Translation: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198712114

Matthew Reynolds
160 Pages
110 x 174 mm
Pub date
Oct 2016
Very Short Introductions


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  • Offers an authoritative account of the field of translation, covering the whole history of translation
  • Provides a range of fascinating examples from many languages
  • Puts forward fresh arguments about why translation matters and how it is changing in the digital age

Translation is everywhere, and matters to everybody. Translation doesn't only give us foreign news, dubbed films and instructions for using the microwave: without it, there would be no world religions, and our literatures, our cultures, and our languages would be unrecognisable. 

In this Very Short Introduction, Matthew Reynolds gives an authoritative and thought-provoking account of the field, from ancient Akkadian to World English, from St Jerome to Google Translate. He shows how translation determines meaning, how it matters in commerce, empire, conflict and resistance, and why it is fundamental to literature and the arts. 
"Matthew Reynolds tackles the topic with aplomb." - ANZ LitLovers


1: The multiplicity of translation
2: Word for word?
3: Translation and paraphrase
4: Translation and power
5: Words of God
6: Honest interpretation
7: Translating performance
8: Translation and literature
9: Languages in the world
Further Reading

About the author: 

Matthew Reynolds, Professor of English and Comparative Criticism, Oxford University, and Fellow of St Anne's College
Matthew Reynolds is The Times Lecturer in English at Oxford University and a Tutorial Fellow of St Anne's College. He is the author of The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue (OUP, 2011). His previous work on translation includes the Penguin anthology Dante in English (Penguin, 2005) which he co-authored with Eric Griffiths, the chapter on 'Principles and Norms of Translation' in vol. 4 of the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (OUP, 2006), and a series of essays in the London Review of Books. He chairs the annual Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

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