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Translating literary theory
Thread poster: LizNickels
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:33
French to English
Nov 28, 2008

Hi all

(Thanks again for all the very useful replies to my last question!)

I have some experience of specialised literary theory vocab in my two languages - Lacanian terms, narratology etc. Is there a market for translating literary essays or is it all done 'in house' - ie by professors?


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Simona Elena Bonelli
Local time: 07:33
Member (2008)
French to Italian
+ ...
debatable translations Nov 30, 2008

Hi LizBland,
I have a M.A. and a Ph.D in Critical Theory and all these terms are familiar to me both in English and in French (well, in Italian, too). Nevertheless, my supervisor used to tell me that the official translations of, let's say, Derrida or Lacan were quite "debatable" because, as you certainly know, very often terms are based not only on the signifier but also on the signifying.
Therefore, since our study group was international, we used to discuss for hours about a single term.
In any case, when I translate or write essays on literary theory, I have to rely on the official translation of terms and then, if necessary, write a long note.

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United Kingdom
Local time: 06:33
French to English
The trials of the hommelette! Dec 1, 2008

Hi Simone

Thanks for the reply! Yes, I know that translating some of the French post-structuralists is problematic – that does make it more interesting tho. With regard to literary theory in general – including the more traditional type of article – is it possible to contact journals etc for jobs or do they tend to contact language professors with direct experience - such as yourself?

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