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III. Détournements, décontextualisation et réappropriation

The Circulation in English of Voices Theorizing Translation in French: Which Voices, When, and Why (or Why not)

Agnès Whitfield
p. 154-170


Cet article se penche sur la circulation en anglais des publications de traductologues français, parus entre 1960 et 2015. On constitue d’abord un corpus, restreint mais représentatif, composé des monographies publiées par quelques penseurs français reconnus dans différents domaines de la traductologie (interprétation, pédagogie, sociologie, histoire), afin de voir ensuite lesquels de ces ouvrages ont été traduits en anglais, ou bien, à des fins de comparaison, dans d’autres langues. Leur circulation par des moyens non traductifs est également examinée. Par exemple, ces ouvrages peuvent être cités par d’autres chercheurs ou figurer dans des index bibliographiques. Les auteurs peuvent publier leurs textes dans des volumes multilingues ou directement en anglais. On cherche aussi à évaluer l’influence de facteurs disciplinaires ainsi que le rôle de l’auteur(e) dans la promotion de ses textes en anglais. Pour conclure, l’article souligne quelques autres facteurs qu’il faudrait prendre en considération afin de mieux comprendre la circulation internationale, en anglais et dans d’autres langues, de la pensée traductologique française.

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Notes de l’auteur

[all URLs referred to in this chapter were accessed on 20 August 2019.]

Texte intégral

1Although it is widely recognised that English is increasingly the language for communicating knowledge transnationally in the social sciences and humanities (Ortiz, 2011), the situation in Translation and Interpreting (T/I) Studies, a discipline cognizant of the negative impacts of linguistic hegemony, has surprisingly received little attention. Post-colonial theories of translation denouncing the dominance of English have focused primarily on literary translation exchange, extending the work of Gayatri Spivak and Homi K. Bhabha. Translation in the social sciences is beginning to receive more attention, but studies have primarily addressed cross-disciplinary issues, such as globalized book markets (Sapiro, 2008; Sapiro, 2014b), informal student translation practices in pedagogical settings (Klitgård, 2015), the impact of global English (Raley, 2009), or the general functions of translation in contemporary scientific exchange (Schögler, 2017).

2In 2015, we undertook a study of texts seeking to theorize translation published in book form in English or in French in the Canadian context since 1958 to determine which of these books had been translated into the other Canadian official language and what contextual factors (socio-political, editorial, institutional) could explain the publication (or not) of a translation (Whitfield, 2015). The present article builds on the conclusions of that study, with specific reference to voices theorizing translation in French in France from 1960 to 2015. A small, manageable, corpus of key French scholars publishing book-length studies in different areas of Translation Studies (interpretation, pedagogy, sociology, history) during the period examined is identified. The translation of their texts into English, as well as into other languages, for comparison, is then mapped out. Non-translative forms of circulation (e.g. citation, bibliographical indexing, multilingual scholarship, productions directly in English) are considered. The influence of disciplinary issues (compartmentalization, expectations of multilingualism) and the role of the author in the circulation in English of his/her works in the translation and interpreting community are also discussed. In conclusion, some general observations are made about other factors to be considered with respect to understanding how voices theorizing translation in French circulate internationally in English, and in other languages.

Preliminary Observations

3Associated largely with structuralism, post-structuralism and deconstruction, and embodied by such French thinkers as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva, “French Theory” has itself been deconstructedby François Crusset as a predominantly American “invention” based more on English-language citations of texts for an American intellectual market than on a reading of the French originals (Cusset, 2003: 103). “French Theory” may continue to dominate English-language representations of French thinking, but contemporary “French thought”, understood here as ideas emanating from the intellectual milieu of the “Hexagone”, encompasses, in fact, a much broader range of thinkers and topics. Indeed, “French thought” on translation has developed, particularly since the 1960s, its own rich conceptual and empirical tradition within the Humanities, under its own denomination, “traductologie”. In Introduction à la traductologie, Matthieu Guidère mentions the contributions of several thinkers, in a loose categorization of approaches—theoretically linguistic (Georges Mounin), sociolinguistic (Maurice Pergnier), ideological (Antoine Berman, Henri Meschonnic), interpretative (Danica Seleskovitch) (Guidère, 2008: 41–52). Abundantly interdisciplinary, this tradition also draws on the work of French philosophers (Paul Ricœur), sociologists (Pierre Bourdieu) and literary theorists (Gérard Genette), to name just a few.

4For a quantitative study such as the present one, the very productivity of French “traductologique” thought and the permeability of its disciplinary borders pose a methodological question, namely how to constitute the corpus. A bibliography of French-language theoretical works on translation could provide a useful starting point by identifying the most prolific thinkers. Several special purpose bibliographies can be found, including a short “Bibliographie de la traduction anglais/français” by Michel Gresset for students in the DESS de Traduction littéraire professionnelle at the Institut d’anglais Charles V, and later for members of the Association des traducteurs littéraires de France (ATLF). Interestingly, Gresset notes that his compilation is just a start, and hopes that other bibliographies for other languages will follow (Gresset, 1991: 29). However, in his overview of bibliographies in Translation Studies, Luc van Doorslaer identifies a Portuguese-language bibliography, but none for France or French-language sources (van Doorslaer, 2011: 14).

5Nor are searches in international bibliographies such as the Benjamins Translation Studies Bibliography (TSB) and the Bibliography of Interpreting and Translation (BITRA) conclusive. The TSB1 can be searched by key word, but not by place of publication, or by nationality of author. In theory, an advanced search is possible by language of publication and by publisher, but a search based on the key word “theory” and “French” as language of publication yielded 6189 texts, many of which were not in fact written in French. A search under publisher using the term “Artois Presses” yielded 27 titles, but “Presses universitaires de Rennes” yielded only three titles, suggesting that links to publishers in the data base may not be completely comprehensive. BITRA2 can be searched by language and country, but combining the term “theory” with “French” led to an unmanageable 2805 mentions, while a search under “theory” and “France” yielded just one entry, a book written by Derrida published in English by Cornell University Press. A country search is possible within the Index Translationum database, but a search under “France” and “French” for the period 1960–2015 yielded 11,411 records, the vast majority of which were not relevant.3 The Index includes all categories of translations and does not allow for refined subject category searches. Narrowing the search to include “traduction” in the title yielded only two texts.

6As a result, a corpus of French theoretical works in Translation Studies must be constituted more or less from scratch, and selection criteria must be established. Given the impressive range of Translation Studies research in France from 1960 to 2015, and the limits of the present article, a pragmatic approach has been taken. The aim has been to generate a corpus that is representative yet small enough to be manageable, includes scholars widely recognized for their work, and provides some coverage throughout the period and across different sub-fields. Using these criteria, six French scholars have been identified: Georges Mounin (1910 - 1993), Danica Seleskovitch (1921 - 2001) Marianne Lederer (1934 - ), Michel Ballard (1942 - 2015), Daniel Gile (1948 - ), and Gisèle Sapiro (1965 - ). All six have received recognition for their contribution to the discipline through publications or theses on their work or mention in guides to T/I Studies (e.g. Lederer (éd.), 1990; Ladmiral, 1995; Houdebine-Gravaud, 2004; Wecksteen-Quinio and El Kaladi, 2007; Guidère, 2008; Hansen et al., 2009; Guillaume, 2014; de Prado Paz, 2016). Three key approaches in T/I Studies are covered: linguistics (Mounin), history (Ballard) and sociology (Sapiro). The inclusion of Seleskovitch, Lederer and Gile allows for an analysis of the circulation over time of works on interpreting.

7Surprisingly, even once these scholars were selected, constituting a bibliography of their publications and translations of these works was more difficult than expected. While certain bibliographies are available (Gile has himself provided a list of his publications online), searches through the BTS or BITRA are not necessarily comprehensive. Moreover, some scholars have published non-scholarly works or books in disciplines other than T/I Studies. Establishing a comprehensive bibliography for each of these prolific scholars, including articles, translations and books, was beyond the scope of this article. Consequently, priority has been given to book-length publications. Given that discipline orientation can be a factor in whether works are translated, Mounin’s books on semiology and linguistics, as well as Sapiro’s work in sociology have been included. While the single-author rule was generally respected, an exception was made for Sapiro’s research on T/I Studies, predominantly published in volumes she edited or co-edited, and for Mounin’s edited Dictionnaire de la linguistique, because of its relevance for evaluating translation or circulation patterns. According to these criteria, a list of 44 book-length works was compiled, 12 by Mounin (4 on translation, 4 on linguistics, and 4 on linguistics/semiology), 4 by Seleskovitch (including 2 co-written with Lederer), 4 by Lederer, 10 by Ballard, 5 by Gile, and 9 by Sapiro (3 single-authored volumes on sociology, 6 edited volumes on translation). A complete list of the corpus, along with the translations into English and other languages, is given in the Bibliography.

Translative Circulation in English and Other Languages

8As Table 1 Translations into English and Other Languages below shows, of this corpus of 44 books, only 7 (15%) have been published in English: 3 (6%) in other disciplines (semiology and sociology) and 4 (9%) in Translation/Interpreting (T/I) Studies. Of the latter, 3 (6%) are actually translations: Seleskovitch’s L’Interprète dans les conferences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication (1968) [Interpreting for International Conferences: problems of language and communication, 1978], Lederer’s La Traduction aujourd’hui: le modèle interprétatif (1994) [Translation: The Interpretive Model, 2003], and Seleskovitch and Lederer’s Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation (1989) [A Systematic Approach to Teaching Interpretation, 1995]. The fourth, Gile’s Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training (1995), was published directly in English. Ballard is the most prolific scholar in terms of number of books in T/I Studies, but none of his texts have been translated into English. Indeed, overall, the total number of translations into English is low. In our Canadian study, 5 (11%) of the 44 works written in French had been translated into English (Whitfield, 2015: 263). Nonetheless, when the mitigating factor of the Canadian French-English, English-French federal translation grants program is taken into account, the findings here are not inconsistent with those of our previous study.

Table 1: Translations into English and Other Languages


Books published

Translations – English

Translation - Other


T/I Studies



T/I Studies



T/I Studies












































*book published directly in English by the author

9In comparison, as the same table shows, translations into languages other than English are much more numerous, 34 for texts in T/I Studies, and 52 for all disciplines combined. Virtually half (25) of all these translations are of works by Mounin, but only 9 are of his texts on translation. Of these, one is a Greek translation of Les Belles infidèles (1955), published in 2003. The others are translations into Czech, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, and Malasian of Problèmes théoriques de la traduction (1963). Only one title by Ballard has been translated: Le Nom propre en traduction (2001), published in Romanian in 2011. Of the remaining 23 translations of T/I Studies texts, all are of books by Seleskovitch, Lederer and Gile, and deal with interpreting. These translations represent a wide range of languages: Arabic (3), Chinese (6), German (1), Japanese (2), Korean (3), Serbian (2), Georgian (2), Hungarian (1), Russian (1), Spanish (1) and Farsi (2). None of Sapiro’s edited volumes in T/I Studies have been translated into English or any other language, confirming the results of our Canadian study that edited volumes are less often translated than single-authored ones. While not included in the present corpus, Sapiro’s edited volume in English of Bourdieu’s essays, Pierre Bourdieu; Sociology is a martial art: political writings by Pierre Bourdieu (2010) could appear to be an exception, but the book is to all intents and purposes a work by a single author (Bourdieu). The volume, as such, does not exist in French.

10The distribution over time of these translations into English and other languages is shown in Table 2 Distribution of Translations 1960–2015. Works in T/I Studies, as opposed to works in other disciplines, are identified by TS, and translations or publications in English by EN. As this table shows, the role of an English translation in the promotion of translations into other languages appears to vary. In the case of Mounin, it is negligible. None of Mounin’s works on translation, translated widely into other languages, have been translated into English. His Saussure ou le structuraliste sans le savoir (1968) was translated into English only in 1985, 14 years after the 1971 Spanish translation. The Romanian translation of Ballard’s texts precedes any, as yet inexistent, English translation. In the case of Seleskovitch, Lederer and Gile, however, the situation is more complex. The English translation (1978) of Seleskovitch’s L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales (1968) comes before all the other translations, and this is also the case for the book she co-wrote with Lederer, Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation (1989), translated into English in 1995, and only afterwards into Chinese (2005) and Serbian (2007). Nonetheless, Lederer’s La Traduction aujourd’hui: le modèle interprétatif (1994) was first translated into Chinese and Korean (2001), before being rendered in English (2003) and subsequently translated into Georgian (2006), Hungarian and Russian (2007), Arabic (2012), Spanish (2017), and Farsi (2018). Seleskovitch and Lederer’s Interpréter pour traduire has been translated into Chinese (1990), Arabic (2001), and Georgian (2008) without having been translated into English. Gile’s La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre, untranslated in English, has been translated into Chinese (2007), Arabic (2009), Farsi (2015), and Korean (2017). At the same time, the text he published himself in English (1995b), Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training, was translated only over fifteen years later into Chinese (2012) and Japanese (2012).

Table 2: Distribution of Translations 1960–2015










2TS + 7

1EN + 5

2TS + 3

2TS + 2



1 TS (EN)


2TS + 1EN



4TS + 1TS(EN)








2(EN) + 2



3TS +7

3TS + 5

4TS + 4

15TS + 2

8 TS + 5

11Overall, the time distribution generally follows the date of publication of the original texts. For instance, Mounin’s works, published primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, are more frequently translated in the 1970s and 1980s, with a tapering off after 2000. This is also true but to a lesser degree for Seleskovitch’s works, published over four decades, although in her case, there are no translations in the 1980s, and a significant increase in the number of translations in the 1990s and 2000s. While this could be related to a renewed interest in her research and reputation, the general time distribution pattern suggests that increasing interest in other countries for French theory in Interpreting Studies is more likely to be the determining factor. This hypothesis is supported by the distribution of translations of T/I Studies works vs. texts in other disciplines. The 1990s, by which time the disciplinary status of T/I Studies had been recognised, mark a turning point. Up until then, works in other disciplines were more frequently translated than those in T/I Studies; afterwards the reverse is true. Nonetheless, within T/I Studies, the interest in Interpreting seems to have its own momentum, which could explain why none of Ballard’s works on the history of translation have been translated.

12Changes in translation delay also correlate to some degree, but not consistently, with the disciplinary affirmation of T/I Studies. Interestingly, Mounin’s early work, Problèmes théoriques de la traduction (1963), possibly because of its novelty, was translated within just a few years into Italian (1965), German (1967), and Spanish (1971). In contrast, Seleskovitch’s L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales (1968) was first translated only ten years later (into English). As of the late 1980s and 1990s, however, the translation delay starts to decrease. Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation (1989), which Seleskovitch co-wrote with Lederer, appeared in English translation in 1995 only 6 years after the original. Although it took 9 years for Lederer’s La Traduction aujourd’hui: le modèle interpretatif (1994) to be translated into English, it was translated into Chinese and Korean in 2001, only 7 years after publication. Gile’s La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre (2005) appeared quite quickly in Chinese (2008) and Arabic (2009). In contrast, it was some 16 or 17 years before Gile’s English-language book, Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training (1995) was translated into Chinese (2011) and Japanese (2012), but both translations followed shortly after the re-issue of the original book by John Benjamins in 2009.

13Clearly, given the linguistic range and the varying timeframe of translations, contextual factors also play a role. Local and global book market conditions, including such political changes as the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the start of China’s open door reforms at the end of the 1970s, affect publishers’ interest in translations and choice of texts for translation. The increased topicality of Interpretation Studies across the globe generally may coincide with local differences, the number of translations into Chinese, and their relative rapidity, for instance, reflecting the particularly strong emergence of T/I Studies in China (Cheung, 2011; Setton [ed.], 2011). While it is beyond the scope of this article to develop these issues, a few observations can be made. Undoubtedly, the increasing marginalisation of translation in the American editorial sector since the 1970s (Sapiro, 2014b: 57), exacerbated as of the 1990s as American attitudes spread to other Anglophone editorial sectors through globalisation (Whitfield, 2013: 217–218), is part of the explanation for the low, and late, rates of translation of this French corpus into English, and the higher presence of English-language translation up to the 1990s for Seleskovitch’s work. At the same time, France’s “liens historiques privilégiés avec les pays de langues latines, à commencer par l’Italie et l’Espagne, ou encore la Roumanie” (Sapiro, 2014a: 18) may underlie the frequent, and rapid, publication of Mounin’s works into these languages, as well as the late, but nonetheless unique, translation of Ballard’s Le Nom propre en traduction into Romanian.

Non-translative Circulation

14Theoretical works also circulate inter-linguistically when authors publish their own findings or are cited by other scholars in other languages. In turn, non-translative circulation can affect translative circulation, by encouraging new translations. As Nadja Grbić points out, bibliometrics, “defined as the science of measuring and analysing academic publications and scholarly communication”, provides “a valuable instrument for studying the evolution, dynamics and trends of academic disciplines”, but employing such quantitative methods is not without some methodological difficulties (Grbić, 2013: 20). On the one hand, T/I Studies texts are not consistently indexed in the more comprehensive social science and humanities indexes, such as the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). On the other hand, T/I Studies bibliographies, based on journals in the discipline, are not necessarily comprehensive, since T/I Studies scholars often publish in journals in other disciplines as well. One must also consider the possibility that such indexes may capture more data in English than in other languages due to their data collection processes.

15The corpus for this study was tracked on three sources: the TSB, BITRA and Google Scholar. The validity of each of these sources is dependent on the degree to which the data entered is comprehensive and exact. The two most specialized sources, BITRA and the TSB, now contain over 73,000 entries (BITRA), and 29,000 entries (TSB) respectively. Google Scholar, more comprehensive but also more problematic (Grbić & Pöllabauer, 2009: 9), is dependent on uploads by authors, university repositories and industry aggregators. Issues with searching can arise for all three sources. Results under particular language searches can include texts in other languages, and searches by author all forms of production (articles, books and book reviews). In the case of Google scholar, frequency counts can include texts by other authors, and search results can vary. For this reason, all the Google Scholar searches were sorted by relevance. The results for “English” were taken from the English language Google Scholar site and the results for “French” from the French language Google site. The results for “all languages” appeared to be the same on both Google Scholar sites.

16With these reservations in mind about the exactitude and comprehensiveness of these three indexes, citations were tracked in French, English and all languages to see whether the language of communication affected the circulation of the scholar’s works. The results are collated below inTable 3 Citations in the TSB, BITRA, and Google Scholar. Generally speaking, for understandable reasons, the time frame of the scholarship has an impact on citation numbers. Since Mounin’s work was carried out principally in the period from 1960–1990, his lower presence in the TSB and BITRA may simply reflect the period covered by the indexes. BITRA was created in 2001 (BITRA), and the TSB in 2004. Nonetheless, Mounin’s significant presence on Google Scholar suggests that discipline category may also play a role, Google Scholar capturingMounin’s work in linguistics and semiology as well as T/I Studies. Sapiro, whose workis the most recent, is as yet the least cited in the TSB and BITRA, but, like Mounin, her presence in Google Scholar, including her work in sociology, is high.

Table 3: Citations in TSB, BITRA and Google Scholar




Google Scholar






































































17Not surprisingly, the citation numbers for all three indexes suggest that T/I Studies scholars working in French are more visible in French-language publications than in English-language ones. Gile is a notable exception for the TSB and BITRA, but French-language citations of his work are nonetheless more numerous than English-language citations on Google Scholar. In his study of French academic Daniel Gouadec’s theoretical voice in English, Daniel Toudic argues that a scholar’s presence in English is a determining factor in whether his/her work is translated and circulated. He suggests that Gouadec’s refusal to publish in English was the principal reason why his work on terminology and translator training was not translated and consequently not well-known outside France (Toudic, 2015: 189).

18The present study suggests that the correlation among translative and non-translative circulation and the author’s presence in English, through his/her own writing or citation by others, is more complex. With 26 translations of his works into English and other languages, Mounin is by far the most translated author in this corpus, yet his presence on Google Scholar in English is not significantly higher (409) in absolute numbers than that of Seleskovitch (331), and is in fact lower when the respective number of their book-length publications (12 vs 4) is taken into account. The number of mentions in English for Ballard (158) and Sapiro (157) are virtually the same, although only one of Ballard’s ten publications has been translated, and four of Sapiro’s five volumes have been translated, including two into English.

19While seemingly not a determining factor in English-language translative circulation, presence in English is nonetheless a recognised manifestation of non-translative circulation. However, since Google Scholar citations can include the author’s own work as well as quotations by other scholars, these results do not address specifically the role of the author in generating an English-language presence. In their detailed bibliometric analysis of Gile’s publications, Grbić and Pöllabauer observe that of his 203 publications, 112 (55.2%) are in English and 83 (40.9%) in French, with only 8 (4%) in other languages (Grbić and Pöllabauer, 2009: 13). Noting that “it seems to have become a generally accepted fact that English is the lingua franca of academia, and it is often claimed that there is ‘no science beyond English’” (ibid.), they conclude nonetheless that “there does seem to be a market for publications in IS written in languages other than English”, a finding “also in line with insights from scientometric studies pertaining to other disciplines” (ibid.: 14). Although they look at Gile’s network and co-authorships, they do not subsequently relate these to the issue of language.

20Indeed, interactions among language of publication and translative and non-translative circulation patterns can be intricate. BITRA provides information on publication impact, measured by the number of times a publication is quoted in other texts. The results for Mounin’s Problèmes théoriques de la traduction (139i) and Les Belles infidèles (46i), Sapiro and Heilbron’s Traduction, les échanges littéraires internationaux (20i), and Ballard’s De Cicéron à Benjamin: Traducteurs, traductions, réflexions (30i) confirm that their French-language scholarship is circulating, in French, among scholars working in a wide range of languages, including English. They also show that publication of an article in English can be less a strategy for English-language translative or non-translative circulation, than a stepping stone to translative or non-translative circulation in a third language. A number of the articles Gile has published in English, for example, have been translated into other languages, such as Hungarian (Gile, 1997) or Brazilian Portuguese (Gile, 2017b). At the same time, Gile has published a number of texts in English in bilingual or multilingual edited volumes in other languages, such as German (Gile et al., 1999) and Spanish (Gile et al., 2003), sometimes co-editing the volume, as well. In other words, while English is functioning as a lingua franca, it is not necessarily replacing or short-circuiting, but rather contributing in some way to non-English-language translative and non-translative circulation. It may also be that, in a reversal of the direction of hegemony, interest in other language communities for these scholars’ work may lead to English-language translations of their work. For instance, Lederer’s La Traduction aujourd’hui: le modèle interprétatif was published in English, after having circulated in Chinese and Korean. Interest in other language communities may even serve to encourage translations of their English-language works. By the time Gile’s Basic concepts and models for translator and interpreter training was rendered into Chinese and Japanese, other French-language works by him were circulating in translation in these languages.

Some Concluding Remarks

21This study began with a focus on the circulation in English of voices theorizing translation in French: which voices, when, and why (or why not). An analysis of the works by the six French scholars studied here suggests that the relationship among the author’s presence and reputation in French, the translation of his/her works into English, and his/her own publications in English are multi-faceted. As Ballard’s example demonstrates, the mere number of French-language books in T/I Studies is not a decisive factor in determining which voices are translated. Disciplinary factors also play a role. Mounin’s publications in linguistics and semiology, due to international interest in these disciplines, have been more broadly translated than his works on translation. As T/I Studies became more established as a discipline, the total number of translations of French translation theory into English and other languages generally increased. At the same time, translation can vary by sub-field, with work in Interpretation Studies more likely to be translated than texts in translation history or pedagogy. An author’s publications directly in English and the English-language non-translative circulation of his/her work do not necessarily directly correlate with translative circulation in English. Such activity may serve to compensate the gap in inter-linguistic theoretical exchange through English in a context where Anglophone publishers are releasing fewer translations.

22The significantly higher number of translations of these French theoretical voices into languages other than English led, however, to a small, but important, shift of attention. It became evident that a so-called “bilateral” approach, based on the premise of the domination of English as the language of scholarly communication in T/I Studies, could not account for the data, which called for a more nuanced, “multi-lateral” perspective. As BITRA and Google Scholar show, a scholar’s presence in French-language publications contributes considerably to his/her overall impact through citation, leading to greater translative circulation especially in languages other than English, but also indirectly, through these other languages, in English. One of the collateral results of presence in French may be to offset the hegemony of English by encouraging more reciprocal theoretical exchange across a broader range of linguistic and cultural contexts.

23The limits of this study do not allow for a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of the language of each author’s publications, given the rich repertoire of their articles. Nor was it possible to track comprehensively the significant number of re-editions and revised editions of the works in the corpus in order to assess what role successful circulation in French plays in translative circulation in English and other languages. One can ask, for instance, whether the reedition, some fifty years after its original publication, of Mounin’s Les Belles infidèles by the Presses universitaires de Lille with a preface by Michel Ballard and Lieven D’hulst (Mounin, 1994), renewed interest in the book, and ultimately contributed to its translation into Greek in 2003 (Mounin, 2003). Alternatively, the translation may reflect the evolution of Greek interest in Mounin’s work, as demonstrated by the publication a year earlier of a Greek translation of Problèmes théoriques de la traduction (Mounin, 2002).

24Other factors may also affect the translative and non-translative circulation of French translation theory and should be explored, including each author’s institutional position and implication with publisher and translator, as well as the relationships among source- and target-language publishers. The key institutional presence of all three interpretation scholars at the École supérieure d’interprétation et de traduction (ESIT) at the Sorbonne Nouvelle ‒ Paris 3 and the important international outreach of ESIT could well be a key factor in the translation of their work. Additionally, an examination of the professional networks of the authors in the corpus could shed further light on translative and non-translative circulation patterns, and also clarify the role of French scholars working outside France, not included in this survey, in the promotion of French translation theory. Finally, the study suggests, based on Gile and Sapiro’s example, that, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a shift occurred in the form of publications in the field, from monographs to edited works and articles. It is unclear at this point what effect this shift will have on the circulation of contemporary French theoretical voices in English, and more generally.

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Corpus texts-Originals

Ballard, Michel, 1980, La Traduction de l’anglais : théorie et pratique, Lille, Presses universitaires de Lille.

, 1984, La Traduction : de la théorie à la didactique, Lille, Université de Lille.

, 1987, La Traduction : de l’anglais au français, Paris, Nathan.

, 1992a, Le Commentaire de traduction anglaise, Paris, Nathan.

, 1992b, De Cicéron à Benjamin. Traducteurs, traductions, réflexions, Lille, Presses universitaires de Lille.

, 1999, Les Faux amis, Paris, Ellipses DL, collection “Universités – anglais”.

, 2001, Le Nom propre en traduction, Paris, Ophrys.

, 2003, Versus : la version réfléchie anglais-français. Volume 1 : repérages et paramètres, Paris, Orphys.

, 2004, Versus : la version réfléchie anglais-français. Volume 2 : des signes au texte, Paris, Orphys.

, 2013, Histoire de la traduction, Bruxelles, De Boeck Supérieur.

Gile, Daniel, 1984, La Formation aux métiers de la traduction japonais-français : problèmes et méthodes, doctoral dissertation, INALCO, Paris 3.

, 1991, Guide de l’interprétation à l’usage des organisateurs de conférences, brochure, Paris, Ministère des Affaires étrangères - ministère de la Francophonie.

, 1995a, Regards sur la recherche en interprétation de conférence, Lille, PUL.

, 1995b, Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins.

, 2005, La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre, Paris, Presses universitaires de France.

Lederer, Marianne, 1980, La Traduction simultanée : fondements théoriques, Lille, Université de Lille.

, 1981, La Traduction simultanée : expérience et théorie, Paris, Minard, Cahiers Champollion 3.

, 1994, La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif, Paris, Hachette.

, 2015, La Traduction aujourd’hui, le modèle interprétatif, Paris, Lettres Modernes Minard.

Mounin, Georges, 1955, Les Belles infidèles, Paris, Cahiers du Sud.

, 1963, Problèmes théoriques de la traduction, Paris, Gallimard, collection “Bibliothèque des idées”.

, 1964, La Machine à traduire : Histoire des problèmes linguistiques, Paris, Mouton.

, 1967a, Histoire de la linguistique des origines au XXe siècle, Paris, Presses universitaires de France.

, 1968a, Saussure ou le structuraliste sans le savoir, Présentation, choix de textes, bibliographie, Paris, P. Seghers.

, 1968b, La Linguistique, Paris, Seghers.

, 1970, Introduction à la sémiologie, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit.

, 1972a, Clefs pour la sémantique, Paris, Seghers.

, 1972b, La Linguistique du XXe siècle, Paris, Presses universitaires de France.

(éd.), 1974, Dictionnaire de la linguistique, Paris, Presses universitaires de France.

, 1975a, Linguistique et philosophie, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, collection “Initiation Philosophique”.

, 1976, Linguistique et traduction, Bruxelles, Dessart et Mardaga.

Sapiro, Gisèle, 1999, La Guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953, Paris, Fayard.

(éd.), 2008, Translatio. Le marché de la traduction en France à l’heure de la mondialisation, Paris, CNRS Éditions.

(éd.), 2009a, Les Contradictions de la globalisation éditoriale, Paris, Nouveau Monde.

(éd.), 2009b, L’Espace intellectuel en Europe, Paris, La Découverte.

, 2011, La Responsabilité de l’écrivain. Littérature, droit et morale en France XIXe-XXIe siècle, Paris, Seuil.

(éd.), 2012, Traduire la littérature et les sciences humaines : conditions et obstacles, Paris, ministère de la Culture ‒ DEPS.

, 2014a, La Sociologie de la littérature, Paris, La Découverte.

(éd.), 2014b, Sciences humaines en traduction : les livres français aux États-Unis, au Royaume-Uni et en Argentine, Paris, Institut français-CESSP.

Sapiro, Gisèle, Heilbron, Johan & Lenoir, Rémi (éds), avec la participation de Pascale Pargamin, 2004, Pour une histoire des sciences sociales, Paris, Fayard.

Seleskovitch, Danica, 1968, L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication, Paris, Lettres Modernes Minard.

, 1975, Langage, Langues et mémoire, étude de la prise de notes en interprétation consécutive, préface by Jean Monnet, Paris, Lettres Modernes Minard.

Seleskovitch, Danica & Lederer, Marianne, 1984, Interpréter pour traduire, Paris, Didier Érudition.

, 1989, Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation, Paris, Office des Publications des Communautés Européennes, Didier Érudition.

Corpus texts—translations

Ballard, Michel, 2011, Numele proprii în traducere [Le Nom propre en traduction], trad. Alina Bîrdeanu, Roxana Bucur, Andreea Natalia Ciolacu, Georgiana Lungu-Badea, Timişoara, Editura Universităţii de Vest.

Gile, Daniel, 2008, 笔译训练指南, Bi yi xunlianzhi nan [La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre], trad. Heping Liu, Beijing Shi, Zhongguoduiwai fan yi chu ban gong si.

, 2009, الترجمةفمھھاوتعلمھا, Altarjama, fahmouhawataaloumouha [La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre], trad. Mohamed Tajjo, Saudi Arabia.

, 2011, Kou bi yixunlian de ji ben gainianyumoxing [Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training], trad. Chai Ming Jiong, Shanghai, Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

, 2012a, 通訳翻訳訓練:基本的概念とモデル, Tsūyakuhon’yakukunren: kihontekigainen to moderu [Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training], trad. Kikuko Tanabe, Masahiro Nakamura, Junko Matsunawa, Tokyo, Misuzushobō.

, 2015a, Dark va amouzeshé tarjomeh [La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre], trad.Fatemeh Mirza, Ebrahim Tehrani, non-authorised translation, Tehran, Ghatreh.

, 2017a, 번역을이해하고배우기, Beonyeokeulihaehagobaeug [La Traduction. La comprendre, l’apprendre], trad. Daeyong Gim, Seoul, Hanguk Munhwasa.

Lederer, Marianne, 2001a, Pŏnyŏkŭionŭl : haesŏkiron [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad.Jon Sung-ji, Séoul, KoreaUniversityPress.

, 2001b, Shi yi xuepaikoubiyililun [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Liu Heping, Beijing, China Translation and Publishing Corp.

, 2003, Translation : The Interpretive Model [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Ninon Larché, Manchester, St. Jerome.

, 2006, თარგმანი : ინტერპრეტაციულიმოდელი [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. KetevanDjachy, Tbilissi, Mtsignobari.

, 2007, A fordítás ma : az interpretatív modell [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Dominika Csizmadia & Keresztély Kata, Budapest, NKA.

, 2007, ктуальные аспекты переводческой деятельности в свете интерпретативной теории перевода, Aktualʹnye aspekty perevodčeskoj deâtelʹnosti v svete interpretativnoj teorii perevoda [La Traductionaujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Elena Alexeeva and NatalyaFenenko, Saint-Pétersbourg, Presses de l’université pédagogique d’État Herzen.

, 2012, Altarjamah, Alnamouzajalta’awili [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Fayza El Qasem, Beyrouth, Édition Organisation arabe de la Traduction.

, 2017, La traducción : el modelo interpretativo [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Beatriz Rodriguez, Buenos Aires, Eudeba.

, 2018, tarjomeh dar rouzegarema, modele tafsiri [La Traduction aujourd’hui : le modèle interprétatif], trad. Fatemeh Tehrani, Teheran, Nasr Ghatreh.

Mounin, Georges, 1965, Teoria e storia della traduzione [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. S. Morganti, Turin, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi.

, 1967b, Die Übersetzung. Geschichte, Theorie, Anwendung [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad, Harro Stammerjohann from the Italian, Munich, Nymphenburg.

, 1971a, Los problemas teoricos de la traducción [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. Julio Lago Alonso, Madrid, Gredos, collection Biblioteca romanicahispanica. II, 152.

, 1971b, Saussure : presentación y textos [Saussure ou le structuraliste sans le savoir], trad. Juan Argente, Barcelona, Editorial Anagrama, collection Argumentos 3.

, 1971c, Guida alla lingüística [Clefs pour la linguistique], trad. Luciano Pero & Michelangelo Spada, Milan, Feltrinelli.

, 1972c, Introduzione alla semiologías [Introduction à la sémiologie], trad. et commentaire Nicola Colecchia, Roma, Ubaldini.

, 1975b, Os problemas teóricos da tradução [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. H. de Lima Dantas, São Paulo, Cultrix.

, 1975c, Guida alla semántica [Clefs pour la sémantique], trad. Michelangelo Spada, Milan, Feltrinelli.

, 1979a, Diccionario de lingüística [Dictionnaire de la linguistique], trad. Ricardo Pochtar, Barcelone, Labor.

, 1979b, Historia de la lingüística, desde los orígenes al siglo XX [Histoire de la linguistique des origines au XXe siecle], trad. Felisa Marcos, Madrid, Gredos.

, 1979c, Lingüística y filosofía [Dictionnaire de la linguistique], trad. Gabriel Ter-Sakarian, Madrid, Gredos.

, 1980, Hon’yaku no riron [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. ItôAkira, Tokyo, Asahisyuppansya.

, 1981a, Lingvistika i filozofija [Linguistique et philosophie], trad. Nada Perišić-Popović, Belgrade, BIGZ.

, 1981b, Mafatiḥ al alssounia [Clefs pour la linguistique], trad. Taïeb Baccouche, Tūnis, El Jedid.

, 1984, La lingüística del siglo XX [La Linguistique du XXe siècle], trad. Segundo Alvarez Pérez, Madrid, Gredos.

, 1985, Semiotic praxis: studies in pertinence and in the means of expression and communication [Introduction à la sémiologie], trad. Catherine Tihanyi with Maia and Bruce Wise and with the collaboration of Vladimir Milicic and Josef Nix, New York, Plenum Press.

, 1991, Masalah teori terjemahan [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. Azizah Hj. Ahmad, Kuala Lumpur, DewanBahasa dan Pustaka.

, 1992, Musai’l al-nazariyat fi al-tarjamah = Masalahteoriterjemahan [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. Latif Zaytunah, Bagdad, Dar al-Suun al-Sakafiat.

, 1996, Istorijalingvistike : odpočetaka do XX veka [Histoire de la linguistique des origines au XXe siecle], trad. Vera Ilijin, Belgrade, Biblioteka XX vek.

, 1997, Introdução à linguística [Clefs pour la linguistique], Lisbonne, Livros Horizonte.

, 1999a, Istoria lingvisticii [Histoire de la linguistique des origines au XXe siecle], trad. Constantin Dominte, Bucharest, Paideia.

, 1999b, Teoretické problémy překladu [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. Milada Hanáková, Prague, Karolinum.

, 2001, Nizisseiki no gengogaku [Histoire de la linguistique des origines au XXe siecle], trad. Nobuo Sato, Tokyo, Hakusuisya.

, 2002, Ta theōrītika provlīmatatīs metafrasīs [Problèmes théoriques de la traduction], trad. Ioanna Papaspyridou, Athènes, Travlos.

, 2003, Oiōrees apistes [Les Belles infidèles], trad. Agiannitou, Lamprini et al., Athènes, Metechmio.

, 2012, معجم اللِّسانيِّات [Dictionnaire de la linguistique], trad. Ǧamālal-Ḥaḍrī. Beyrouth, Al-muʼassasaẗ al-ǧāmiʻiyaẗ li al-dirāsātwaal-našr.

Sapiro, Gisèle (ed.), 2010, Pierre Bourdieu; Sociology is a Martial Art: Political Writings by Pierre Bourdieu, trad. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Richard Nice, & Loïc Wacquant, New York, NY: New Press.

, 2014c, The French Writers’ War, 1940-1953, trad. Vanessa Doriott Anderson and Dorrit Cohn, Durham, N.C., Duke University Press.

, 2016, La sociología de la literatura, trad. Laura Fólica, Buenos Aires, Argentina, D.F. Fondo de Cultura Económica de Argentina.

, 2017, Bungakushakaigakutowananika, trad.Suzuki Tomoyuki & Matsushita Yūichi, Kyoto, Sekaishisōsha.

Seleskovitch, Danica, 1978, Interpreting for International Conferences : Problems of Language and Communication [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad. E. Norman McMillan & Stephanie Dailey, Washington, D.C., Pen and Booth.

, 1988a, Der Konferenzdolmetscher : Spracheund Kommunikation [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad. Inge Haas, Heidelberg, J. Groos.

, 1988b, Konferencijsko prevođenje : problemigovora i sporazumevanja [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad. Ljiljana & Petar Novaković, Beograd, Prevodilac : Udruženjenaučnih i stručnihprevodilacaSrbije.

, 1992, Kou yi ji yi : ji xi kou yi yu tong sheng chuan yi jingyan tan [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad. Huang Weixin, Qian Huijieyi & Shen Jinchangshenjiao, Shanghai, Shanghai fan yichu ban gong si.

, 2004, Kukchehoeŭi t’ongyŏkeŭich’odae [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad. Ho-jǒng Chǒng, Seoul, Han’guk Munhwasa.

, 2009, Kaigitsūyakusha : kokusaikaigi ni okerutsūyaku [L’Interprète dans les conférences internationales, problèmes de langage et de communication], trad.Hiromi Ito-Bergerot, Tokyo, Kenkyūsha.

Seleskovitch, Danica & Lederer, Marianne, 1990, Kou yi li lunshijianyujiaoxue [Interpréter pour traduire], trad. Wang Jiarong & ShiMeizhen, Beijing, Éditions Enseignement du tourisme.

, 1995, A Systematic Approach to Teaching Interpretation [Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation], trad.Jacolyn Harmer, Silver Spring, MD., Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

, 2001, Al ta’wilsabilanila’ltarjama [Interpréter pour traduire], trad. Fayza El Qasem, Beyrouth, Organisation arabe de la traduction.

, 2005, 译训练指南Kou yi xunlianzhi nan [Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation], trad. Yan Suwei & Shao Wei, Beijing, China Translation and Publishing Corporation.

, 2007, Obrazloženpedagoškiprilaznastavikonferencijskogprevođenja [Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation], trad. Peter i LjiljanaNovakovič, Belgrad, Udruženjenaučnih i stručnihprevodilacaSrbije.

, 2008, თარგმნისხელოვნებადასწავლებისპრაქტიკა [Interpréter pour traduire], trad. Ketevan Djachy, Tbilissi, “Chironi”.

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1 . See Benjamins Translation Studies Bibliography at: (All URLs referred to in this chapter were accessed on 20 August, 2019).

2 . See BITRA, Bibliography of Interpreting and Translating at:

3 . See Index Translationum at:

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Agnès Whitfield, « The Circulation in English of Voices Theorizing Translation in French: Which Voices, When, and Why (or Why not) », Palimpsestes, 33 | -1, 154-170.

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Agnès Whitfield, « The Circulation in English of Voices Theorizing Translation in French: Which Voices, When, and Why (or Why not) », Palimpsestes [En ligne], 33 | 2019, mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2019, consulté le 26 mai 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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Agnès Whitfield

Professeure titulaire aux départements d’études anglaises et d’études françaises de l’université York (Toronto, Canada). Elle a publié douze livres et plus de quatre-vingts articles sur la littérature québécoise, la narratologie et la traduction, dont Le Métier du double. Portraits de traducteurs et traductrices francophones (Fides, 2005), Writing between the Lines. Portraits of Canadian Anglophone Translators (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006), et L’Écho de nos classiques : Bonheur d’occasion et Two Solitudes en traduction (Éditions David, 2009). Présidente de l’Association canadienne de traductologie pendant deux mandats, elle est membre fondatrice du Groupe international de recherche « Voice in Translation » (université d’Oslo), membre de TRACT, Traduction et communication transculturelle (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3), et dirige « Vita Traductiva », une collection internationale savante en traductologie.

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