Adriana Neagu & Marcin Turski
While the present issue is envisaged as an appraisal of translation and interpretation studies in the academia, it does not set out to explore these subjects as academic disciplines per se. The nature, object, genealogies, epistemologies and specificities of TS and IS together with the underlying linguistic and literary theories, constitute the province of the various specialisms and sub-specialisms these practices have engendered since prehistory. Originally attached to theology, through the ages, translation praxis devolved into narrower and narrower disciplines, hence the hermeneutics, poetics, semiotics, philosophy of translation, and conversely, of translation as hermeneutics, poetics, semiotics, and philosophy.
The raison d’être of this volume is to work in the shadow of these established specialisms and take stock of the articulations between translation and interpretation practice and the Academia, in so doing, revisiting their role in the educational process. In their take on translation and interpretation our contributors delve into questions pertaining to interdisciplinarity and plurilingualism, shedding light on translation as an interactive process, fostering genuine dialogue and cultural interchange. Interrelated as they are, TS and IS, build on rhetoric and orality, linguistic and non-linguistic components, in order to set up a space of connection.
Our declared interest in HE, is in translation and interpretation as processes rather than products, as mediums and agencies bearing on academic literacies and in re-echoing the cognitive role they play within the broadly cultural system of global humanities. Surely, over some two millennia, both TS and IS have earned their right for a distinct place in the academy, as fields of enquiry in their own right. From translatability to translatorship, we hereby acknowledge the crucial part translation and interpretation play in yielding meaning and revealing knowledge itself as per force translational. The translational norms, conceptual frameworks, hierarchies as well as the canonization, appropriation, transposition, comparatism embedded in translation we deem as particularly significant for our endeavor here.
As we draft this note, we are fully aware that machine translation, artificial intelligence, specialized transcultural communication, and translation methodologies can inform various disciplines in the digital humanities and social sciences, in fact, a whole array of subjects ranging from literature to history, text analysis, anthropology, ethnology and area studies, hence our concern with translation/translating as an instrument, deeply embedded in discoursal activity. According to most age-long specialists, to translate is to interpret, valorising the axiological and ideological implications in the practice. But as we think most specialists in the area would agree, ’the day is still young’, which may be exactly why reassessing the added value of translation and interpretation, of the source cultures and receiving cultures involved, requires a complex rethinking of an entire receiving system, whereby cultures depend on translation for their survival, and we identify ourselves as tourists rather than travelers, subject to the processes of globalization, to monolingual and monocultural practices still in place, in the hope of raising awareness of the dynamics of cultural exchange, biculturalism and the condition of moving between modes of language: The translator and the interpreter, moving between disciplines, between the allusive language of general culture and the hermetic sublanguages of specialisms, are practitioners in a sense of the encyclopaedic culture of travel, of a third culture that is inclusive not only of the classic polarities of the humanities and science, but of many other areas of human enquiry. In an era of disciplinary parochialism, the third wo/man as translator or travel writer is valuable as a nomad bringing us the news from elsewhere (Cronin, 2000, p. 150).
Cronin, M. (2000). Across the Lines: Travel Language and Translation. Cork University Press.