Spanning The Centuries, From The Seventeenth To The Twentieth, And Ranging Across Cultures, From England To Mexico, This Collection Gathers Together Important Statements On The Function And Feasibility Of Literary Translation The Essays Provide An Overview Of The Historical Evolution In Thinking About Translation And Offer Strong Individual Opinions By Prominent Contemporary Theorists Most Of The Twenty One Pieces Appear In Translation, Some Here In English For The First Time And Many Difficult To Find Elsewhere Selections Include Writings By Scheiermacher, Nietzsche, Ortega, Benjamin, Pound, Jakobson, Paz, Riffaterre, Derrida, And Others A Fine Companion To The Craft Of Translation, This Volume Will Be A Valuable Resource For All Those Who Translate, Those Who Teach Translation Theory And Practice, And Those Interested In Questions Of Language Philosophy And Literary Theory This is a rich and powerful reference for those interested in language, translation and their evolution Unfortunately, I lost this book on my travels and did not get to read all of the entries I made it to Octavio Paz s essay which resonated with me deeply When we learn to speak, we are learning to translate the child who ask s his mother the meaning of a word is really asking her to translate the unfamiliar term into the simple words he already knows In this sense, translation within the same language is not essentially different from translation between two tongues, and the histories of all peoples parallel the child s experience Octavio Paz tr Irene del Corral A must read for every student of translation. Humboldt, W V 1992 From introduction to his translation of agamemnon Theories of Translation An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida, 55 59.Translated by Sharon SloanSummary of the main points By Ahmad Al KhatibP.55 This work Aeschylus s Agamemnon is untranslatable in a way different from other works of great originality Experience and research show that no word in one language is completely equivalent to a word in another, apart from those expression designated purely to physical objects In this respect, languages are synonymic each language expresses a concept somewhat differently, placing the nuance in each instance one step higher or lower on the ladder of perceptions A word is than just the sign for a concept, for the concept could not come into existence, let alone be grasped, without the word the indeterminate force of a thought forms itself into a word just as soft clouds form out of a clear blue sky The word has its own individual nature with its own specific character and specific shape, with its own power to affect the spirit, and that it is not without the ability to recreate itself.P.56 To pronounce a word already presupposes the certainty of its being understood It can be argued that the translation strives toward fidelity, the it ultimately deviates from the original, for in attempting to imitate refined nuances and avoid simple generalities, it can, in fact, only provide new and different nuances Yet, this should not deter us from translating On the contrary, translation, especially poetic translation, is one of the most necessary tasks of any literature, partly because it directs those who do not know another language to forms of art and human experience that would otherwise have remained totally unknown, but above all because it increases the expressivity and depth of meaning on one s own language P.57 Translation enriches the language and the nation translated for An example is drawn from how the German Language has profited since it began imitating the Greek meter If, however, translation is to give the language and spirit of a nation that which it does not possess or posses in another form, then the first requirement is always fidelity This fidelity must direct itself to the true character of the original Every good translation should grow out of a simple P.58 and modest love of the original and the study that this love implies and to which the translation always returns The translation should indeed have a foreign flavor to it, but only to a certain degree As long as one does not feel the foreignness, yet doe feel the foreignness, a translation has reached its highest goal If the translator writes the way the author of the original would have written in the language of the translator, then all translations and whatever benefits translation may bring to a language and a nation are destroyed he draws an example of how the French through translating the Greeks and the Romans into French style, neither the spirit of antiquity nor even an understanding of that spirit has permeated the French nation.VonHumboldt comments on his own translation of Agamemnon In my own work, I have tried to approach the simplicity and fidelity just as described With each revision, I have strived to remove of what was not plainly stated in the text so as not to produce a false coloring and a different tone I have tried to guard against un Germanness and obscurity and not make unjust requirements that might preclude gaining other, higher assets A translation cannot and should not be a commentary A translation should not contain ambiguities caused by insufficient understanding of the language and awkward formulations A translator should not arbitrarily introduce clarity that misrepresents the character of the text P.59 The translator should immerse himself into the mood of the poet, into his time, into the characters he puts on the stage, then the obscurity gradually fades and is replaced by an intense clarity.
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- Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida
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- 15 February 2017 Rainer Schulte