Adequate contextual explicitation in translation

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On the face of it, it appears that the explicitation of contextual knowledge is consistent with Toury’s (1995) norm of acceptability rather than his norm of adequacy. This is because this type of explicitation, which seeks to bridge the gap in readers’ contextual knowledge, enhances readability and is directed towards the target audience. However, in this article I argue that the use of this type of explicitation actually demonstrates an awareness of the importance of adhering to the source text, and may thus be aligned with adequacy norms. To support the argument, I show that this type of explicitation seems to be more prevalent than ever before, using as an example a recent translation of a story by O. Henry into Hebrew, in the context of Hebrew translated literature generally moving towards the norm of adequacy (Zoran 1990; Weissbrod 1992; Ben-Shahar 1994). This highlights the complexity of the relation between increased explicitness and the notions of adequacy and acceptability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-481
Number of pages26
Issue number3
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company


  • Acceptability
  • Adequacy
  • Contextual knowledge
  • Explicitation
  • Footnotes
  • Norms


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