Towards a Meta-Theoretical Model for Translation: A Multidimensional Approach

Piotr Blumczynski, Ghodrat Hassani

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In this study, we propose a meta-theoretical model for translation. In doing so, we start from a critique of bivalent thinking – rooted in classical logic – exposing unidimensionality as its fundamental weakness. We then consider how this problem has traditionally been addressed by proposing continua. While recognizing their cognitive, heuristic and didactic values, we argue that despite the promise of alleviating strict polarization symptomatic of binarisms, continua are still unidimensional and thus counterproductive to theorizing that seeks to capture translational complexity. As a way out of this impasse, building on the premises of fuzzy logic and the understanding that translation is a non-zero-sum concept, we suggest that theoretical concepts be couched in terms of multidimensionality (that is, contrasted with numerous oppositions, rather than a single one, as is the case with polar thinking). Finally, we suggest how our proposed approach can be translated into a practice of theorizing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-351
Number of pages24
JournalTarget: international journal of translation studies
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2019


  • binary
  • classical logic
  • continuum
  • dimension
  • fuzzy logic
  • multidimensional
  • translation theory
  • zero-sum thinking


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