Texto de autor / texts that respect the author
Thread poster: Lia Fail (X)

Lia Fail (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 1, 2002

(Right now I can\'t even remember precisely how this is said in English!)

Anyway, I\'m dead intrigued by contradictory opinions on what exactly constitutes a \'text that respects the author\'.

Recently I translated a text which was to be an English written version of a SPEECH to be given prior to a concert given in a house associated with the composer of the music of the concert. The English written version was intended for tourists attending the concert, simply so that they could understand the speech .

I was told later that this was a \'texto de autor\' and was rather surprised, given that it was in fact a speech, and intended to inform tourists, as a prelude to the concert. My idea of the kind of writing to be treated as \'of the author\' is signed (whether in actual fact or by implication), somoeone whose version of the facts has the weight of his/her personality behind them, someone who is known (even locally, but this is a question which becomes irrelevant when dealing with tourists and details that are important locally but not known generally).

So I would like to hear other people\'s opinions on whether they consider that this particular kind of text merits the very faithful translation that authored texts require.

The second question is that, as it happens, I have seen two Spanish versions of Catalan texts in recent days and notice that both are very literal (even given the similarities of the languages), in other words what I would consider even minor ambiguities have been reproduced.

Has anybody any comment on this? Is the school of thought in Spain different from other schools of thought? For any particular reason? In your experience? My training has encouraged me to exanmine texts critically and if necessary improve them.

Finally, what are your experiences as far as quality of source texts is concerned? I am not so presumptuous as to criticise what is not my first language, but it seems to me that a lot of websites, company descriptions and sometimes even technical texts (which should be written with the \'intelligent NON-expert\', to quite Peter Newmark, in mind) contain poor expression. The reason I ask this is that it seems to me to be the main justification (and also the main impetus) for not being faithful, since one would avoid reproducing apparent ambiguities.

Please help me resolve some intriguing doubts!


portilla  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:13
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with you Aug 1, 2002

I really don\'t know what is meant by \"texto de autor\" i think they are all, but if you want to sleep well, and I think you should, I would suggest to take a look at the \"functionalist approach in translation\", works and articles by Christiane Nord, from Germany. I think it was Octavio Paz who once said, \"Do not translate what I say, but what I meant with what I said\". And I think he was talking here about the eternal struggle of sense over meaning. As translators we have always to decide if we want to be loyal to the author, the text or the audience, and I believe that the approach that we might follow, or strategy, will depend on a whole bunch of circumstances that will range from who the author is, to who is footing the bill. I think you did right taking some liberties, to call it that way, we have to take always into account the situation in which the text is going to be used, with what purpose, to what audience and when in time, and after analyzing all this, then we would choose what strategy to follow for the translation of it.


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Texto de autor / texts that respect the author

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