Presentation on theme: "New Approaches to Translation History Anthony Pym Intercultural Studies Group Universitat Rovira i Virgili Tarragona, Spain."— Presentation transcript:
New Approaches to Translation History Anthony Pym Intercultural Studies Group Universitat Rovira i Virgili Tarragona, Spain
Menu for morning session: n Why do it? n Quantitative research? n Systems and norms? n Intercultures?
Why do translation history? n Personal satisfaction –So why communicate it? n Protection and glory of target cultures –So why look at translation? n To challenge concepts of cultures? –But there is nothing outside of cultures?
An even better alternative model: Locale 1 Locale 2 Locale 3 IC Locale 4
What is different here? n Translation moves out from a common centre (an interculture) n It moves towards locales n There are no target texts in the interculture
What is an interculture? n Relations are professional n They have secondness with respect to monocultural communication n The agents become principles (?) n They become more independent the more technical their tasks are. n (They will one day rule the world?)
Which means... n Translators work in networks (of intermediaries). n Translations mark the limits of cultures n The communication borders are nodes, increasingly in cities. n Translation precedes cultural identity.
Which means: n The more cultural products there are in a language, the more translations there are likely to be from that language. n A low translation percentage in a language may be due to no more than a relatively high number of cultural products produced in that language
And... n The more cultural products a country produces in non-national languages, the higher the percentage of translations into the national language(s) is likely to be. n (e.g. People in Sweden read in English AND read translations from English)
Thus... n This is why intercultures appear to be central or peripheral, in accordance with the relative size and openness of the cultural locale concerned.
Is English-language culture hegemonic? n For 1960-1986 there were more than 2.5 times as many translations in Britain and the United States (1,872,050) than in France (688,720) or Italy (577,950). n 24% of all books in English are published outside the US or the UK.
What are norms? n ‘The main factors ensuring the establishment and retention of social order’ (Toury 1995:55). n For example... n Literal / free, longer / shorter, neologisms / archaisms, preface / none, notes / none.
How to discover norms? n Look at translations? n Compare translations with parallel texts? n Look at translation theories? n Look at translation criticism? n Look at debates between translators? n I.e. Bottom-up or top-down.
For example: n 'no great novel has ever been rendered into French without cuts' (Wyzewa 1901: 599). n M. G. Conrad (1889) proposed that German translators make more cuts as an act of adaptive protectionism against the disloyal cultural competition of French translators.
Toury’s laws: n The textual relations of the original are increasingly ignored in favour of the options offered by the target language. n Interference happens when the translation is from a prestigious language or culture and the target language or culture is minor.
In human terms...? n The more the translator is in an interculture, the less “natural” the translation. n The bigger the receiving culture, the more marginal the interculture and the more “natural” the translation. n... Perhaps...
Examples: n Twelfth-century translations into Latin were... n...extremely literal. n Nineteenth-century translations into French were... n...often very free...
But what of the power of the individual? n Rabbi Mose... n Henri Albert... n Ezra Pound n... Or their patrons?
The real question is: n Who makes history? n (Or are the norms and systems simply there?)
Activity n Select a translator (or group of translators) n Try to find out how they made their money. n Who did they work with / for /against? n What was the locale conditioning their work? n Can you locate any norms of that locale?