JoLIE 9:1/2016


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Mahmood Yenkimaleki

Leiden University, The Netherlands






The present paper discusses how translators can transfer the message of the SL text to TL text according to the readership taste. The word translation is interwoven with audience. It is widely agreed that translators try to keep a distance between themselves and the author and tend towards the audience. However, interestingly enough, most theories of translation have been “text-oriented”, that is, they compare two texts (the source and the target text) and try to find a comparative balance. This paper, by considering the perceptual psychology, cognitive psychology and new formalism aims to explain the diversity of translation types according to perceptual ability of the audience in processing information.

Overall, it is suggested that the audience believes are not just ‘one right’ translation of a text but in ‘right translations’ of a text. It is argued that the audience deals with these two types of processing when faced with the text in general and translation in particular: (i) bottom-up processing (in dealing with familiar vocabulary and structures) in which understanding of their meaning is almost immediate, (ii) top-down processing (in dealing with unfamiliar vocabulary and structures) in which understanding of their meaning associates with hypothesizing and delay. Dealing with words and lexical structures of the translated text, the audience makes inferences and creates meaning. It is pointed out that the audience makes meanings actively as much as the original text’s author and the translator does. Moreover, in translation assessment besides common criteria such as the proficiency of the translator in the source and target language and familiarity with the topic of the translation, the audience of the translation should be taken into account and based on it, should measure the success or failure of the translation. Therefore, it is suggested that another condition can be added to the profile of a successful translator, i.e., to be familiar with the range of potential audiences of his own culture, their perceptual abilities as well as their schemata and the ability to reconstruct the text style according to readership tastes.


Key words: Audience; Translator; Domestication; Foreignization; Text-orientation.





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How to cite this article: Yenkimaleki, M. (2016). Stepping into others’ shoes: the readership taste in translation. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 9(1), 139-150. DOI:



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