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Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Línguas e Literaturas Modernas INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION STUDIES Power Point 15 5 Decem 5 December 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Línguas e Literaturas Modernas INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION STUDIES Power Point 15 5 Decem 5 December 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Línguas e Literaturas Modernas INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION STUDIES Power Point 15 5 Decem 5 December 2007

2 According to Mary Snell-Hornby (1995:14-25), there are two major schools of TS in Europe: Übersetzungswissenschaft: TS: branch of Applied Linguistics Germany: first the Leipzig school (Wills, Kade, Neubert); then Reiss and Vermeer. Central Concept: Äquivalenz (in EN: equivalence)

3 The Manipulation School TS: branch of Comparative Literature It developed esp. in the Netherlands and Israel from the 1970s onwards Representative scholars: André Lefevere, José Lambert, Theo Hermans, Itamar Even-Zohar, Gideon Toury; (Susan Bassnett in England) Central concept: Translation is manipulation of the ST; literature is not studied in isolation but within its social, historical and cultural context. Focus on literary texts and description of Ts. Translation is a text type in its own right Scholars compare and study traslations, not the process of translating.

4 The Manipulation School The name Manipulation School comes from an anthology of essays published in 1985 and edited by Theo Hermans entitled The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation In the introduction, Hermans states, “From the point of view of the target literature, all translation implies a degree of manipulation of the source text for a certain purpose”

5 Polysystem theory The Manipulation School draws on the ideas contained in Polystystem theory developed by the Israeli scholar Itamar Even-Zohar in the 1970s (in his turn, influenced by the Russian formalists of the 1920s and the Prague Structuralists). The papers he wrote between 1970 and 1977 were published in English translation in a single volume under the title Papers in Historical Poetics in 1978.

6 While in linguistically-oriented approaches to translation the central idea is “equivalence” (besides the German school, see, for example, Baker’s In Other Words), here the focus is on description of the TT as a manipulated text. “Translation is seen as a text type in its own right, as an integral part of the target culture and not merely as the reproduction of another text.” (Snell-Hornby: 24)

7 This focus on the TT results in an approach which is fundamentally DESCRIPTIVE (and not prescriptive) and in a lack of interest in the process of translating. Rather, scholars in this school study translated texts as literary, historical, social and cultural facts. They compare different Ts of the same text (diachronically), study the reception of Ts in a specific culture, etc. Thus, their analyses belong more to the field of Comparative Literature. However, the significant fact is that they examine translated texts / literature in translation.

8 As Munday points out, this focus on translated literature was extremely important, because literature in translation had been mostly neglected and considered a mere “derivative, second-rate form.” (p. 109) Polysystem theory resulted in the development of DTS (Descriptive Translation Studies; main scholar: the Israeli Gideon Toury, a younger colleague of Even-Zohar), a branch of TS which has been “crucial in the past twenty years and which aims at identifying norms and laws of translation.” (Munday:109)

9 Polysystem Even-Zohar introduced the term to refer to literature in a specific culture/society as a set of literary systems, or polysystem, comprising both what are traditionally considered canonized forms (“high” forms such as epic poetry) and non- canonized forms (“low” forms such as children’s literature, thrillers, popular fiction, all translated literature, etc.).

10 Russian formalists: culture as a system of systems  Russian formalists viewed culture as a complex “system of systems” composed of various subsystems such as literature, science and technology.  Thus, literature is regarded as one of the systems of culture, and a culture/society is the environment of a literary system.  The literary system and the other systems influence each other.  They interact in ways which are determined by the logic of the culture to which they belong. In this system, there is a constant struggle for conquering a place in the literary canon. (André Lefevere, 1992: pp )

11 Who controls the “logic of the culture”?  In the case of literary systems, control comes from inside and outside the system.  Control from the inside comes from the professionals within the literary system: critics, publishers, reviewers, teachers, translators.  Control from the outside comes from ‘patronage’, i.e., the powers (institutions, persons, etc.) that control the reading, writing and rewriting of literature. (Lefevere, 1992:15)

12 PATRONAGE  Persons (Medici, Maecenas, etc.)  Groups of persons: religious bodies, a social class, a political party, a royal court, publishers, the media. They regulate literature (its writing, but more often its distribution) through institutions such as academies, censorship bureaus, educational establishments, etc.

13 Even-Zohar: translated literature works as a system 1. In the way the TC selects works for translation; 2. In the way translation norms, behaviour and policies are influenced by other co-systems.

14 Polysystem: hierarchy of layers At each given moment in history, the layers composing the polysystem interact, thus resulting in the evolution of the system itself. Usually what happens can be illustrated as follows: conservative lit.innovative lit. innovative lit.conservative lit.

15 SYSTEMS within SYSTEMS (Hatim and Munday, 2004:98) “In any national language or literature, there has always been a dominant poetics (i.e. theories and practices which define literary creativity often in peculiarly elitist, exclusive ways) and a hierarchy of canonized texts (e.g., esteemed discourses and genres). This has invariably meant that qualities such as originality and aesthetic excellence are valued (...) in accordance with certain preconceived and highly subjective criteria. These yardsticks see to it that at best only ‘second-order’ status is accorded to such ‘less worthy’ genres as children’s literature, popular fiction and translation.”

16 There is thus a constant struggle for domination aspired to by all systems, not only translation. But what is unique to translation is that the exercise of power tends to be easier to play out. Normally involved here are major and minor cultures, languages, and even varieties and genres, incessantly vying for recognition. Example: Hebrew translations of Russian and German texts preferred by Russian and German Jews. ( Hatim and Munday, 1995:99)

17 REWRITING In this constant struggle for status, T can be seen as a form of rewriting (Susan Bassnett and André Lefevere).  Emphasis on the way translations interpret/rewrite ST.  Rewriting as an act of manipulation of the ST which is “purposefully designed to exclude certain readers, authors and ultimately translators.” (Hatim and Munday, 2004:99) Example: Czech writer Milan Kundera

18 What is the position of translated literature within the polysystem? PRIMARY POSITION It strongly contributes to shaping the center of the polysystem. This happens in 3 situations: 1. New/young lit. is taking shape and looks to older lits. for models; 2. A lit. is peripheral or weak and therefore imports literary types. (smaller nation/region dominated by the culture of a larger nation/region). 3. Established models are no longer considered enough or no specific model is dominant; in this situation foreign models assume primacy more easily.

19 What is the position of translated literature within the polysystem? (2) SECONDARY POSITION  Peripheral system within the polysystem;  No major influence on the central system;  Conservative element: helps maintain conventional forms and literary forms of the target system.

20 Translation strategies depend on the position of translated literature within the polysystem. NB: translated lit. is itself a system with primary and secondary positions occupied by different texts.

21 Hypothesis: position of translated lit. within the polysystem is primary; Result: translators feel freer to break lit. conventions of the TL/C; TT is often a more “adequate” match of the ST. (which may in turn lead to innovative TL models)

22 Hypothesis: position of translated lit. within the polysystem is secondary; Result: translators will stick to TC conventional models for the TT and translations will show lower degree of ‘adequacy’.

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