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Durham University

Chinese Studies

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Publication details for Dr Sergey Tyulenev

2015 'Towards Theorising Translation as an Occupation', Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies 2 pp. 15-29

Author(s) from Durham


The article considers the applicability of the notion of profession to translation. After discussing the state of the art in the sociology of professions, the author critically considers the discussion of translation as a profession in present-day Translation Studies. It is shown that translation either remains undefined as a profession or defined on a purely common sense basis. The studies of translation are also largely ethnomethodological in nature. The paper attempts to put the discussion of the occupational status of translation on a clearer theoretical foundation. In his discussion, the author borrows Abraham Flexner’s definition of the term “profession” and his criteria, based on which an occupation can be viewed as qualifying as a profession or failing to do so. It is argued that based on Flexner’s criteria, translation is an occupation in the process of professionalising.