Gideon Toury's description on The Name and Nature of Translation Studies

Gideon Toury’s remarks on The Name and Nature of Translation Studies

On our way in studying translation in an academic fashion, one of the first things we encounter is the map that has been developed for our field. As you know the origin of this map and even choosing a unique and universal name for this field goes back to the famous paper by James Holmes with the title of The Name and Nature of Translation Studies, which previously a full summary of this paper has been published here on Dilmanj. But let’s not forget about Gideon Toury and his important remarks, or better to say complementary remarks on Holmes’ map. Now we turn our attention to Gideon Toury’s side of the equation.

Gideon Toury, in his book entitled Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond, from part one, The Pivotal Position of Descriptive Studies and DTS, starts to talk about James Holmes and his paper and how he managed to put a name into “the whole complex of problems clustered round the phenomenon of translating and translations” as Translation Studies. Then Toury reminds us how Holmes provided a structure about “what it was like” and “the form it should” assume.

Toury states that this paper, in its original Dutch version didn’t disseminate Holmes’ ideas on the nature of translation studies on an international scale and how Toury decided to reprint it in English. But this wasn’t so successful either because the periodical and book edition of that issues were scarce in the West. In this manner, this paper was hardly mentioned by others in this field. According to Toury “the first signs of change may be attributed to the inclusion of the name and nature of translation studies in Translated!”, which is a posthumous collection of Holmes’ papers by Raymond van den Broeck. Then little by little his name came up and even some scholars like Mary Snell-Hornby, Jose Lambert, Theo Hermans, and Gideon Toury himself “took it as a basis for their own presentations” at First James Holmes Symposium.

James Holmes’ map of the discipline

For Toury the main merit of Holmes’ program is actually the division and division of labor he provided for different scholars of translation studies. Then in this part of the discussion, Toury kinds of explains the actual map developed by Holmes himself which a complete discussion and a summary of Holmes paper is provided previously on Dilmanj. You should be aware of the fact that Holmes did not provide any graphical map and most of the maps and tree diagrams found in translation books are actually derived from this book of Toury.

So, this was an important detour I thought might be interesting to note about what Gideon Toury states about James Holmes map and actually how this tree diagram is developed.

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