Ideoloogia tõlketeooria ja tõlkeloo dialoogis / Field of ideology in a dialogue between theory and history of translation


  • Peeter Torop Tartu Ülikool / University of Tartu



ideoloogia, mõisteväli, tõlkijad, tõlkelugu, ideology, conceptual field, translator, translation history


Artikkel on pühendatud tõlketeooriat ja tõlkelugu ühendavale ideoloogia mõistele. Jälgitud on ideoloogia mõistevälja dünaamikat 21. sajandi tõlketeoorias ja tõlkeloos. Vaatluse all on tõlketeaduslikes käsiraamatutes loodud terminiväljade muutumist ideoloogia mõiste hägustumisest uute mõistete juurutamiseni. Artikkel osutab olukorrale tõlketeaduses, kus tõlketeoreetiline kirevus on nii suur, et tõlkeloolastel on raske nii metodoloogilist kui praktilist tuge leida. Samas osutab tõlketeooria areng üldisele mõttelaadi dünaamikale tõlkekultuuriga seoses ja selles toimuvaid protsesse on võimalik tõlkeloo analüüsimeetodite täiustamisel ära kasutada.


If there is a wish to understand translation, it is necessary to consider all its aspects also from the point of view of ideology. The process of translation should be seen as a complex of interlinguistic, intralinguistic, and intersemiotic translations, on the one hand, and as a complex of linguistic, cultural, economic, and ideological activities, on the other hand. Translators work on the boundaries of languages, cultures, and societies, and position themselves between the poles of specificity and adaptation, in accordance with the strategies of their translational behaviour: they either preserve the otherness of the Other (foreignisation) or transform the Other into Self (domestication). By the same token, they cease to be simple mediators for, in a semiotic sense, they are capable of generating new languages to describe a foreign language, text, or culture, and renewing a culture or influencing a culture’s capacity for dialogue with other cultures as well as with itself. In this way, translators work not only with natural languages, but also with metalanguages, languages of description. As mediators between languages, translators are important creators of new metalanguages.

Different parameters should be observed in the process of translation, among which economic and ideological aspects of translation hold the first place. In turn, these are associated with professional ethics or with the professional ethics of the translator. The practice of translation is even more complex, and the behaviour of translators and the quality of their work do not depend solely on their linguistic or literary abilities. The translator is simultaneously a mediator, a creator, a producer, a manager, a critic, as well as an ideologue. All of these roles constitute various aspects of cultural behaviour and can be correlated with the entire textual corpus of a culture. An actualisation of the various cultural and social roles of the translator reflects the general effort, made in analysis, to reach a complex understanding of the phenomenon of translation in the processes of culture.

It is difficult to observe the issues of ideology and economics in isolation, since the concept of the market in itself combines both the local and the global aspects. The confluence of the economic and the ideological is especially characteristic of mass literature, and sholars studying the translation of the latter have been exploring, among other things, concepts such as collective translation (team translation), standardisation (of theme, language, style, size, weight), ignoring of authorial idiosyncrasies (the so-called sacredness of the author), commercial calculations (definite market, deadlines, no revision), selection of texts (reusability), the repeated publication of old translations (the recycling strategy), marketing strategies and pseudotranslations.

The ideological issues arising in translation activities have gained significance both on an empirical and on a theoretical level. The very introduction of an author into a culture is an ideologically and politically coloured act, and the ideological aspect of translation activity is one of the factors involving translation within the process of the culture’s historical autocommunication. All in all, the historical identity of translation cannot be restricted to either the historical existence of translations, or to the history of translation. The history of translation is only one way of observing translation in time, as well as in ideological space. History of translation does have a significant influence on translation studies, but is simultaneously dependent on the latter as well, which is why the category of ideology is of major significance as concerns the notion of translation.


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Author Biography

Peeter Torop, Tartu Ülikool / University of Tartu

Peeter Torop – PhD, Tartu ülikooli kultuurisemiootika professor. Tema teadushuvide hulka kuuluvad tõlketeadus, tõlkesemiootika, transmeedia-uuringud, kultuurisemiootika ja -teooria, vene kirjanduse ajalugu 19. sajandil.

Peeter Torop – PhD, Professor of Semiotics of Culture at the University of Tartu. His research interests include: translation studies, semiotics of translation, transmedia studies, semiotics and theory of culture, history of Russian literature of 19th century.