Via Taccuino di traduzione, a multilingual online course for translators; here‘s the English version. From Translation studies – part one:

English-speaking researchers call it “translation studies” or, familiarly, TS. In this way, they have coined a locution untranslatable into nearly any other language, untranslatable, at least, without creating an important loss. The main problem comes with the word “studies”, which in languages other than English is not always translatable simply using the plural of a word translating “study”. However, a science called “translation studies” is undoubtedly a scientific endeavor related to translation.
Frenchmen use the term traductologie. Berman wrote in 1985:

The awareness of translation experiences, as distinct from all objectifying knowledge not within its framework (as dealt with by linguistics, compared literature, poetics) is what I call traductologie.

Some translation researchers and some translators, including those translating from French, think that “traductologie” is a swearword, not meaning literally that it is obscene, alluding instead to its disagreeable aesthetic taste. Not every translation researcher would be glad to print “traductologist” on her business card, even if we cannot deny that the construction of this word follows widely accepted criteria.
Germans prefer another solution. Maybe at a first glance you could think it is a rather long word: they call this discipline Übersetzungwissenschaft, that is to say “translation science”, stressing in a still stronger way that they believe in the scientific character of their endeavor, which is obviously welcome.
Russians, offer another alternative, with a similar process of word composition, speak about perevodovédenie, which however does not mean exactly “translation science”, because “science” – and “discipline” – is usually expressed by the word nauka. Védenie is something between competence and awareness. It has an old Indo-European root: in Sanskrit, we find the word vida, meaning “knowledge”. Russians are lucky, because with the suffix -védenie they solve many terminology problems: literaturovédenie, for example, means “literary theory”, “narratology”, and many other similar disciplines.
In Italy many terms are used: traduttologia, scienza della traduzione, teoria e storia della traduzione, an old and obsolete denomination implying a nonexisting distinction between translation theory and practice, recalling linguistics applied to translation problems.

The section Proper names translation (I take this opportunity to note that the English on the site is frequently faulty, a bad self-advertisement) has an interesting discussion of foreign renderings (or misrenderings) of the name “Gorki Park” as the title of Martin Cruz Smith’s (excellent) novel (Italian: Gorky Park; French: Gorki Parc [!]; Danish: Gorkij Park; Finnish, properly, Gorkin puisto).


  1. I’d rather have traditorelogist on my business card if it didn’t sound like I was studying traders rather than traitors. And let’s not forget English’s trace of the PIE root *wed-, to wit, wit. A great couple of links. Thanks.

  2. They call “translation studies” “untranslatable into nearly any other language” and then immediately they give an exception, Uebersetzungwissenschaft which is exactly, “translationstudies”.

  3. s/b “almost exactly” of course; nothing in language is exact…

  4. And of course he did say nearly any…

  5. Sure he did — but I think then he might have introduced the paragraph on German rendering of “translation studies” with a note like, “One language where we can approximate the phrase quite closely is German:” Because I get the expectation from his first paragraph that he is going to give some examples of how this phrase is difficult to translate… Whereas he seems to be pointing up the distinction between “Wissenschaft/science” and “studies” which I think doesn’t really fly. I think “Wissenschaft” — though its etymologically equivalent to “science” and is frequently translated thusly — is extremely close in connotation to the English word “studies” as it is used in this phrase. — that is to say, the distinction he is drawing strikes me as a red herring.

  6. i want learning engksh & i improved english

  7. Translation Studies has been translated into Farsi(Persian)as مطالعات ترجمه[motaale’aat-e tarjomeh]. The equivalent is accepted by many lecturers and students of TS in Iran, as well.

  8. Iwould like to register for an online course in translation. I am a native French speaker. I am fluent in English. Iam already registered as a freelance translator and would like get a qualification in that field.

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