Supervisors: dotsent Raili Marling, dotsent Reet Sool
professor Outi Paloposki, Turu Ülikool, professor Maryvonne Boisseau, Strasbourgi Ülikool
Translation forms a significant part of our cultural heritage and translators can be considered to be the agents of cultural exchange. Above all, research into translation related phenomena helps us to understand the way culture functions in general. The aim of the doctoral dissertation Translation History in Systems: Studies on the Estonian Translational Space of the 20th Century is to analyse aspects of translational activity in Estonia during the 20th century. The dissertation consists of four thematically connected articles and a theoretical introductory article. In addition to the general history of translation studies, the introduction sets the goal to provide the background to the descriptive (non-evaluative) translation research methods used, and elaborate on the key theoretical concepts of the articles. The four separate articles investigate the social, political as well as academic context of translations and translators, concentrating on some general aspects of the Estonian poetry translation traditions on a concrete example, but especially on the translational activity of Marta Sillaots (1897-1969), her translation poetics as well as her position as a translator. Four general research questions can be brought out on the basis of these articles: 1. How does the organization of translational work in systems (such as commissioning, publishing and the socio-political system in general) influence the final product - the translation in a specific translational context? 2. What role does translation play during the political-ideological changes in Estonia during 1940s and 1950s? 3. What are the implications arising from the comparison of the explicit and implicit poetics of a translator, in the case of Marta Sillaots? 4. How do the translation norms operate and change? All through the project, I have maintained the understanding that descriptive methods of research enable us to look into cultural phenomena such as translation from multiple different angles at the same time and thus broaden the horizons in, at least, research into translation history. Separate contextualised case studies into one or another historical period, such as the ones included in the present research project, will eventually give a broader basis for more generalization and comparison.