Translation and Adaptation Studies: More Interdisciplinary Reflections on Theories of Definition and Categorization

Traduction Et Adaptation : Un Mariage de Raison 33 (1):21–53 (2020)
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This paper discusses how theories of definition and probabilistic theories of categorization could help distinguish between translation and adaptation, and eventually between translation and adaptation studies. Part I suggests readopting the common parlance definition of “translation” as the accurate rendition of the meaning of a verbal expression in another natural language, and “adaptation” as change that leads to better fit. Readopting these common parlance definitions entails categorical implications. The author discusses three parameters: whereas “translation” represents an invariance-oriented, semiotically invested, cross-lingual phenomenon, “adaptation” refers to a variance-oriented phenomenon, which is not semiotically invested, and entails better fit. Part II discusses how theories of categorization could help distinguish between TS and LFAS. The study of the disciplinarization of knowledge involves epistemic and socio-political conditioners. This section concludes that medium specificity, i.e., the linguistic versus lit-film paradigm, plays a major role in separating TS from LFAS. Another player that deserves more attention is the Romantic as opposed to the Classicist value system.

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Patrick Cattrysse
University of Antwerp


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