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Translation Studies An Anglo American Perspective

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1 Translation Studies An Anglo American Perspective
Dr. Constanza Gerding Salas Universidad de Concepción Universität Leipzig May 2013

2 Lawrence Venuti Biography Born in Philadelphia
Graduated from Temple University PhD in English from Columbia University (1980) Works as professor of English at Temple University Lectures in Creative Writing at Princeton University Member of the EB of The Translator (Intercultural Communication)

3 Translation awards 1980 Renato Poggioli for Barbara Alberti's novel Delirium PEN American Center 1983 Italian Government 1989 National Endowment for the Humanities 1983, 1999 National Endowment for the Arts 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in Humanities for Giovanni Pascoli's poetry and prose

4 Works 1989 Our Halcyon Dayes: English Prerevolutionary Texts and Postmodern Culture 1992 Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology (an anthology of essays, editor) 1995 The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation 1998 The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference 2000, 2002, 2012 The Translation Studies Reader (editor) 2012 Translation changes everything: Theory and practice (a collection of essays)

5 His theoretical posture
Substantially differs from mainstream theorists Places emphasis on translator-centered translation Criticizes the fact that the translator is too often an invisible figure Insists that translators should make themselves visible in the text Critiques linguistics-oriented approaches to translation Advocates translation theories and practices which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them (fluency)

6 Making SL & SC evident Considered an intense figure in modern translation theory He points to the political/ideological nature of translation the importance of translation in the construction of culture in the construction of national identity The Translator’s Invisibility: controversy & debate since publication The Scandals of Translation: domestication & foreignization strategies: how much a translation assimilates a foreign text to the translating language and culture or signals the differences

7 Translation is politics
The Scandals of Translation. Towards an Ethics of difference a harsh critique of the discipline of translation studies: “With rare exceptions, scholars have been reluctant to negotiate areas of agreement and to engage more deeply with the cultural, political, and institutional problems posed by translation (for an exception see Hatim and Mason 1997)" (Venuti, 1998: 9).

8 Against the Polysystemic Model
Venuti also criticizes Gideon Toury's polysystem This model proposes a set of norms for determining the production and reception of translations According to the Polysystemic Model (Multidimensional Model or the School of Manipulation), from the recipient culture perspective, every translation implies a certain degree of manipulation of the ST for a given purpose The criticism focuses on its tendency to disregard ideological factors, which have a considerable impact on the translator’s decisions

9 Fluency Venuti poses that fluency has prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the criterion of foreign literatures in English Fluency in translation refers to the absence of linguistic or stylistic peculiarities that makes a text seem transparent gives the impression that it reflects the foreign writer’s personality/intention reflects the essential meaning of the foreign text

10 Aim of fluency It means giving the appearance that a translation is not in fact a translation, but an “original.” It means having the smooth continuity of the original to the detriment of transparency (translator’s visibility) The emphasis on fluency is a conscious or unconscious strategy meant to preserve the status quo of culture

11 Fluency and publishers
Translations are judged acceptable by publishers, reviewers, and readers when they read fluently Newspaper reviewers rarely address translation at all, but when they do, the dominance of fluency in the language is evident Comments focus on style and neglect other possible questions: accuracy intended audience economic value in the current book market relation to literary trends in English place in the translator’s career

12 Fluency appreciated Post-WWII literary journalism lexicon  filled with terms to indicate the presence or absence of a fluent translation discourse: “crisp” “elegant” “flows” “gracefully” “wooden” (stiff) Pejorative neologisms to criticize translations that lack fluency “translatese” “translationese” “translatorese” Under the regime of fluent translating, translators work to make their work “invisible” They produce the illusory effect of transparency: the translated text seems “natural,” i.e., not of a foreign origin, not translated

13 Ethnocentrism in translation
Another concept profusely discussed by Venuti is the ethnocentric violence of translation He regards it as inevitable: in the translating process, foreign languages, texts, and cultures will always undergo some degree of reduction, exclusion, and intricacy (complication). The violent nature of translation consists of evaluating other peoples and other cultures according to the standards of one's own culture

14 Implications of ethnocentrism
Two disadvantages for the translator: Translation is defined as a second-order representation: only the foreign text can be original, an authentic copy, true to the author’s personality or intention, whereas the translation is derivative, fake, potentially a false copy Translation is required to delete its second-order status with transparent discourse, producing the illusion of authorial presence so that the translated text can be taken as the original

15 Invisibility Invisibility, term used by Venuti to describe the translator’s situation in contemporary Anglo-American culture. It refers to two phenomena: an illusionistic effect of discourse, of the translator’s manipulation of the language the practice of reading and evaluating such translations The translator’s invisibility is a kind of self-annihilation, a way of reinforcing the marginal status it has in Anglo-American culture

16 How invisible is the translator?
Reviewers seldom discuss translation as writing The typical mention of the translator in a review takes the form of a brief aside in which the transparency of the translation is judged The person behind a translation is largely ignored (invisible) in the debates on translation Example: e are familiar with the name of Tolstoy, but not with the translator who made it possible for us to read that work in a language we know and understand

17 Invisible by law Invisibility is further maintained in the legal status of translation in American culture: in copyright law in contractual arrangements American law defines translation as “adaptation” or “derivative work” based on an “original work of authorship” whose copyright belongs to the author Translator  subordinated to the author Author  controls the publication of the translation during copyright for the original text: the author’s lifetime plus fifty years

18 Fluent = publishable  What constitutes a ‘good’, publishable translation? (Venuti, 1995: 5) One that is rendered into language that is modern One with vocabulary that is commonly used by the people One that will generally follow the syntactic pattern of the target language One that will make the thoughts of the foreign text accessible in “domesticated” language Translations, in their attempt to be fluent in the TL, tend to downplay the distinctive qualities that might mark a work in the SL Publishers, driven by the logic of the marketplace, encourage the publication of ‘smooth’ translations

19 Translation copyright
American publishing firms demand the copyright for the translation (Venuti, 1995)’ Most American publishing houses term a translation as “work made for hire” Translator hand over the finished ‘product’ to the publisher and have no claim over it after that This affects payment In most cases, translators are paid per thousand words or per printed page After a flat one-time payment, the translator gets nothing else even if the book does well in the market and goes for repeated editions The author, however, gets a royalty for each edition

20 Domestication (Venuti, 1995)
Domestication  type of translation in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted to minimize the foreignness of the ST for target readers (e.g. Nida) Aim  to make the translation process invisible, i.e. to make a translated text read totally naturally for the target audience

21 Domestication: other terms coined
Domestication has also been called minoritization (Venuti, 1998) acculturation (Bassnett, 2002) naturalized translation or naturalization (Jacquemond, 2004)

22 Foreignization (Venuti, 1995)
Foreignization  type of translation which deliberately breaks target conventions by retaining the essential foreignness of the original. (e.g. Venuti) Aim  to allow the reader to understand the flavor of the ST, usually at the cost of fluency

23 Foreignization: other terms coined
Foreignization has also been called majoritization (Venuti, 1998) exotized translation or exoticization (Jacquemond, 2004)

24 Schleiermacher and foreignization
Schleiermacher’s lecture ‘On the Different Methods of Translating’ Delivered to the Royal Academy of Science Berlin, 24 June 1813 already discussed foreignization (literalist or word-for-word) and the opposed movement, domestication (naturalization or sense-for-sense) Whatever the terms, Schleiermacher clearly preferred relative literalism, i.e. translation that would retain its essential ‘foreignness’ (Pym, 1995: 1)

25 Revisiting domestication and foreignization
Venuti’s domestication and foreignization strategies explain how much a translation assimilates a foreign text to the translating language and culture, and how much it rather signals the differences of that text. (Venuti, [1995] 2002) Is foreignization a respectful gesture towards foreign cultures and languages? According to Venuti (1995: 22)  all translations are acts of “ethnocentric violence” perpetrated on the ST, as they intend to satisfy the values of the target culture alone

26 Venuti advocates foreignization
Venuti (1995: 20) explains  domestication refers to an ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to target-language cultural values while foreignization intends to register the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text foreignization can be part of a nationalist strategy that aids in the building up of a national culture

27 Venuti’s conceptual contribution
The translator is an invisible figure, i.e. inconspicuous, neglected, ignored, not given deserved value, not taken into consideration, “opinionless” A translated text that reads fluently is judged acceptable, i.e. when it reads as if it were an “original” Ethnocentric violence in translation is inevitable: in the translating process, foreign languages, texts, and cultures always undergo some degree of reduction or exclusion Foreignization is ethnocentrically less violent than domestication as it helps retain the flavor of the original

28 Anthony Pym Born in Perth, Australia PhD in Sociology
Post-doctoral research on translation history at the University of Göttingen, Germany Translator and journal editor Has taught at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Founded the Intercultural Studies Group in 2000 Currently teaches at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona

29 Pym defends Venuti’s work
According to Pym (1995), Venuti has created debate about the politics and aesthetics of English-language translation, perhaps more than anyone else in recent years Pym (1995), a fan of Venuti’s, criticizes him for having changed his recipes over the years Pym (1995: 9): “Although I personally would not follow his “call to action” on any of the fronts he names, I willingly give the reaction Venuti most clearly wants and deserves, namely public debate on issues that are being sidelined [removed from the center of attention] by the linguistic and systemic technocrats of contemporary Translation Studies”

30 Maria Tymoczko Belgian-born translation theorist
Presently works at the University of Massachusetts (comparative literature) Translation Studies, Celtic Medieval Literature, and Irish Studies Her critical studies Has co-edited several volumes on translation Most recent book: Translation, Resistance, Activism (2010) Uses translations to study the imbalances of power between cultures

31 Venuti’s work in Tymoczko’s eyes
Tymoczko thinks Venuti is inconsistent as he does not employ a unified terminology She criticizes the style of his argument: very informal, even lax at times Although he has developed an impressive number of terms useful for analyzing aspects of translation related to engagement, power and politics, he does not carefully define any of them This is in part because the concepts he develops and the terms he uses are not strictly speaking his own invention

32 Venuti’s work in Tymoczko’s eyes
She poses that Venuti tends to assert things rather than argue for them or present evidence for them For example, he claims that fluency is the dominant standard for translations in the United States today He offers little evidence of that claim: his own experience, based primarily on the translation of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary works between European languages

33 Where Tymoczko agrees with Venuti
Tymoczko agrees with Venuti in that dominant English-speaking culture tends to colonize the cultural products of other cultures Cultural dominance – they agree - results in translations with deformed textual and cultural representation this representation serves the interests of the dominant receptor culture

34 Where Tymoczko disagrees with Venuti
Unlike Venuti, Tymoczko thinks this deformed representation should not necessarily be related to one translation method (fluency) In her views, any translation procedure can become a tool of cultural colonization, even foreignizing translation She poses Venuti does not say how much would be enough to characterize a translation as foreignizing That is, how much resistance should there be for a translation to count as resistant Or how much abusive fidelity or foreignizing language is necessary for a translation to be counted as foreignizing

35 Venuti’s resemantizations
Tymoczko (2000) claims that Venuti’s distinction between foreignizing and domesticating translations is based on earlier conceptualizations of domestication formulated outside translation theory and used broadly in literary criticism Resistance, at the root of Venuti's concept of resistant translation or resistancy, has wide political and ideological associations, evoking, for example, La Resistance, the French name for the opposition movement to the Nazis during World War II

36 More resemantization Tymoczko states Venuti’s recent term, minoritizing translation evokes the concept of a minor literature developed by French philosophers (Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari). His discussion of the remainder in translation (the unpredictable effects of translation) is based on the work of Jean-Jacques Lecercle His emphasis is on a translator-centered translation: the insistence that the translator should inscribe him/herself visibly into the text is older than Translation Theory.

37 Venuti’s political views
Tymoczko is sympathetic to and shares most of Venuti’s political position, which he openly acknowledges in his writing. Venuti suggests that the translator with a social conscience should attempt to benefit humanity further social justice by picking a text and a translation method that challenge dominant cultural standards (imperialism or neo-imperialism) Tymoczko poses many translators have acted upon those principles long before Venuti ever began to write

38 The militant against Venuti is said to radical for he “militates against” not “for”: against fluency against the canon against convention against the bourgeoisie against censorship Venuti is said to be a critic who uses literature as a battlefield in which he expresses academic-political conflicts: men against women in feminist critiques class against class in social analyses

39 Tymoczko’s view of commitment
Translations are inevitably partial As a result, translators must make choices, selecting aspects of a text to transpose and emphasize Partiality is not only a defect, a lack, or an absence in a translation Partiality also makes translation partisan: committed, either implicitly or explicitly Commitments are often demonstrable in the paratextual material surrounding translations: introductions, footnotes, reviews, literary criticism, etc. Partiality is what makes translations political

40 A Canadian look Luise von Flotow
Canadian by birth with strong German cultural influences PhD in French, University of Michigan Established at the University of Ottawa since 1995 Professor and Director of the School of Translation and Interpretation Books: Translation and Gender (1997) Translating Women (2011) Translation researcher reflecting feminism as it developed in Canada during the eighties Over 20 book chapters and 25 articles on the topic

41 Von Flotow’s interests
Her work deals with the translator’s ambiguous status issues of "fidelity” contextualisation linguistic and cultural paradoxes above all, political and ideological influences on translation, specifically translation and gender

42 Von Flotow’s key concepts
Has revisited ways in which translation has historically given women empowerment (when excluded from artistic and cultural expression) Has come to the conclusion translators’ feminist commitment is often more visible in their metatext than in the textual product itself The term gender has been used to discuss the effects of sexual differences in cultural, social and political configurations

43 Women writers according to Von Flotow’s
In her book Translation and Gender (1997), she describes women’s writing: full of word play on aspects of culture invented words Translators have had to resort to compensation strategies in order to achieve balance and replace inevitable losses

44 Von Flotow’s feminist translation strategies
In her article Feminist translation, context, practice and theories (TTR, 1991), she puts forward three “feminist” translation strategies Supplementing = compensating Prefacing/footnoting = explaining specific matters dealing with the feminine Hijacking = deliberate feminization of the TT.

45 Translation and feminism
In the past 40 years, translation has strongly affected women’s movement feminist politics feminist academic study Not only in English-speaking countries buy all over the world Translation practice, theory and criticism have also been powerfully affected by the focus on gender Translation has become an important site for the exploration of the cultural impact of gender and the gender influence of culture

46 Gender does not stand for the feminine only
Von Flotow’s article Translating Women: From Recent Histories and Re-translations to «Queerying» Translation, and Metramorphosis (2012) deals with issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, i.e. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and cultures This area of analysis has also been labeled as Sexual Diversity Studies Sexualities Studies Lesbian/Gay Studies (among others)

47 Translation and feminists in the 1990s
Before the idea of «feminist translation» emerged in the 1990s, translation was important for Anglo-American and other feminisms: Translations of women authors allowed massive exchange of ideas Re-readings, re-evaluations, and re-translations of existing «key» texts of Western, and feminist culture became important The discovery of long lost, newly-unearthed women writers led to more and more translation Translation was re-examined

48 What is gender in translation?
“Heterosexual activity in the form of intercourse can no longer claim sexual sovereignty and legitimacy in the name of human procreation and survival." (Ulrika Orloff, Norwich, 2000, unpublished) The heterosexual myth of figures of an active, virile, aggressive and penetrating male a passive, fertile, submissive and receptive female is effectively undermined Inspirational for Von Flotow

49 A new gender situation What will the new gender situation mean for translation? The socially constructed notions of what constitutes social and biological motherhood or fatherhood are changing Queer couples, too, intend to have and have and raise children The legal establishment is responding with the tools at hand This is creating curious connections between creativity, reproduction, and motherhood

50 Thank you!

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