chapter  1
11 Pages

Unity in diversity

The world of the translator is inhabited by an extraordinary number of dichotomies, reflecting divisions which either exist or are supposed to exist between mutually exclusive opposites. Some of these are professional, corresponding to the traditional areas of activity of translators (the technical translator, the literary translator, the legal, the religious and so on). Others distinguish between different modes of translating: written, oral (such as simultaneous interpreting) and written-from-oral (such as screen subtitling), which again correspond to different professional orientations. A further set of dichotomies pertains to an age-old debate concerning the translator’s priorities: ‘literal’ versus ‘free’, ‘form’ versus ‘content’, ‘formal’ versus ‘dynamic equivalence’, ‘semantic’ versus ‘communicative translating’ and-in more recent times-translator ‘visibility’ versus ‘invisibility’.