A Brief History of Translation

November 13, 2016 History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TRANSLATION

From 3000 BC onwards (Ancient Egypt) Translation became important in the West from 300 BC ??? Romans took over Greek culture ??? To enrich their native tongue/literature (not just imitate) ??? sense for sense not word for word (Cicero 106-43 BC, Horace 65-8 BC) ??? Considerable licence 12th-15th century ??? 1492: Spanish kings/queens reconquered Spain from Moors ??? Toledo School of translators translated Arabic versions of Greek science/philosophy into Spanish Bible translation: from 4th century onwards ??? 384 BC: Pope Damascus commissioned St Jerome to translate NT into Latin (from Greek) and OT (from Hebrew) ??? 1380-84: John Wycliffe: first complete translation into English ??? Developing Reformation ??? Revisions by John Purvey (1408), William Tyndale (1526), Myles Coverdale (1535) 16th century ??? Bible translated into many European languages (RC and Protestant) ??? Martin Luther (1522) into German ??? 1611: King James Bible (English) Aims of 16th century translators: ??? Clarify errors of previous editions ??? Produce accessible vernacular style ??? Clarify dogma Middle Ages ??? Emergence of national vernaculars from 10th century

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??? Vertical v. horizontal translation ??? From prestige language to vernacular (Latin to French) or between SLs of similar status (Norman French to English) Theorists: Roger Bacon (1214-92), Dante (1265-1321), John of Trevisa (1326-1412) Renaissance: 14th (Italy) – 17th century (Reformation) ??? Etienne Dolet (1509-46) ??? George Chapman (1559-1634) ??? Philemon Holland (1552-1637) ??? Focus on the individual: bold, revolutionaty, nationalistic 17th ??“ 18th century ??? Rules of aesthetic production ??? Increased translation of the classics (French classical theatre, 1625-60) ??? Imitation of classical models ??? Tended to emphasise ???spirit??™ of the original ??? Sir John Denham (1615-69) ??? Abraham Cowley (1618-67) ??? John Dryden (1631-1700): metaphrase, paraphrase, imitation ??? Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ??? Johann Wolfgang von Geothe (1749-1832) ??? Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1804) Romantic period: late 18th ??“ 19th century ??? Reaction against neo-classicism (formal harmony, rationalism) and movement towards irrationalism, vitalism, imagination, genius of the individual. ??? S.T. Coleridge: (1772-1834): fancy v. imagination ??? Contact with other cultures: increase in translation (incl. literary criticism) ??? Translation of Shakespeare (into German 1797-1833) by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845) and Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) ??? Translation of Dante??™s Divine Comedy into German (Schlegel) and English (Francis Cary, 1772-1844)
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??? Translated literature exerted seminal influence on SL ??? Translation = work of creative genius or mechanical process ??? Archaism: Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), William Morris (1834-96) 20th century: the Age of Translation ??? Continuation of 19th century ideas (Walter Benjamin (18921940) ??? Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953, On Translation, 1931) ??? Ezra Pound (1885-1972) ??? Modern linguistics: communication theory, structuralism: translation as a science ??? [Note also the role of Roland Barthes (1915-80): reader/translator as interpreters] Roman Jakobson (1896-1982) (Prague School) On linguistic aspects of translation (1959) ??? Structuralism (Ferdinand de Saussure) ??? Distinguished interlingual, intralingual, intersemiotic translation ??? Equivalence between sign systems Eugene A. Nida (1914-) Towards a Science of Translating (1964) The Theory and Practice of Translation (with Charles Taber, 1969) ??? Linguistic, referential, emotive (connotative) meaning ??? Componential analysis/semantic structure analysis ??? Deep structure/kernel sentences ??? Formal and dynamic equivalence (instead of literal, free or faithful translation) Peter Newmark Approaches to Translation (1981) A Textbook on Translation (1988) ??? Semantic v. communicative translation ??? Questions validity of achieving full equivalent effect on TL reader ??? Prescribes procedures for handling text types, metaphors, cultural terms, etc.
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Germany: ???science of translation??™ (Ubersetzungswissenschaft) Leipzig School (Albrecht Neubert, Otto Kade, in former GDR) Wolfram Wilss (Saarland University) Werner Koller (Bergen University) ??? Einfuhrung in die Ubersetzungswissenschaft (1979) ??? Indentified 5 types of equivalence (from denotative to formal) Emphasised need for text analysis to identify hierarchy of equivalence requirements Linguistic approaches to translation (linguistic shifts) Comparative/contrastive linguistic studies (1960s-) J.-P. Vinay and J. Darbelnet, Slylistique comparee du francais et de l??™anglais: Methode de traduction (1958) ??? Translation strategies: ??? Direct/oblique, borrowing, calque A. Malblanc, Slylistique comparee du francais et de l??™allemand (1963) G. Vazquez-Ayora, Garcia Yebra (Spanish/English) J. C. Catford, A Linguistic Theory of Translation (1965) Linguistic shifts ??? Relation between formal and translation equivalence Kitty van Leuven-Zwart (Amsterdam, 1984-1990) ??? Comparative model: micro-level shifts (at sentence, clause and phrase level) ??? Descriptive model: macro-level shifts. Tries to relate microlevel shifts to (literary) discourse level functions (interpersonal, ideational, textual) Functionalist and communicative approaches (Germany, 1970s-) Katherina Reiss, Moglichkeiten und Grenzen der Ubersetzungskritik (1971) ??? Focus on text types (informative, expressive, appellative/operative, audio-visual) and the need to convey the function of the SL text in the TL translation. ??? Proposes criteria for evaluating translation (intralinguistic, extralinguistic) J. Holz-Mantarri (Helsinki), Translatorisches Handeln (1984)

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Translational action model ??? Stresses need to produce a TT that is functionally communicative (for the TL receiver) ??? Looks at the whole process of translation: intiator, commissioner, ST producer, TL producer (translator), TT user, TT receiver ??? Professional profile of the translator Skopos theory (Hans J. Vermeer, 1970-) ??? Focuses on the purpose of the translation, which determines translation strategy and methods. ??? Rules of coherence and fidelity. Christiane Nord, Text Analysis in Translation (1988) ??? Distinguishes documentary/ instrumental translation: documentary: reader knows he is reading a translation, instrumental: TT functions as a communicative text in its own right ??? Stresses translation commission, role of ST analysis, functional hierarchy of translation problems ??? Intended text function, addressees, time/place of text reception, medium, motive Discourse approaches (1970-). Focus on meaning, social/power relations, context of situation, translation as functional communication. Issues of equivalence. ??? Systemic functional grammar (M.A.K. Halliday, from 1978) ??? Register analysis/equivalence: translator aims for equivalence of utterance in TL situation. ??? Register of text: field (topic), tenor (communication partners), mode (form of communication) ??? Metafunctions/discourse semantics of a text: ideational, interpersonal, textual (related to register) Juliane House, Translation Quality Assessment (1997, revised from 1977) Produces profile of ST register and genre: ???statement of function??™ for ST (what is the information to be conveyed and the relationship between sender and receiver). This is compared with the TT > assessment of quality of translation.
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??? Overt translation: obvious translation because tied to source culture ??? Covert translation: has status of original text in TL Mona Baker, In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (1992) Thematic and information structures ??? Theme/rheme: how old and new information are presented ??? Text cohesion: use of pronouns v. lexical repetition ??? Pragmatics: coherence, presupposition, implicature (need for translator to make these explicit in different ways for different TL cultures)

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