Memes of Translation

The spread of ideas in translation theory. <strong>Revised edition</strong>

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This revised edition of <i>Memes of Translation</i> includes updates that relate the book's themes to more recent research in Translation Studies. The book contributes to the debate about whether it is worth seeking a coherent theory of translation, by proposing an approach based on norms, strategies and values, which are all seen as kinds of memes, i.e. ideas that spread. The meme metaphor allows us to see translation in the context of cultural evolution, and also highlights similarities with the philosopher Karl Popper's analysis of another kind of evolution: that of scientific knowledge. A translation is, after all, itself a theory – a theory about the source text. And as Popper stressed, theories of all kinds are like nets we make in order to catch something of reality: never perfectly, but always in the hope of better understanding.

Subjects: Translation studies; Semantics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Helsinki

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