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  1. Philosophy, Anthropology, and Linguistics in Translation
  2. Translating Cultures: Perspectives on Translation and Anthropology
  3. Translating cultures : perspectives on translation and anthropology
  4. (PDF) Semiotic anthropology | Elizabeth Mertz - alokagorapes.tk
  5. About Translating Cultures

Philosophy, Anthropology, and Linguistics in Translation

Whilst this role is being increasingly recognised in some quarters for example, through European Union legislation , in others it remains controversial for economic, political and social reasons. The rapidly changing landscape of translation and interpreting practice is accompanied by equally challenging developments in their academic study, often in an interdisciplinary framework and increasingly reflecting commonalities between what were once considered to be separate disciplines.

The books in this series address specific issues in both translation and interpreting with the aim not only of charting but also of shaping the discipline with respect to contemporary practice and research. Share this. Titles in this series. Refine Search. Content Type. Release Date. Showing 21 results. Ed , Kim, K. Ed This edited collection reflects on the development of Chinese corpus-based translation and interpreting studies while emphasising perspectives emerging from a region that has ….

Translating Cultures: Perspectives on Translation and Anthropology

Ed This edited book explores languages and cultures or linguacultures from a translation perspective, resting on the assumption that they find expression as linguacultural …. Forging links between modern …. Book Music and Translation Desblache, L.


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Starting with the concept of music as …. Using English-language press coverage of inflammatory ….

Translating cultures : perspectives on translation and anthropology

Ed This Handbook offers a comprehensive and engaging overview of contemporary issues in Literary Translation research through in-depth investigations of actual case studies of …. Ed This book examines the spaces where translation and globalization intersect, whether they be classrooms, communities, or cultural texts. It foregrounds the connections between …. Her work within this discipline has led her to firmly believe that language is a dynamic system in constant evolution. This evolution is very much motivated by human cognition, as semantic extensions based on metaphoric transfer and metonymy show.

All her background in linguistics has made her often reflect on the responsibility of the translator's work and the difficulties translation professionals are faced with when translating a text. For her, these difficulties lie beyond the linguistic level and branch into philosophical and anthropological questions. Guarddon can be reached at anelo flog. Select one of the previous 26 issues. Relativism and Universal Rationalism. When we talk of a different background, we refer to people with a different history, participating in different social practices and speaking a different language.

It seems man cannot invent anything that he cannot conceive. In philosophy, we face two perspectives from which to consider a translation. The first is that of relativism. Relativism is a philosophical perspective that considers our cognitive exercise of understanding as filtered by a culturally defined conceptual way of thinking. Therefore, common biological or genetic factors, like race, are insignificant in the formation of knowledge schemes and concepts in comparison with those factors that provide the surroundings where the individual developed.

In short, one can say that a human being is born without these knowledge schemes and that it is culture that creates them and molds his development. We can also think of translation from a second, contrary perspective, that of universal rationalism. Universal rationalism proposes a biological and psychological determinism.

This theory advocates nativism, which homogenizes all human practices and concepts, while diversity is relatively superficial and of secondary importance. Within linguistics, one of universal rationalism's exponents is Chomsky, who in the s proposed a theory defending the innate character of the faculty of language. According to Chomsky, the more than 4, existing languages present a surprisingly similar syntax, in spite of their phonologic and graphic differences.

This fact allows languages to be translated from one into another. Choosing one of these perspectives would imply having a completely different perception of a translator's job. From the universal rationalism perspective, the translator must trace the reality exposed in one text over to another, limiting himself to merely one transfer. The reader of the translation also known as the target text or TT shares common biological and psychological characteristics with the reader of the original text also known as the source text or ST. Therefore, from the universal rationalism perspective, the translator should not find it difficult to interpret the TT, even if the TT contains references to a culturally distinct setting.

In effect, the differences in context will be limited by the biological and psychological makeup of the reader of the ST and the reader of the TT. In this case, the translation exercise would be reduced fundamentally to a linguistic one. A translation exercise from the perspective of relativism differs from the same exercise from the perspective of universal rationalism on two points. First, although one accepts that the potential readers of these two products share common biological and psychological characteristics, the determinism that these characteristics exert at a cognitive level is to be questioned.

Therefore, the emphasis is on what the readers have in common, rather than on the differences, the distinct interpretation strategies that arise as consequences of the different cultural context.


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  8. In this sense, the translator makes a greater commitment with the reader of the TT; this would imply saying the same thing with different codes Jakobson, , maintaining the stylistic impact of the original. The translation would not simply be a question of linguistics. One should start translating not only words, but also concepts and even contexts. Translations using the relativism perspective have raised a heated controversy in the last twenty years. The question raised by those who do not support this type of translation is "Do we continue to have the same text?

    The problem with which we are presented is that of equivalence in translation. Colonialism and its processes increasingly brought European thinkers into direct or indirect contact with "primitive others.

    (PDF) Semiotic anthropology | Elizabeth Mertz - alokagorapes.tk

    Parallel with the rise of cultural anthropology in the United States, social anthropology, in which sociality is the central concept and which focuses on the study of social statuses and roles, groups, institutions, and the relations among them—developed as an academic discipline in Britain and in France. Anthropology is concerned with the lives of people in different parts of the world, particularly in relation to the discourse of beliefs and practices. In addressing this question, ethnologists in the 19th century divided into two schools of thought.

    Some, like Grafton Elliot Smith , argued that different groups must have learned from one another somehow, however indirectly; in other words, they argued that cultural traits spread from one place to another, or " diffused ". Other ethnologists argued that different groups had the capability of creating similar beliefs and practices independently. Some of those who advocated "independent invention", like Lewis Henry Morgan , additionally supposed that similarities meant that different groups had passed through the same stages of cultural evolution See also classical social evolutionism.

    Morgan, in particular, acknowledged that certain forms of society and culture could not possibly have arisen before others. For example, industrial farming could not have been invented before simple farming, and metallurgy could not have developed without previous non-smelting processes involving metals such as simple ground collection or mining. Morgan, like other 19th century social evolutionists, believed there was a more or less orderly progression from the primitive to the civilized.

    Some 20th-century ethnologists, like Julian Steward , have instead argued that such similarities reflected similar adaptations to similar environments. Although 19th-century ethnologists saw "diffusion" and "independent invention" as mutually exclusive and competing theories, most ethnographers quickly reached a consensus that both processes occur, and that both can plausibly account for cross-cultural similarities. But these ethnographers also pointed out the superficiality of many such similarities. They noted that even traits that spread through diffusion often were given different meanings and function from one society to another.

    Analyses of large human concentrations in big cities, in multidisciplinary studies by Ronald Daus , show how new methods may be applied to the understanding of man living in a global world and how it was caused by the action of extra-European nations, so highlighting the role of Ethics in modern anthropology. Accordingly, most of these anthropologists showed less interest in comparing cultures, generalizing about human nature, or discovering universal laws of cultural development, than in understanding particular cultures in those cultures' own terms.

    Such ethnographers and their students promoted the idea of " cultural relativism ", the view that one can only understand another person's beliefs and behaviors in the context of the culture in which he or she lived or lives. By the midth century, the number of examples of people skipping stages, such as going from hunter-gatherers to post-industrial service occupations in one generation, were so numerous that 19th-century evolutionism was effectively disproved.

    Cultural relativism is a principle that was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas and later popularized by his students. Boas first articulated the idea in " Boas believed that the sweep of cultures, to be found in connection with any sub-species, is so vast and pervasive that there cannot be a relationship between culture and race. Whether or not these claims require a specific ethical stance is a matter of debate. This principle should not be confused with moral relativism.

    Cultural relativism was in part a response to Western ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism may take obvious forms, in which one consciously believes that one's people's arts are the most beautiful, values the most virtuous, and beliefs the most truthful. Boas, originally trained in physics and geography , and heavily influenced by the thought of Kant, Herder, and von Humboldt, argued that one's culture may mediate and thus limit one's perceptions in less obvious ways.

    This understanding of culture confronts anthropologists with two problems: first, how to escape the unconscious bonds of one's own culture, which inevitably bias our perceptions of and reactions to the world, and second, how to make sense of an unfamiliar culture. The principle of cultural relativism thus forced anthropologists to develop innovative methods and heuristic strategies.

    Boas and his students realized that if they were to conduct scientific research in other cultures, they would need to employ methods that would help them escape the limits of their own ethnocentrism. One such method is that of ethnography : basically, they advocated living with people of another culture for an extended period of time, so that they could learn the local language and be enculturated, at least partially, into that culture. In this context, cultural relativism is of fundamental methodological importance, because it calls attention to the importance of the local context in understanding the meaning of particular human beliefs and activities.

    Thus, in Virginia Heyer wrote, "Cultural relativity, to phrase it in starkest abstraction, states the relativity of the part to the whole.

    Translating Cultures

    The part gains its cultural significance by its place in the whole, and cannot retain its integrity in a different situation. Lewis Henry Morgan — , a lawyer from Rochester , New York , became an advocate for and ethnological scholar of the Iroquois. His comparative analyses of religion, government, material culture, and especially kinship patterns proved to be influential contributions to the field of anthropology.

    Like other scholars of his day such as Edward Tylor , Morgan argued that human societies could be classified into categories of cultural evolution on a scale of progression that ranged from savagery , to barbarism , to civilization. Generally, Morgan used technology such as bowmaking or pottery as an indicator of position on this scale. Franz Boas — established academic anthropology in the United States in opposition to Morgan's evolutionary perspective.

    About Translating Cultures

    His approach was empirical, skeptical of overgeneralizations, and eschewed attempts to establish universal laws. For example, Boas studied immigrant children to demonstrate that biological race was not immutable, and that human conduct and behavior resulted from nurture, rather than nature. Influenced by the German tradition, Boas argued that the world was full of distinct cultures, rather than societies whose evolution could be measured by how much or how little "civilization" they had.

    He believed that each culture has to be studied in its particularity, and argued that cross-cultural generalizations, like those made in the natural sciences , were not possible. In doing so, he fought discrimination against immigrants, blacks, and indigenous peoples of the Americas. The so-called "Four Field Approach" has its origins in Boasian Anthropology, dividing the discipline in the four crucial and interrelated fields of sociocultural, biological, linguistic, and archaic anthropology e.

    Anthropology in the United States continues to be deeply influenced by the Boasian tradition, especially its emphasis on culture. Boas used his positions at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History to train and develop multiple generations of students. His first generation of students included Alfred Kroeber , Robert Lowie , Edward Sapir and Ruth Benedict , who each produced richly detailed studies of indigenous North American cultures.

    They provided a wealth of details used to attack the theory of a single evolutionary process. Kroeber and Sapir's focus on Native American languages helped establish linguistics as a truly general science and free it from its historical focus on Indo-European languages. The publication of Alfred Kroeber 's textbook Anthropology marked a turning point in American anthropology.

    After three decades of amassing material, Boasians felt a growing urge to generalize. This was most obvious in the 'Culture and Personality' studies carried out by younger Boasians such as Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Influenced by psychoanalytic psychologists including Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung , these authors sought to understand the way that individual personalities were shaped by the wider cultural and social forces in which they grew up. Though such works as Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa and Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword remain popular with the American public, Mead and Benedict never had the impact on the discipline of anthropology that some expected.

    Boas had planned for Ruth Benedict to succeed him as chair of Columbia's anthropology department, but she was sidelined by Ralph Linton , and Mead was limited to her offices at the AMNH. In the s and mids anthropology tended increasingly to model itself after the natural sciences. Some anthropologists, such as Lloyd Fallers and Clifford Geertz , focused on processes of modernization by which newly independent states could develop.

    Others, such as Julian Steward and Leslie White , focused on how societies evolve and fit their ecological niche—an approach popularized by Marvin Harris.

    Chapter 12 – Media Anthropology

    Economic anthropology as influenced by Karl Polanyi and practiced by Marshall Sahlins and George Dalton challenged standard neoclassical economics to take account of cultural and social factors, and employed Marxian analysis into anthropological study. Structuralism also influenced a number of developments in s and s, including cognitive anthropology and componential analysis.

    In keeping with the times, much of anthropology became politicized through the Algerian War of Independence and opposition to the Vietnam War ; [13] Marxism became an increasingly popular theoretical approach in the discipline. Since the s issues of power, such as those examined in Eric Wolf 's Europe and the People Without History , have been central to the discipline. In the s books like Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter pondered anthropology's ties to colonial inequality, while the immense popularity of theorists such as Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault moved issues of power and hegemony into the spotlight.

    Jean and John Comaroff produced a whole generation of anthropologists at the University of Chicago that focused on these themes. Also influential in these issues were Nietzsche , Heidegger , the critical theory of the Frankfurt School , Derrida and Lacan. Many anthropologists reacted against the renewed emphasis on materialism and scientific modelling derived from Marx by emphasizing the importance of the concept of culture. Authors such as David Schneider , Clifford Geertz , and Marshall Sahlins developed a more fleshed-out concept of culture as a web of meaning or signification, which proved very popular within and beyond the discipline.

    Geertz was to state:. Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning. Geertz's interpretive method involved what he called " thick description. The interpretation of those symbols must be re-framed for their anthropological audience, i. These interpretations must then be reflected back to its originators, and its adequacy as a translation fine-tuned in a repeated way, a process called the hermeneutic circle.

    Geertz applied his method in a number of areas, creating programs of study that were very productive. His analysis of "religion as a cultural system" was particularly influential outside of anthropology. David Schnieder's cultural analysis of American kinship has proven equally influential. In the late s and s authors such as James Clifford pondered ethnographic authority, in particular how and why anthropological knowledge was possible and authoritative.

    They were reflecting trends in research and discourse initiated by feminists in the academy, although they excused themselves from commenting specifically on those pioneering critics. This was part of a more general trend of postmodernism that was popular contemporaneously. Modern cultural anthropology has its origins in, and developed in reaction to, 19th century ethnology , which involves the organized comparison of human societies.

    Scholars like E. Tylor and J. Frazer in England worked mostly with materials collected by others — usually missionaries, traders, explorers, or colonial officials — earning them the moniker of "arm-chair anthropologists". Participant observation is one of the principle research methods of cultural anthropology. It relies on the assumption that the best way to understand a group of people is to interact with them closely over a long period of time. Historically, the group of people being studied was a small, non-Western society.

    However, today it may be a specific corporation, a church group, a sports team, or a small town. This allows the anthropologist to develop trusting relationships with the subjects of study and receive an inside perspective on the culture, which helps him or her to give a richer description when writing about the culture later. Observable details like daily time allotment and more hidden details like taboo behavior are more easily observed and interpreted over a longer period of time, and researchers can discover discrepancies between what participants say—and often believe—should happen the formal system and what actually does happen, or between different aspects of the formal system; in contrast, a one-time survey of people's answers to a set of questions might be quite consistent, but is less likely to show conflicts between different aspects of the social system or between conscious representations and behavior.

    Interactions between an ethnographer and a cultural informant must go both ways. To establish connections that will eventually lead to a better understanding of the cultural context of a situation, an anthropologist must be open to becoming part of the group, and willing to develop meaningful relationships with its members. Before participant observation can begin, an anthropologist must choose both a location and a focus of study.

    It can also be helpful to know what previous research has been conducted in one's chosen location or on similar topics, and if the participant observation takes place in a location where the spoken language is not one the anthropologist is familiar with, he or she will usually also learn that language. This allows the anthropologist to become better established in the community.

    The lack of need for a translator makes communication more direct, and allows the anthropologist to give a richer, more contextualized representation of what they witness. In addition, participant observation often requires permits from governments and research institutions in the area of study, and always needs some form of funding. The majority of participant observation is based on conversation. This can take the form of casual, friendly dialogue, or can also be a series of more structured interviews.