 20.00. ISBN: 978 84 613 1619 0 (paper) 978 84 613 1620 5.
his review takes a look at a second volume of the Translation Research Projects series edited by Anthony Pym and Alexander Parekrestenko. In their continuous effort to encourage a more fructuous dialog between academics in the world of Translation Studies, Pym and Parekrestenko's interesting assemblage of articles includes, this time, proposition papers by professors and presentations by doctoral candidates and graduate students (the former from the seminar "The Future of Research on Translation and Interpreting" of 2008 and the latter from the graduate conference "New Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies" of 2007 [both held in Tarragona]). However, it is not for certain that this gathering of proposals will bring the yearned exchange of ideas in spite of the high quality of their contents, due to a remarkable lack of compatibility in the topics chosen by both professors and students.
Distinctively from Translation Research Projects 1 (Tarragona 2007), which includes non-conclusive findings from doctoral candidates and graduate students, this book is divided into two parts and incorporates articles—professors' and students'—with thought-provoking conclusions in them. The first part of the book features articles written by professors, and it contains proposals on methodologies to train future researchers in Translation Studies. In the introduction of the book, Anthony Pym (1) exalts—and rightly so because of their wide view of this discipline—the contributions by Daniel Gile and by Andrew Chesterman. In his article, Gile (35) points out that, in order to elevate the status of the profession in Translation, poor quality research should be avoided, and proposes that the research that does not have an immediate impact on society should be done in a hands-on—self trained and empirical—environment at universities. Chesterman (5) provides in his contribution an interesting methodology to train future researchers. He suggests using the principles of the philosophy of science to enable doctoral candidates to learn basics of the history of science, to distinguish science from pseudoscience, to apply logical argument and categorisation, and to acquire notions of hypothesis, theory, and methods.
Also, in the area of training future researchers Christina Schäffner (9) suggests that universities ought not to focus so much in the three year timeline to complete doctoral programs in TS, but to aim for the acquisition of research skills of doctoral candidates. According to her, prospects should be preparing not solely for an academic life, but to excel in other fields, as well. Moreover, Michaela Wolf's approach to TS research (73), advocates for a more cultural approach in the training of translators instead of preparing them, exclusively, for the job market. She claims that the role of translators should not solely perform as a mere transferor of the meaning of text contents, but as cultural mediators between European citizens and disenfranchised immigrants who come from poorer countries. Gideon Toury (59), co-editor of Target—the European International Journal of Translation Studies—, encourages doctoral candidates and MA students—of all countries—to submit their academic research materials to this periodical, for future publication. According to Toury, this sort of contributions—in addition to the participation of academic "big names" (65)—, will make the magazine a better contributor to Translation Studies research.
In a more specific domain within Translation Studies, Ives Gambier (17) recommends a methodology in Audiovisual Translation research, which would connect today's fragmented Audio Visual Translation Studies discipline by revising its core concepts: among others, those related to the nature of text, authorship, sense, translation units, translation strategies, and norms. In TS and Adaptation Studies, including Film Adaptation, John Milton of Brazil (51) suggests that this emerging discipline should develop its own theoretical construct by using Lawrence Venuti's concept of interpretant—idea subdivided in "formal interpretants"(adaptations of style, genre, and revision of materials) and "thematic interpretants" (cultural and ideological modification for a specific audience target) (p. 56).
Suggesting a more empirical and interdisciplinary approach in Interpreting Studies, Franz Pöchhacker (p. 41), advocates for bringing to an end the under-categorised standing of this field as being just a mere sub-discipline of TS. In addition to practical training, he recommends the expansion of Interpretation Studies research by adding more theoretical development, using sociologic and sociolinguistic contextual factors.
Ignacio García (27) proposes the integration of Translation Memories and their massive databases and Machine Translation for the creation of interactive engines with vast resources available to professional translators—including freelancers—, capable to be remotely configured by vendors. In his article, García provides examples on how professional translators are already engaging in interactive—social networking like—toll websites, such as, Livetranslation.com (p. 31), in which translators share information with each other in a user-friendly cybernetic environment.
The second half of this volume accommodates research projects by doctoral candidates and MA students—with provisional conclusions—presented at the graduate conference "New Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies" of 2007, in Tarragona, Spain. One of them, Constanza Peverati's experimental case-study (173), should be high-ranked due to her proposal of expanding the practical uses of translation. According to Peverati, a core of translation workshop-type courses in Modern Languages university curricula could reinforce the acquisition of a second language at universities.
Other relevant papers tackle more localised and detailed issues in Translation Studies. For instance, Renata Kamanická (111) suggests that, when analysing the style of translators, computer analyses of translation corpora as a supplemental aid should not substitute small scale sampling due to the "complexity metaphorical meaning structures" (121) of the source text. Nataša Pavlović and Kristian T. H. Jensen (93) measure cognitive eye tracking of translation students and professional translators, and partially conclude that "[i]n both directions of translation, processing TT requires more cognitive effort than processing the ST" (95). Diane Howard (83) challenges the way both the CEFR (Common European Framework of References) and the ILR (U.S. International Language Roundtable) are conducting their reading comprehension tests to examine the proficiency of candidates for certification. She questions the appropriateness of Japanese-to-English sample passages of the ATA (American Translation Association). In her article about English-to-Catalan translation dubbing of films, Rosanna Rion (165) exposes the excessive use of formal Catalan vocabulary in English-to-Catalan dubbing. She insists that by not using a more colloquial and casual lexical language when translating film dialogs, TV3 is doing a disservice to its political driven intentions of trying to spread the Catalan language in Catalonia, Spain. In her treaty, Szu-Wen Cindy King (123) unveils the ongoing tendencies of domestication and appropriations in translations of Taiwanese novels to the English language in spite of the efforts to introduce Taiwanese literature into the United States, by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and Columbia University Press. Finally, Ondřej Vimir (139) analyses the role of Czech translators before, during, and after the Second World War, and how local, national, and even supranational politics affected their roles when choosing the type of books for translation. He ultimately concludes that, during the time of political upheaval in the Slavic area, translators' positions had more relevance when publishing houses were small and unconsolidated.
Different from Translation Research Projects 1, this volume proposes an improved collection of articles in the field of Translation Studies, because it contains a more comprehensive approach in both sides of the profession. In the first part, the professors, as expert researchers, put forward a positive and broader ranged analysis of TS, proposing methods to train future researchers and suggestions to elevate the reputation of practitioners. The last part can be compared—in content—with Anthony Pym and Alexander Parekrestenko's entire first proposal because it is composed by a series of articles by doctoral candidates and MA students. But due to the nature and level of the aims of the tentative findings of both—professorial and students'—, it would be difficult to measure any possible exchange of ideas between them as reactive aftermath of this volume's publication.
Luis Y. Castañeda, University of Texas at Brownsville