On the Threefold Subject of General Translation Theory

Author’s name:
Valentin I. Frolov – Moscow State Linguistic University, Moscow, Russia


The paper describes the subject of the general translation theory, demonstrating its fundamentally threefold nature. The introduction includes an overview of the perspectives on translation as an object of scholarly study. The author analyzes the viewpoints expressed at different times within the linguistic theory of translation and other theoretical frameworks, making a significant methodological division into micro- and macrolinguistic concepts of translation. The next section discusses three angles of looking at translation. In addition to the two traditional aspects (translation process and translation result), a third one is introduced, namely translation as an instance of speech interaction. This third facet is intended to reflect the sociolinguistic nature of translation. The author concludes that all three groups of factors overlap on the textual plane, with text also understood in the broadest macrolinguistic sense. Theoretically and methodologically, this research is based on the theory of speech communication, which includes both the premises of the theory of speech activity, developed by A. A. Leontiev, and a range of M. M. Bakhtin’s ideas. It is the ideas of the latter that, in the author’s opinion, constitute a special approach to the description of the social nature of the utterance, relevant for the theory of translation. The threefold nature of the subject of the general translation theory is further enforced by the methodological overlap of its theoretical foundations, namely the evocative linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic concepts. The agreement of these theories allows us to postulate the integral and unified nature of the subject of the general translation theory without limiting its potential to the study of individual aspects..

DOI: 10.47388/2072-3490/lunn2022-59-3-64-76
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Key words general translation theory; subject of translation studies; macrolinguistic concept of translation; speech event; speech communication theory

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