The paper is a sociological commentary on work made during translation of scientific texts, in this case, some sociological texts (mainly books). It is based on the empirical research on 'translation work'. The interpretive perspective comes from the foregoing subdisciplines of sociology: sociology of work and sociology of management. These subdisciplines seem to be helpful in analysis of translations and may inspire the sociology of translation. The main goal of the paper is to show intersubjectivity problem in the systems of decisions made during translations and work on scientific translations in Poland. These decisions have often got an ad hoc character and are often based on business, not academic, criterions (lack of scientific editors of translations or editors/translators are chosen according to the financial criterion not the competence one). The decisions of choosing the scientific editors are also based on criterion of the editor's position in the hierarchy of academic-social-world and on basic and tacit assumptions regarding high qualifications and the expertise of editors (or sometimes translators) with academic titles. However, it does not protect us against the errors in translations and even could constitute the cause of generating errors. There is a lack of discussions on what should be translated, and how should be translated. The decisions and work on translations are closed in a certain 'square' of decisions (publisher, scientific editor, translator, author of original text) to which the academic world and experts in a particular subdiscipline have no access. Probably this problem concerns not only translations of sociological books but is also present in other disciplines. The texts recipients are ignored in the system of translation decisions. 'The closed translation square' (publisher, editor, translator, possibly author of original text) creates the other side as a 'square of reception'. The closed circle of readers is left without any knowledge about quality of translations, or without the communication channels that would allow any expression of their dissatisfaction or an intellectual and linguistic disagreement regarding some aspects of texts' translation. Both the translations' politics, and the lack of authentic scientific discussion during the translation of sociological texts process create the divisions inside the academic world that constantly reproduce and create the increase of poor sociological texts translations' quality. Creation of a platform for the discussion on the aforementioned topics can improve greater responsibility of the subjects participating in the translation's process, improve the quality of translation, and finally open the 'translation square'. Open Access translating projects realized on the on-line journals' websites could be some remedy to the 'squarness of translation' which by making the process of translation more open, could turn it into an intersubjective endeavour in the academic world.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.