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Peter Newmark books on translation
Thread poster: Kootvela

Local time: 23:00
Lithuanian to English
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Aug 6, 2007


What do you think about books on translation by Peter Newmark? Are they worth buying? I intend to buy "A textbook of translation" by him.

Would be grateful for your information.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-08-06 10:50]

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sviaggio  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
Bother not! Aug 6, 2007

Hi! Much as I respect the old grouch (and a grouch he definitely is!), I think his views are obsolete at best and his books hopelessly rambling.

May I suggest instead Reiss and Vermeer, Nord, Hatim and Mason or, if I may, me: Sergio Viaggio, A General Theory of Interlingual Mediation, Frank & Timme Verlag, Berlin 2006 (you can look it up in google), which, I submit, synthethises and dialectically develops all of the above.

Good luck,


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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My experience Aug 6, 2007

Ele Pranaityte wrote:
What do you think about books on translation by Peter Newmark? Are they worth buying? I intend to buy "A textbook of translation" by him.

This was a prescribed book several years ago when I studied translation, but we never opened the book in class -- we just needed a prescribed book to satisfy regulatory requirements for the diploma we were studying. What you really need, is access to a library, and a lecturer who knows what he's talking about.

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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:00
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
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Buying vs reading Aug 6, 2007

I do not believe that Peter Newmark's views and techniques are redundant or "obsolete" but I do agree with Samuel that what you do need is access to a good library, if not to a good translation teacher as well.

Are you buying the book for academic purposes, as part of a course, or just to do some background reading on translation theory and practice? If the latter is the case, then there are lots of good books about translation (theory and practice) on the market, some aimed at the more academically inclined and some aimed at the DIY approach to becoming a translator. I would recommend either Douglas Robinson's "Becoming a Translator" or Mona Bakers "In Other Words" (which I still refer to from time to time) if you are looking for more general books - although Mona Baker looks at some of the approaches to translation theory (translation schools and their approaches) too.

I don't think that anyone would agree fully with all of Newmark's views but if nothing else, they will challenge your ideas and beliefs about translation and offer new horizons and ways of looking at translation, which is what most translation theorists do in any case.

I hope that helps, Aisha

p.s. Like Sergio, I would also strongly recommend Hatim and Mason - highly educational stuff.

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Local time: 23:00
Lithuanian to English
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Why Newmark Aug 6, 2007

I was looking for translation topic books in the British Council library and Newmark's book was there. I could not take it because it was marked as 'library use only', but I've browsed through it. I'd like to read it but I don't want to copy all book or spend hours in the library.

Also, I like books that challenge views and offer different opinions.

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Local time: 22:00
English to Italian
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Get it if you can. Sep 8, 2007

I agree with the others who wrote before me, Hatim and Mason is "highly educational stuff", so yes, that would be a good place to start.

But I would definitely recommend Newmark's "Approaches to Translation" because even though he sometimes feels a little boring (not to me!) his books are packed full of pragmatic examples to go with the theory.

I think he is too understimated by students these days; they tend to forget that their teachers, good as they may be, learned translation theory by reading his "Approaches to Translation" (whether they actually agree with his points of view is irrelevant).

I am currently attending Trieste's SSLMIT (School for Translators and Interpreters) and Newmark's book is considered compulsory reading for all students, especially in the English department.

Last but not least, Newmark tends to summarize others' points of view before offering his own, so in his books you can find a lot of other opinions (Nida, House, Nabokov, just to name a few). He is an excellent "views-challenger"!

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