The discursive (re-)construction of translational ethics
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article proposes a descriptive approach to translational ethics, one that takes a bird’s-eye view of the participants, processes and contents of the many discourses that influence how translational agents think and act. It sketches a model that takes into account the various voices that take part in the discursive (re‑)construction of ideas about translational ethics, the communicative spaces they inhabit, and some of the ideas currently in circulation among institutions, scholars, source-text authors, translators, journalists, and ‘regular’ recipients. Bakhtinian discourse theory helps us see how these ideas on ethics intersect, diverge, emerge, and re-emerge slightly altered in different contexts. Looking at the complexity of the discursive edifice that is erected through the constant negotiations of the different participants in the discourse, the article suggests that it is not obvious who translational agents are most likely to listen to. On the other hand, it is not obvious that translational agents should be expected to bow to any one authority in the matter: the inevitably conflicting pressures from various corners of this edifice suggest that critical awareness of the differing opinions should be fostered, allowing translational agents to develop their own voice.