A critically acclaimed foundational text, Translation in Systems offers a comprehensive guide to the descriptive and systemic approaches which have shaped translation studies. Theo Hermans considers translation norms, equivalence, polysystems and social systems, covering a wide range of theorists in his discussion of the principles of translation studies. Reissued with a new foreword by Kathryn Batchelor, which updates the text for a new generation of readers, Translation in Systems endures partly on account of Hermans’s vivid and articulate writing style.

The book covers the fundamental problems of translation norms, equivalence, polysystems and social systems, encompassing not only the work of Levý, Holmes, Even-Zohar, Toury, Lefevere, Lambert, Bassnett, D'hulst and others, but also giving special attention to contributions derived from Pierre Bourdieu and Niklas Luhmann. Hermans explains how contemporary descriptive approaches came about, what the basic ideas were, how those ideas have evolved over time, and offers a critique of these approaches.

With practical questions of how to investigate translation (including problems of definition, description and assessment of readerships), this is essential reading for graduate students and researchers in translation studies and related areas.

chapter |6 pages


Mann’s fate

chapter 1|10 pages

An invisible college

chapter 2|14 pages

Lines of approach

chapter 3|15 pages

Points of orientation

chapter 4|9 pages

Undefining translation

chapter 5|17 pages

Describing translation

chapter 6|19 pages

Working with norms

chapter 7|11 pages

Beyond norms

chapter 8|18 pages

Into systems

chapter 9|17 pages

More systems?

chapter 10|14 pages

Translation as system

chapter 11|7 pages


chapter 12|4 pages