Show Summary Details

p. 122. Definitionslocked

  • Matthew Reynolds


There are simple and complex reasons why there is no exact translation of ‘translation’. The simple reason is that there is no exact translation of any word and the complex reason is that because the activities we can call ‘translation’ are so varied, the word ‘translation’ keeps having to stretch or shrink to fit them. ‘Definitions’ considers other words used for re-stating and re-writing: paraphrase, interpreting, kanbun-kundoku, exprimere, and tarjama. It concludes that translation is not the same as communication. Instead, it is part of communication. We reach for translation when we encounter an obstruction to understanding, realizing that the words that confront us are not entirely within our grasp.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.