In academic studies in general, the importance of translation, from one language to another, cannot be overestimated. In environmental studies specifically, what is added or lost when words such as “landscape” or “the environment” are translated into other languages? So, too, in interdisciplinary research, the connotations of a word can shift from one discipline to another and certainly even more so from one language to another. Thus issues of translation necessarily impact environmental studies. As Lynch (2008) remarks, landscapes, in different places in the world, shape and influence the development and use of the words used to describe them. For example, some cultures have developed extensive vocabularies to describe variations of rain, snow, or wind while others lack a precise vocabulary to describe processes that may not occur frequently in another geographic region. This illustrates that translation is often bound up in cultural issues even when addressing terms or processes that may most often be assigned to environmental studies or science. To address these difficulties, the translator must map out cultural differences before attempting translation.

This essay may be found on page 189 of the printed volume.

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