Centre for Translation Studies


Looking for a cross-cultural notion of translation

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, 13 May 2019

A World Atlas of Translation

Event Information

Open to



Mara Benetti


G01 Lankester LT
Medawar Building
Gower Street

Translation scholars don't seem to agree what they talk about when they talk about translation. This is a curious and intriguing state of affairs. Some wear it as a badge of honour, others view it as potentially problematic for the scholarly and academic viability of the field. Both camps recognise the variability or dispersion of the cultural features, relations and habits related to translation through time and space. We can call them the “concepts” of translation. Among the latter, a few researchers have used essentialist, prototype, cluster, and other approaches to look for a shared notion of translation that would bring the different concepts together. In my talk, I will illustrate the empirical, bottom-up approach Yves Gambier and myself followed as we elicited, collected and edited the reports included in A World Atlas of Translation. The Atlas will be discussed as i) a map of translation concepts in their respective traditions, ii) a gauge of their dispersion, and iii) a proof-of-concept to test the hypothesis that a cross-cultural notion of translation does, in fact, exist.

This event is free. No registration required.

About the Speaker

Dr Ubaldo Stecconi

Ubaldo Stecconi serves as senior communication expert and speechwriter at the European Commission. Previously, he had taught translation studies and related subjects in his native Italy, the Philippines, and the U.S. His publications include a textbook for Italy’s university students titled Manuale di traduzione, co-authoredwith Stefano Arduini (Carocci: Rome, 2007) and the recent A World Atlas of Translation, co-edited with Yves Gambier (Amsterdam and New York: John Benjamins, 2019). He was part of the Executive Board of the European Society of Translation Studies (2004-2010) and of the International Advisory Board of Target (2006-2018).