Professionals and translation in a “literary translation system”

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The issue related to professionals is an important one in the field of translation studies. Lefevere holds that professionals play an important part in the literary system and may ensure “the literary system does not fall too far out of step with the other subsystems society consists of”. This article first explores Lefevere’s use of the term “professionals” and then proposes to study professionals in a “literary translation system” instead of a literary system. The focus of this “literary translation system” is translators or translations, and it is a system in which various factors including translators, patrons, professionals, etc. interact with each other. Taking into consideration of the factors of economy and expertise, we can define a professional as someone who lives from certain special knowledge he/she has acquired. In the “literary translation system”, a professional can be a university teacher, an editor, a critic, a reviewer, etc., who has acquired special knowledge of literary translation. The interaction between professionals and translators is also investigated through a case study of the debate over different Chinese versions of the French novel The Red and the Black.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-572
Number of pages21
JournalBabel: Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • professional
  • literary system
  • literary translation system


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