Andrew Chesterman is a scholar of English origin, based in Finland. He is known for his work in Translation Studies. Professor in Multilingual Communication at university of Helsinki and CETRA Professor, his main research are in translation theory, translation norms, contrastive analysis, research methodology. Andrew Chesterman wrote many books, including: Memes of Translation (1997), Can Theory Help Translators? A Dialogue between the Ivory Tower and the Wordface (2002), The Map. A Beginners’ Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies (2002).Almost in all his books he focuses on translation as theory.
He says that: To translate without a theory would therefore be to translate blind. To translate without seeing or knowing what one is doing. With no self-awareness, no self-criticism. It would mean relying entirely on common sense, one might say. (Chesterman, 1999)Therefore, he tried to answer at the question How to translate a text? In an article (Translation as theory) he claimed that a good translator when translate a text never stops at the first version of a translation, he must look for many other solutions according with readers’ response, text types, target language norms, stylistics, etc.
Thus, the more versions the more rigorously you will be able to test it. And to do that we can compare our translation with certain norms. Norms is originally a sociological concept. And Chesterman made a deep study of translation norms. His definition of norms is: certain behavioural regularities […] accepted (in a given community) as being models or standards of desired behaviour. (Chesterman, 1993)With intention to use the concept of memes he borrows this concept from sociology. He thinks that translation memes are the memes that have a great effect on how translators think and how they translate. Andrew Chesterman considers that some memes become translations norms once they are widely accepted by people. He (Chesterman, 2012) classifies these into expectancy norms and professional norms, product norms and process norms.Expectancy norms refer to expectations of a target client, or readership. Expectancy norms are very useful because with them we make estimated judgements about a translations. These norms are principally ratified in terms of their very existence within the target language community: individuals do have these expectations regarding some reasonably text. Furthermore, completely different text type has different expectancy norms. For instance, the expectations of the translation of an advertisement are impossible as same as a novel. While professional norms refer at the tendency which a translator has for taking account of these expectancy norms. Professional norms concerning the translation process, they are norms of accountability, communication and target-source relation.Product norms are those norms that describe the standards that a given product is needed or expected to fulfill. Some examples of product norms for translations can be the target culture expectation regarding the syntax, textual coherence and discourse structure of a text. The last types of norms are the process norms which are those that describe the standards or principles consistent with which given processes are to be administered. There are three process norms of translation:1) The relation norms: translators are expected to work in such a way that between source text and target text to be established and maintained an appropriate relation 2) The communication norms: are those that refer to how translators are expected to work to optimize the communication 3) The ethical norms: refer to the ethical and responsible way in which translators are expected to work.A translation can break any of these norms in various ways. Some of these norms may be intended to increase the function of translation. For example, some advertising, are meant to catch the attention of the audience using odd spellings. Despite this those norms can be considered not broken since people expect this to happen sometimes in this text type.Another way of norm breaking is function-preserving. This is rarely done by non-native speakers who translate not in a formal way, so the style is neglected, but the message is clear enough.On the other hand, a serious way of norm-breaking is when the communication norms are broken, meaning that there is an involuntary change of functions. When it’s happened in advertisements people laugh, but they also think if that company who have that badly written advertisement can be taken seriously, if the products are at the same quality as its advertising text. In conclusion, there are various ways of breaking a norm, so any translators have to be careful. And to do so they have to revising their translation, and if new problems appear, probably unintended consequences of the first translation proposed, they have to find other solutions. So that revision is crucial. As Andrew Chesterman says The more drafts the better! (Chesterman, 1999)