Target-cultural ‘facts’ – Do they really exist? A critical assessment of Toury’s Descriptive Translation Studies

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Akkad Alhussein

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Gideon Toury pioneered Descriptive Translation Studies as a science based on observation, (re)defining translation as a target-cultural ‘fact’ and, thus, shifting the focus to the translation as a product which can and should be studied without any methodological presumptions. However, this proves illusive, as it falsely supposes neutrality in research. Arguing that there could be no strict separation between description and evaluation, I will argue that— if we are to fully understand its complex nature—translation cannot be properly viewed as an exclusively target-cultural phenomenon. An overview of some alternative concepts that allow a more balanced perspective will be given.

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