Sammelband: Essays on Translation

Essays on Translation

Multilingual Issues

TRANSLATOLOGIE – Studien zur Übersetzungswissenschaft, Band 5

Hamburg , 282 Seiten

ISBN 978-3-8300-6262-2 (Print)
ISBN 978-3-339-06262-8 (eBook)

Zum Inhalt

There are no easy answers to one of the most complex exercises man can face, as the English critic F. R. Leavis argued. Since the early 1980’s A. Lefevere, who has been a major theoretical influence for most translators, in the last few years, insisted on the role of the translator as an interpreter, to the extent that, far from being an objective act, translating should never attempt the goal of objectiveness if it also claims honesty. He thus relativizes the translator’s task by not giving pride of place to any one version over another, as these reflect the ever changing circumstances of time and place. Thus the translator becomes – either deliberately or not– a manipulator of a ’stochastic’ system, i.e. literature (see his Translation, Rewriting and the Manipulation of Literary Fame, 1992). Today, however, the development of a cognitive approach has provided some ways out of the encumbered concept of translation. Placed under the limelight, translation becomes an act of conscious communication, parallel to the act of communication first carried out by the original speaker-writer. The translator is an interpreter of the concepts represented in the writer’s mind. So the translator has to make assumptions about the writer’s communicative ostensive stimuli by meta-representing his thoughts. The ultimate aim of this cannot be that of setting up equivalence – „a high degree of equivalence of response“ in Nida and Taber’s terms–, but achieving interpretive resemblance. As Ernst A. Gutt suggested in Translation and Relevance: cognition and context (1991), „contextual assumptions and implications are not a matter of linguistics but of inferences that have to do with people’s beliefs – cultural, religious and so forth...“

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