Ethical Aspects of Translation: Striking a Balance between Following Translation Ethics and Producing a TT for Serving a Specific Purpose

Rafat Y. Alwazna


Translation ethics have been strictly defined as the practice to keep the meaning of the source text undistorted (Robinson, 2003, 25). Obviously, this notion of translation ethics is too restricted as the translator in specific cases is required to distort parts of meaning of the original text to live up to the audience expectations (Robinson, 2003, 26). Two opposing views of scholars with regard to translation ethics can clearly be identified. The first view is represented by Humboldt, for instance, who insists on the need for keeping the foreign elements found in the original text intact in the target text. Schleiermacher calls the translator to enable the target reader to hear the voice of the original writer, rather than the voices of any other party. Berman's method for preserving translation ethics is to advocate literal translation in order to respect the source text's form and content (Hermans, 2009, 97-98). The second view is held by Nord (1997) in his 'functionalist studies', which raise particular questions, such as what purpose the target text is meant to serve in the target culture and who is responsible for commissioning the translation. The present paper will argue that the translator should strike a balance between following ethical aspects of translation, especially those related to the transfer of form and content of the source text into the target language and producing a target text that can fulfil in the target language the appropriate function for which it has been produced.

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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