Situating discourse on translation and conflict

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This essay situates discourse on translation and conflict within a broad perspective, covering research approaches in the discipline of Translation Studies since the "descriptive approach" was established in the 1970s. It is suggested that the discourse on translation and conflict belongs in the main to a branch of "committed approaches" in Translation Studies, which, while not promoting particular methods of translating, highlights the impossibility of neutrality, and thus the necessity of recognizing the interventionist role of translators. Notions at the heart of the work of two leading scholars of translation and conflict, Baker and Tymoczko, are discussed in some detail. Their work is also critiqued, and a counterpoint is presented: the article on translation and war by Jones, which introduces the concept of the Derridian decision. The essay ends with a proposal for combining the perceived strengths of descriptive and committed approaches in translation research through recourse to Derridian philosophy. © 2007 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Semiotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Committed approaches
  • Derridean decision
  • Descriptivism
  • Engagement
  • Translation and conflict


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