Is the Translator a Source, a Medium or a Receiver in the Communication Process?
Endong, Floribert Patrick Calvain; Inyang, Jenny Benjamin

Though theorists do acknowledge that translation is a communication process, it seems still difficult to unarguably locate the translator in a classical communication model. Attempts at locating the translator in this process has resulted in various (conflicting) postulations. For a good number of theorists, the translator plays the role of a sender for two principal reasons: first, s/he is the “creator” of a new – though nonautonomous – message and second, s/he is often believed to have his/her own public (the receivers in the target language). This public is totally different from that of the original author. On the other hand, a counter school of thought considers the translator to be a kind of medium as s/he operates at an intermediary position between the original author and the receiver. This paper argues that the term that can best describe the translator is that of “relay-sender”. Indeed, the translator receives and relays the message initially formulated by the original source thereby prolonging the initial unilingual communication process. Like a “relay runner” – in a typical marathon competition – would take the baton farther to his partner or to the arrival point, so too the translator reworks, and (re)transmits the message to a new set of receivers using the target language thereby making the communication process a complex multi-stage phenomenon.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v4n1a12