Anthony Pym

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Anthony Pym
Academic background
Alma materMurdoch University (BA)
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (PhD)
Academic work
DisciplineTranslation studies
InstitutionsRovira i Virgili University
Stellenbosch University

Anthony David Pym (born 1956 in Perth, Australia) is a scholar best known for his work in translation studies.[1]

Pym is currently Distinguished Professor of Translation and Intercultural Studies at Rovira i Virgili University in Spain[2] and Professor Extraordinary at Stellenbosch University[3] in South Africa. He was a fellow of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies[4] from 2010 to 2015, Visiting Researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey from 2008 to 2016, Walter Benjamin Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna in 2015,[5] and President of the European Society for Translation Studies from 2010 to 2016.


Pym attended Wesley College (Perth, Australia) and the University of Western Australia, completing his BA (Hons) at Murdoch University in 1981. He held a French government grant for doctoral studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where he completed his PhD in Sociology in 1985. In 1983–84 he was a Frank Knox Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. In 1992–94 he held a post-doctoral grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for research on translation history at the University of Göttingen, Germany. In 1994 he gave seminars on the ethics of translation at the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris.[6]

After years as a professional translator, journal editor and organiser of cultural events in France and Spain, he taught in the translation departments of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.[citation needed] In 1994 he joined the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, where he set up the Intercultural Studies Group in 2000, postgraduate programs in translation in 2000, and a doctoral program in Translation and Intercultural Studies in 2003.[7] He has been a Visiting Researcher at the Monterey Institute of International Studies since 2006. His permanent residence is in the village of Calaceite, Spain.[citation needed]

Thought and influence[edit]

Pym was one of the first to move the study of translation away from texts and towards translators as people.[8] He has also conceptualized translating as a form of risk management, rather than a striving for equivalence.[9] He has hypothesized that translators can be members of professional intercultures, operating in the overlaps of cultures, and that their highest ethical goal is the promotion of long-term cross-cultural co-operation.[10] In recent years[when?] he has been attracted to the concept of inculturation, through which he sees translation as one of the ways in which minority cultures are absorbed into wider cultural systems and can then modify those wider systems.[11]

Pym's ideas have been contrasted with those of the American translation theorist Lawrence Venuti by the Finnish translation scholar Kaisa Koskinen,[12] and his critique of Venuti has been commented on by Jeremy Munday[13] and Mary Snell-Hornby.[14]


  • Translation and Text Transfer. An Essay on the Principles of Intercultural Communication, Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1992. Revised edition: Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group, 2010.
  • Epistemological Problems in Translation and its Teaching, Calaceite: Caminade, 1993.
  • Pour une éthique du traducteur, Arras: Artois Presses Université / Ottawa: Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1997.
  • Method in Translation History, Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 1998. Reprint with Chinese introduction: 北京 : 外语敎学与硏究出版社, Beijing, 2006.
  • Negotiating the Frontier: Translators and Intercultures in Hispanic History, Manchester: St Jerome Publishing, 2000.
  • The Moving Text: Localization, Translation and Distribution, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004.
  • Exploring Translation Theories, London and New York: Routledge, 2010. Japanese translation, 翻訳理論の探求, trans. Kayoko Takeda, Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, 2010. Translation rights sold for Portuguese and Korean.
  • The status of the translation profession in the European Union, with François Grin, Claudio Sfreddo, Andy L. J. Chan. Luxembourg: European Commission, 2012.
  • On Translator Ethics. Principles for Cross-cultural communication. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2012 (reworked version of Pour une éthique du traducteur).
  • Translation and Language Learning, with Kirsten Malmkjaer and Mar Gutiérrez. Luxembourg: European Commission, 2013.
  • Translation Solutions for Many Languages. Histories of a Flawed Dream. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.


  1. ^ Douglas Robinson, What is translation?: centrifugal theories, critical interventions. Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1997 (ch. 5).
  2. ^ Resolución de 28 de julio de 2011, de la Universidad Rovira i Virgili, por la que se nombra Catedrático de Universidad a don Anthony David Pym Full oficial de la URV May 19, 2016
  3. ^ Stellenbosch University Yearbook: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Three URV lecturers recognized by the ICREA Academia program for outstanding careers in research:[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Centre for Translation Studies-Gastprofessur "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ See the Introduction to Anthony Pym, Pour une éthique du traducteur, Arras: Artois Presses Université / Ottawa: Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 1997.
  7. ^
  8. ^ See Michaela Wolf, "The emergence of a sociology of translation", in Michaela Wolf and Alexandra Fukari, eds Constructing a sociology of translation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins, p. 14 ff.; Riitta Jääskeläinen, “The Changing Position of ‘the Translator’ in Research and in Practice”, Journal of Translation Studies 10(1) (2007), 1–15; Andrew Chesterman, “The Name and Nature of Translator Studies”, Hermes 42 (2009), 13–22.
  9. ^ See Jeremy Munday, Introducing Translation Studies. Third edition. London and New York: Routledge, 2012, ch. 7; Mahmoud Akbari, "Risk management in translation", The Sustainability of the Translation Field, ed. Hasuria Che Omar et al. Kuala Lumpur, 2009: 509–518; Maggie Ting Ting Hui, Risk management by trainee translators, A study of translation procedures and justifications in peer-group interaction, Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group, 2012
  10. ^ Helen Baumer, Johann Jacob Bodmer, Interculturalist. Cultural realignment in the 18th century and the role of a Zurich translator. University of Auckland, 2004
  11. ^ Anthony Pym, "On inculturation" (2011), and "Inculturation as elephant: On translation and the spread of literary modernity” (2012).
  12. ^ Kaisa Koskinen, Beyond Ambivalence: Postmodernity and the Ethics of Translation, Tampere University Press, 2000.
  13. ^ Jeremy Munday, Introducing Translation Studies. Third edition. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.
  14. ^ Mary Snell-Hornby, The Turns of Translation Studies. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2006: 146–147.

External links[edit]