Translator: Expert of ‘What’? Translator Training and the Changing/Changeful Identity of the Translator

Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi. 2013;2(2):69-78


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Journal Title: Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi

ISSN: 2147-0626 (Online)

Publisher: Karabuk University

LCC Subject Category: General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities | Social Sciences: Social sciences (General)

Country of publisher: Turkey

Language of fulltext: French, English, Turkish, Arabic

Full-text formats available: PDF



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Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The aim of this paper is to trace the contemporary perceptions/definitions of the translator and translation in Turkey where the translation profession is not a legally regulated profession. (In)visibility of the translator and the scope of his/her expertise are widely debated issues among both the scholars/students of translation and the various players in the world of translation. Although translation is no longer being defined as a mere linguistic activity, reductionist views of translation that equate translation to ‘know’ing a foreign language still continues to prevail. What accompanies the said reductionist view is the claim that a translator can not translate ‘all the texts’ in different fields of expertise, at least not as successfully as the ‘real’ experts of the field who also know a foreign language such as engineer-translators or lawyer-translators who know English. However, recent developments concerning legal translation in plurilingual settings evidence a completely different understanding of translation and the identity/expertise of the translator. In such settings, translators work together with the drafters of the legal texts and are responsible for the source legal texts as well as the target ones, broadening the scope of the ‘expertise’ of the translator in an unprecedented way. In the light of the implications of the said transformation of the identity of the legal translator, this paper argues that the identity/definition of the translator/translation needs to be reconsidered and the results should be reflected onto the translator training programs with the aim of helping students of translation (re)define their identity as real ‘experts’ of the translation field and contributing to the transformation of the perception of translation and the translator.