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Anthony Pym

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Name  Anthony Pym

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Books  Exploring Translation Theories, Method in Translation History, The moving text, On Translator Ethics: Pri, Negotiating the frontier

Theories of localization 1 exploring translation theories

Anthony David Pym (born 1956 in Perth, Australia) is a scholar best known for his work in translation studies.


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Pym is currently Distinguished Professor of Translation and Intercultural Studies at Rovira i Virgili University in Spain and Professor Extraordinary at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He was a fellow of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies from 2010 to 2015, Visiting Researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey from 2008 to 2016, Walter Benjamin Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna in 2015, and President of the European Society for Translation Studies from 2010 to 2016.

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Pym attended Wesley College (Perth, Australia) and the University of Western Australia, completing his BA (Hons) at Murdoch University in 1981. He held a French government grant for doctoral studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where he completed his PhD in Sociology in 1985. In 1983–84 he was a Frank Knox Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. In 1992–94 he held a post-doctoral grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research on translation history at the University of Göttingen, Germany. In 1994 he gave seminars on the ethics of translation at the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris.

After years as a professional translator, journal editor and organiser of cultural events in France and Spain, he taught in the translation departments of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In 1994 he joined the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, where he set up the Intercultural Studies Group in 2000, postgraduate programs in translation in 2000, and a doctoral program in Translation and Intercultural Studies in 2003. He has been a Visiting Researcher at the Monterey Institute of International Studies since 2006. His permanent residence is in the village of Calaceite, Spain.

Thought and influence

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Pym was one of the first to move the study of translation away from texts and towards translators as people. He has also conceptualized translating as a form of risk management, rather than a striving for equivalence. He has hypothesized that translators can be members of professional intercultures, operating in the overlaps of cultures, and that their highest ethical goal is the promotion of long-term cross-cultural co-operation. In recent years he has been attracted to the concept of inculturation, through which he sees translation as one of the ways in which minority cultures are absorbed into wider cultural systems and can then modify those wider systems.

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Pym's ideas have been contrasted with those of the American translation theorist Lawrence Venuti by the Finnish translation scholar Kaisa Koskinen, and his critique of Venuti has been commented on by Jeremy Munday and Mary Snell-Hornby.


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  • Translation and Text Transfer. An Essay on the Principles of Intercultural Communication, Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1992. Revised edition: Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group, 2010.
  • Epistemological Problems in Translation and its Teaching, Calaceite: Caminade, 1993.
  • Pour une éthique du traducteur, Arras: Artois Presses Université / Ottawa: Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1997.
  • Method in Translation History, Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 1998. Reprint with Chinese introduction: 北京 : 外语敎学与硏究出版社, Beijing, 2006.
  • Negotiating the Frontier: Translators and Intercultures in Hispanic History, Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 2000.
  • The Moving Text: Localization, Translation and Distribution, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004.
  • Exploring Translation Theories, London and New York: Routledge, 2010. Japanese translation, 翻訳理論の探求, trans. Kayoko Takeda, Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 2010. Translation rights sold for Portuguese and Korean.
  • The status of the translation profession in the European Union, with François Grin, Claudio Sfreddo, Andy L. J. Chan. Luxembourg: European Commission, 2012.
  • On Translator Ethics. Principles for Cross-cultural communication. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2012 (reworked version of Pour une éthique du traducteur).
  • Translation and Language Learning, with Kirsten Malmkjaer and Mar Gutiérrez. Luxembourg: European Commission, 2013.
  • Translation Solutions for Many Languages. Histories of a Flawed Dream. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
  • References

    Anthony Pym Wikipedia