Off topic: "The Guardian view on translation: an interpretative and creative act"
Thread poster: Caryl Swift

Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:43
Polish to English
+ ...
Nov 7, 2017

"Translation is always an interpretation: an act of creation that also, paradoxically, demands a fierce loyalty to the original text. We must cherish our translators for these shy acts of creation, these loyal betrayals. (...)"

Here's the link to the full article:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/05/the-guardian-view-on-translation-an-interpretative-and-creative-act?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&utm_content=bufferc2f0c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

To the moderators: if I've posted this to the wrong forum, my apologies. I looked for "Translation News", but couldn't find it. Please move the post if necessary. Many thanks.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Coming from The Guardian... Nov 7, 2017

...I wouldn't spend my time reading it, let alone considering it.

My first question is who wrote this article? A journalist? An editor? A translator? Who? What are his/her qualifications to write about translation?

The first answer appears to be nobody because there is no name attached to it. So, his/her qualifications are exactly zero.

In Translation Studies, there is no such thing as fierce loyalty to anything. And quoting "traduttore tradittore" is a quaint reminder of a long-discredited view.

There are better articles and books on translations out there. Let's elevate our sights, please.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:43
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Scholars Nov 7, 2017

It's all about scholarly translation anyway, which is a different kettle of fish. Nobody pounding at the door to see if you've finished yet, with no doubt a big payment up front to let you tootle on with Homer or whoever for months.

I hope her translation conveys the alpha macho Odysseus was, though. Look, he only has one arrow left and he's already managed to kill two or three of the suitors, while the other four or five are armed to the teeth with shields and swords. Including one who seems to have just leapt out of bed and into the fray.

[Edited at 2017-11-07 12:48 GMT]


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:43
German to English
+ ...
just this line Nov 11, 2017

"Translations inevitably bring with them the perspectives and biases of their creators....."

That cannot have been written by a trained translator. My professors would have wrung their collective hands.

How "creative" is an employment contract, or a set of bylaws, with its boilerplate phrases that tend to always be worded the same way? When translating a medical report for insurance purposes, do you put in our "perspectives and biases", or do you aim for clarity? As a translator, you are the voice of the writer, and take on that writer's perspectives as much as possible. You also consider the purposes and needs inherent in the project. There isn't much place for ego. (imho)


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
The literary lens Nov 14, 2017

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

"Translations inevitably bring with them the perspectives and biases of their creators....."

That cannot have been written by a trained translator. My professors would have wrung their collective hands.

How "creative" is an employment contract, or a set of bylaws, with its boilerplate phrases that tend to always be worded the same way? When translating a medical report for insurance purposes, do you put in our "perspectives and biases", or do you aim for clarity? As a translator, you are the voice of the writer, and take on that writer's perspectives as much as possible. You also consider the purposes and needs inherent in the project. There isn't much place for ego. (imho)


Good points, Maxi. I believe that those blurbs glorifying translation refer more to literary works and are trying to get on the popularity bandwagon when some author has been published and translated into a particular language.


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Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 02:43
Chinese
How very true! Nov 14, 2017

The language I translate from (English) and the language I translate into (Chinese) are very different and many English words do not have a counterpart in Chinese, so even when translating a legal document, where you are supposed to be 100% loyal to the text, it is impossible not to rely on your own interpretation, you have to be creative.

When an English legal jargon does not have an equivalent in Chinese, chances are the set of legal ideas behind that word is also new to Chinese readers and you as a translator will find yourself playing the role of solicitors trying to explain to your client that concept while all the time you do not have the language tool in the target language to do the job, that's where you have to be creative.

[Edited at 2017-11-14 10:20 GMT]


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