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Translation Act: The Translator’s Operational Norms

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Chapter Summary

The next phase, ‘Translation Act’, extrapolates the translator’s ‘Operational Norms’—those patterns in the text which reflect the translator’s behavior and the values that influence his or her decisions. The translator’s norms are analyzed under two overarching conditions: when the translator understands the source text, and when he may not have. Under the first condition, apart from obligatory shift which arise from language differences between Hebrew and Syriac, the translator evidences shifts of various sorts—standardization, simplification, syntactical explication, exegetical explication, and interpretive adjustments. When the translator may have misunderstood the source text, he is found—in ascending order of frequency—to abdicate the text, omit the difficult elements in the text, etymologize difficult words, infer meaning from context, and appeal to other versions.

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