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EN964 Translation Studies in Theory and Practice Introduction John T. Gilmore Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick.

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Presentation on theme: "EN964 Translation Studies in Theory and Practice Introduction John T. Gilmore Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick."— Presentation transcript:

1 EN964 Translation Studies in Theory and Practice Introduction John T. Gilmore Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

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7 Common misconceptions Translation is not really necessary – because everything can be explained with diagrams Translation is not really necessary – because everybody uses English these days Translation is not really necessary – because anything really worth reading has been, or will be, translated into English Translation may be (sometimes) necessary, but it isn’t really that important, since, as John Balcom puts it: “The average person regards the act of translation as a mechanical rather than a creative act. The common perception is that translators merely replace the words of a work in one language with words in another language.”

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10 More common misconceptions Translation is: so simple that anyone can do it not an activity from which anyone should expect to derive any prestige “But Slaves we are; and labour on another Man's Plantation; we dress the Vine- yard, but the Wine is the Owners: If the Soil be sometimes Barren, then we are sure of being scourg'd: If it be fruitful, and our Care succeeds, we are not thank'd; for the proud Reader will only say, the poor drudge has done his duty.” --- John Dryden, from dedication to The Works of Virgil (1697).

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13 瞻彼淇奥。 緑竹猗猗。 有匪君子。 如切如磋。 如琢如磨。 瑟兮僴兮。 赫兮喧兮。 有匪君子。 終不可諼兮。 K‘e yuh Look at those recesses in the banks of the K‘e, With their green bamboos, so fresh and luxuriant! There is our elegant and accomplished prince, — As from the knife and the file, As from the chisel and the polisher! How grave is he and dignified! How commanding and distinguished! Our elegant and accomplished prince, — Never can he be forgotten! Text and translation from James Legge, trs., The She King, in The Chinese Classics, (5 vols., Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960, 1970) IV, 91.

14 A Chinese Ode, The Verbal Translation (Sir William Jones) ‘Behold yon reach of the river Ki; ‘Its green reeds how luxuriant! how luxuriant! ‘Thus is our prince adorned with virtues; ‘As a carver, as a filer of ivory, ‘As a cutter, as a polisher, of gems. ‘O how elate and sagacious! O how dauntless and composed! ‘How worthy of fame! How worthy of reverence! ‘We have a prince adorned with virtues, ‘Whom to the end of time we cannot forget.’ James Legge’s Version: Look at those recesses in the banks of the K‘e, With their green bamboos, so fresh and luxuriant! There is our elegant and accomplished prince, — As from the knife and the file, As from the chisel and the polisher! How grave is he and dignified! How commanding and distinguished! Our elegant and accomplished prince, — Never can he be forgotten!

15 A Chinese Ode, Paraphrased Behold, where yon blue riv’let glides Along the laughing dale; Light reeds bedeck its verdant sides, And frolic in the gale: So shines our prince! In bright array The virtues round him wait; And sweetly smil’d th’auspicious day, That raised him o’er our state. As pliant hands in shapes refin’d Rich iv’ry carve and smooth, His laws thus mould each ductile mind, And every passion soothe. As gems are taught by patient art In sparkling ranks to beam, With manners thus he forms the heart, And spreads a gen’ral gleam. What soft, yet awful, dignity! What meek, yet manly grace! What sweetness dances in his eye, And blossoms in his face! So shines our prince! A sky-born crowd Of virtues round him blaze: Ne’er shall oblivion’s murky cloud Obscure his deathless praise. Sir William Jones, The Poetical Works of Sir William Jones: With the Life of the Author (2 vols.; London: Cadell and Davies [and others], 1807), II,

16 Ode Sinica Vides ut agros dulce gemmatos lavet Argenteus rivi latex; Virides ut aura stridulo modulamine Arundines interstrepat: Sic, sic, amœno cincte virtutum choro Princeps, amabiliter nites. Ut maximo labore, & arte maximâ Effinget artifex ebur, Sic ad benignitatem amica civium Blandè figuras pectora. Ut delicata gemmulam expolit manus Fulgore lucentem aureo, Sic civitatem mitium gaudes tuam Ornare morum lumine. O quàm verenda micat in oculis lenitas! Minantur & rident simul. O quanta pulchro dignitas vultu patet, Et quantus incessu decor! Scilicet, amœno cincte virtutum choro Princeps, amabiliter nites. Annon, per omne, veris instar, seculum Memoria florescet tui? You see how the stream’s silvery water sweetly washes the jewelled fields, how the breeze rustles through the green reeds, thus, thus, oh prince, do you shine in a manner that inspires love, surrounded by a pleasant chorus of virtues. As with the greatest labour and skill the craftsman fashions ivory, thus do you gently form the loving hearts of your citizens to liberality. As the delicate hand polishes the gem until it shines with golden gleam, thus do you rejoice to adorn the state with the light of kindly manners. Oh what fearsome kindness sparkles in your eyes! They threaten and smile at the same time. Oh what dignity shows in your lovely face, and what grace in your step! Truly, oh prince, do you shine in a manner that inspires love, surrounded by a pleasant chorus of virtues. Is it not the case that your memory will flourish like the spring through all eternity? Text from Sir William Jones, The Poetical Works of Sir William Jones: With the Life of the Author (2 vols.; London: Cadell and Davies [and others], 1807), II, 40; translation by John T. Gilmore.

17 Translation is about constraints compromises challenges creativity

18 Thank you.


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