Translation and relevance
In this study I argue that the phenomenon commonly referred to as "translation" can be accounted for naturally within the relevance theory of communication developed by Sperber and Wilson: there is no need for a distinct general theory of translation. Most kinds of translation can be analysed as varieties of Interpretive use. I distinguish direct from indirect translation, where direct translation corresponds to the idea that translation should convey the same meaning as the original, including stylistic effects, and indirect translation involves looser degrees of faithfulness. I show that direct translation is merely a special case of interpretive use, whereas indirect translation is the general case. More generally, the different kinds of translation, with the various principles and guidelines that have been proposed to account for them, can be explained in terms of the interaction between the principle of relevance and contextual factors, without recourse to typological frameworks. I end by arguing that the communicative success of a translation is not determined by conformity to any stipulations of translation theory, but by the causal interaction between stimulus, context and interpretation rooted in the relevance-orientation of human cognition.