ABSTRACT

From the very beginning of this book I have emphasized my belief, following Volosinov (1973 [1929]), that evaluation is present behind every utterance. The choices made by the writer/speaker/translator/interpreter are potentially signifi cant and indicative of both an ideological and axiological position. First, words do not exist in isolation; they have an ‘intertextual freight’ (Volosinov 1973 [1929]: 80, Bakhtin 1981: 283) from previous utterances that imbue them with a meaning greater than their denotative sense. Second, the choices are made from a range of competing equivalents. Preferred equivalents realize the ‘meaning potential’ which unfolds through the text (Halliday 1978; see Chapter 1, Section 1.2). At the same time, the candidate equivalents that are rejected reveal the ‘penumbra of unselected information’ (Grant 2007: 134; see Chapter 1, Section 1.1). The comparative analysis of selected and unselected information tells us much about the concept of equivalence in translation and the decision-making processes that underlie the choices. Translation is a constant evaluative process: it encompasses the checking of possible TT equivalents against the ST and against each other in a process of refi nement that leads to the selection of a single equivalent.1 Each draft of the TT constitutes a slightly different version, which reveals information that was deselected and replaced by an alternative. Where multiple TTs exist, it is a given that each will generate many different TT equivalents, indicative of some axiological choice on the part of the translator. Analysis of these different scenarios, supported by interviews with translators and studies of their discussions, has been the basis of this research.