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Acts of translation: ethics, interventions, mediations

Abstract

Common sense holds that good translations are those that render the source text faithfully, without any loss in meaning, form or tone. It is also well agreed that the task of producing such a translation, despite being an ideal pursued by many, is impossible. This thesis proposes a different way of conceptualizing translation as action, which implies an agent, motives and consequences. The most important corollary of this proposal is an alternative way of seeing the role of translators in society they start being considered o role mediators, leaving behind their function as mere carriers of ideas and meanings. The speech act theory, as proposed by John Langshaw Austin, will serve as a guideline in the exploration of the concept of translation as action, an act performed in the real world. Translation acts will also be analyzed as "emic" entities, which resist strict generalizations. On the other hand, "families" of translation acts will be presented “families" in the wtttgensteinian sense of groups whose elements do not have an essential feature, but rather several overlapping similarities. These families are translation as diffusion of knowledge; translation as immersion in textuality; translation as enrichment; translation as buffering; translation as political engagement. (AU)

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