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Translation & Traductology

Recently I had the chance to participate in the 9th International Colloquium, Translation & Revolution, organized by the Translation Studies in Portugal, Universidade Católica de Lisboa. It was very nice and had a great time hearing new perspectives from the point of view of investigators in this area. The themes approached and discussed in this Colloquium were associated with the translation activity during and immediately after the Carnation Revolution in Portugal and other political regime revolutions in countries like Spain, Poland, among others. Connected to this topic another one was under discussion, that of censorship and how it configured the translation outcomes. There were a few interesting points of view and conclusions and/or observations (when a conclusion was apparently not met) within the different articles. Most of the articles involved the literary translation to the detriment of the more immediate and the so called technical translation. Some articles also made a type of comparison between the literary genders translated and their influence range, as well as the translator’s gender concerning whether it would also be of significance to the translation of different literary texts. In what concerned literary translation it was interesting to realize what kind of studies are relevant at the moment in Portugal. There seems to be some concern with how translation is being thought comprehending the whole concept of the translation, its operation, goal and impact in politics, social values, and life itself. However, in my opinion, it lacked the building of a bridge to the new millennium. So, at some point I felt that everyone was stuck back in time and the question – what now? – still remains.

The author Amparo Hurtado Albir makes the difference between ‘traducción’ (translation) and ‘traductologia’ (traductology), meaning by this that the former serves more the ‘know-how’ by focusing on the practical aspects of the translation activity itself, and the latter serves more the theoretical part of it within a more interactive atmosphere with other study areas such as Linguistics. In this context, the author speaks of a translator and a ‘traductologist’. From this point of view, I feel there are perhaps many conferences organized by universities that are based on themes that we could include in ‘traductology’; and less that are based on themes associated with translation as we know it ‘in the common pragmatic world’. I would but keep the bridge in mind. I am not so sure both areas have such different relationships. I believe they belong together, both being the supplement of the other. I truly believe they could serve better purposes and develop others for both areas of interest.